I am sharing my honest experience with Overeaters Anonymous (OA) on The Food Freedom Lab today. Going to OA is something I honestly don't talk about much, not necessarily because I am ashamed, but because I didn't find it very helpful – and today I am telling you why!
If you have no idea what OA is or have never heard of it, here is a brief description from their website, “Overeaters Anonymous is a Fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive overeating. We welcome everyone who wants to stop eating compulsively. There are no dues or fees for members; we are self-supporting through our contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. OA is not affiliated with any public or private organization, political movement, ideology, or religious doctrine; we take no position on outside issues. Our primary purpose is to abstain from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors and to carry the message of recovery through the Twelve Steps of OA to those who still suffer.”
THINGS I LIKED ABOUT OA:
- Offered free support
- Was able to connect with others who were also struggling
- Provided literature to read and tried to help me understand what I was doing wasn't working
- Multiple meeting options
THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE:
- You have to repeatedly tell yourself you are powerless over food
- They believe being abstinent from flour and sugar is the only way to recovery
- OA blames food as the problem for compulsiveness around food
- They give you tokens/chips for the number of days you are “abstinent”
- OA refers to binges and overeats as relapses
- They suggest you go on a strict food plan
- No cross-talking in meetings
Above all, what I want you to know is that 1. These are just my opinions from the experience I had; things might be different now, and 2. ALWAYS do what is best for you. If you are struggling with binge eating and/or overeating, having a safe space where you feel supported and can talk is 10x better than having no outlet.