In the United States, overeating is a common problem.
Many people have difficulty stopping themselves from overeating. Compulsive binge eating habits develop and lead to health issues like obesity.
If you want to recover from compulsive eating, then you might check out one of the Overeating Anonymous meetings. OA is a community of people who want to rid themselves of compulsive eating and food addiction.
In this article we will discuss how to find meeting locations for in-person OA meetings. We will also cover how to find online meetings via zoom chat.
What Is An Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Like?
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is based on the 12-step program called Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
OA meetings are like AA meetings, so when you go to an OA meeting you can expect:
- To be welcomed and introduced by a chairperson who will say something like “We welcome everyone who feels they have a problem with food”
- An opening statement about membership such as “The only requirement for membership is that you are overeating and wish to stop”
- Readings from the OA text or AA text (you can read ahead if it’s your first time)
- Someone shares their experience with overeating. They will share what the steps have meant to them, and answer any questions about the 12 Steps of recovery.
- The speaker may also talk about working with food plans or tools like planners.
- Open group discussion near the end
- Some type of closing and reminders about confidentiality
For more info you can read my article here, “Overeaters Anonymous: How Meetings Work”.
How To Find Overeating Anonymous Meetings Near You
Finding an OA meeting near you is pretty simple. Here are some steps to get started:
- You can search for a meeting by zip code or city on the Overeaters Anonymous website.
- If you’re not sure where to start and want support from someone, try calling The Hotline. 800-255-0606 (M-F: 11 am – 12 pm PST)
- You can also find meetings through searching for “Overeaters Anonymous Meetings Near Me”
Here’s my suggestion:
Go to Google and type in “Overeating Anonymous Groups in (Your Location)”
For example, I live in the South Bay Area, California. So I went to Google and typed in “Overeating Anonymous Groups in South Bay”.
If you live in St. Louis, then you would type in “Overeating Anonymous Groups in St. Louis”.
Here is what Google provided me from my search query:
As you can see, I got a very specific result for Overeating Anonymous meetings in the South Bay.
This is why I highly suggest you use this method to find resources near you!
U.S. Overeaters Anonymous (OA) Locations For In Person Meetings
Most OA meeting locations will be available on the website you are perusing.
(I can only speak for the United States here and I am not sure about where OA can be found if you are reading this from outside of the U.S.)
Some groups may list their meeting locations online only by phone number or text message.
If your group does not have this information listed then I would contact the leader of the group for more info.
You can find contact information on most websites under topics on the page such as “Meetings”.
Or, “Contact Us” at oa-usa.org (or other sites) where they provide email addresses and phone numbers you can use to get in touch with someone.
OA Meetings Using Zoom
With the pandemic and anonymous nature of OA, more and more meetings have been moving online.
Here are some steps you can use to find OA Meetings using Zoom (or other online ways to meet):
- Use google or another search engine and type in “+OA meeting +city name” (e.g., for a Boston OA Meeting)
- Check the list of monthly meetings at overeatersanonymous.org. Click on your city, then visit that page’s “Monthly Meetings Listing.”
- Look up the phone number for ZOOM from their website. Call them to ask if they have any current meetings going on near you.
- Usually the email address is listed as well so feel free to contact someone there too!
- You can also scroll back to top google search results for more info.
And yes! The same basic steps work to find both in-person and online OA meetings!
Does Overeaters Anonymous Really Work?
As you peruse the internet for OA meetings near you, you’ll likely wonder to yourself if OA even works.
You might be on the fence about trying an OA group. Serious doubts about OA helping resolve your eating and food behaviors may come up before your first group meeting.
Well, with the right mindset and a little bit of dedication, OA will help you.
For starters, don’t pressure yourself to attend a group if you are too nervous.
In order to recover from entrenched food behaviors, it’s vital you find support, but at the same time you can’t force yourself to go either.
Take It Slow
What you can do instead is wait for a while to go to a meeting and in the meantime familiarize yourself with the OA philosophies. Then when you do go you’ll be more comfortable.
For example, try reading “The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous”.
After you feel more in alignment with the OA principles towards food, get in touch with someone from OA and have a conversation!
You can also make a list of potential OA groups near you which you could attend someday. Remember their slogan too – “Anyone who struggles with food behaviors we welcome!“
You are WELCOME at Overeating Anonymous Meetings. Internalize this!
Once you get over your fears about going to an OA meeting, I am sure you’ll find that the Overeaters Anonymous meetings work (to some degree!).
I have no doubt in my mind that you will enjoy OA no matter what situation you are in.
For starters, if you can find people who support you then you will automatically feel better.
However, will OA solve all your problems? I can’t say ‘yes’ to that.
When you’re struggling with overeating, it can be hard to find the help and support that you need.
Attending one of the Overeating Anonymous meetings can be a great step if you want to stop eating compulsively.
We hope these resources give you some insight into whether the OA approach is good for your own recovery.