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12 Steps & 12 Traditions & 12 Concepts


Here are the 12 steps as adapted for Overeaters Anonymous:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food--that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Spiritual Principles in the Twelve Steps

A spiritual principle is associated with each of the Twelve Steps.

The Principles in the Twelve Steps (as listed in Step Twelve of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous)

Step One:  Honesty
Step Two:  Hope
Step Three:  Faith
Step Four:  Courage
Step Five:  Integrity
Step Six:  Willingness
Step Seven:  Humility
Step Eight:  Self-discipline
Step Nine:  Love for others
Step Ten:  Perseverance
Step Eleven:  Spiritual Awareness
Step Twelve:  Service

Here are the 12 Traditions as adapted for Overeaters Anonymous:

  1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity.
  2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority— a loving God as he may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  3. The only requirement for OA membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively.
  4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other group or OA as a whole.
  5. Each group has but one primary purpose--to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.
  6. An OA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the OA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  7. Every OA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  8. Overeaters Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  9. OA, as such, ought never be organized: but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  10. Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues: hence the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
  11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion: we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio films, television, and other public media of communication.
  12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program, always ensuring principles before personalities. This means that OA itself is not anonymous, but its members are. There are no exceptions. While OA may be publicized, we do not break our individual anonymity at the level of press, radio, films, television, and all public media of communication, and the recognizable facial exposure of persons identifying as OA members at the level of press, films, television, and all public media of communication is a violation of our tradition of anonymity, even though the first name only is given or the entire name is withheld. WSBC Policy 1980b (Amended 2013)

Spiritual Principles in the Twelve Traditions

A spiritual principle is associated with each of the Twelve Traditions.

Tradition One:  Unity
Tradition Two: Trust
Tradition Three: Identity
Tradition Four: Autonomy
Tradition Five: Purpose
Tradition Six:  Solidarity
Tradition Seven: Responsibility
Tradition Eight: Fellowship
Tradition Nine: Structure
Tradition Ten:  Neutrality
Tradition Eleven: Anonymity
Tradition Twelve:  Spirituality