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Old 11-14-2009, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default Compulsive Eating, Overeaters Anonymous, Etc.

One of my friends was talking about having disordered eating patterns, so i looked up the site for 'overeaters anonymous' to see if there were any groups in her area. (She thinks the idea of a support group would help her). I was a bit shocked, as their 12 step program is all about god!!! No offense to christians, but i don't see how god is going to help with a psychiatric problem and anyway even if 'faith' works for some people, my friend is a Pagan and so these steps would not be relivent to her.
Does anyone know of any good groups for compulsive/comfort eating that don't revolve around giving over your trust and soul to god??!!
Do you think support groups can help people more than going it alone.. or are they just a way of some corporation making money?? (Like weightwatchers or something)
These are the holy steps... how strange..
Are all the 'anonomous' groups christian based and i just didn't know this or something??

http://www.oagb.org.uk/?page_id=38
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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A friend of mine is Pagan and belongs to an OA group. Hmm...
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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Most 'anonymous' groups are based on Alcoholics Anonymous, which I think was originally created as a Jeebus-based group. FWIW.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by CrystalUT11 View Post
A friend of mine is Pagan and belongs to an OA group. Hmm...
It would seem to go against their beliefs though.. i'm not sure my friend would be comfortable with a program based around christianity.. i'm not sure it could work for her, as its based around something she doesn't believe in..

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Originally Posted by Divals View Post
Most 'anonymous' groups are based on Alcoholics Anonymous, which I think was originally created as a Jeebus-based group. FWIW.
ahhh..you learn something every day! Aww..jeebus
is so nice helping people and all. Though there is something i find a bit strange about this... must think on it more..
I had an Uncle who went to AA- He didn't mention it had anything to do with god. I can see how it would be ok to start off as a christian based group... but the steps are a bit faith specific... you would think there would be more psychology included seeing it is addiction that is being dealt with...
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Step 2 is mental! -"2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."
Jeeeebus!!
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:44 AM   #6
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Yeah, AA is jesus-y. I think a lot of people have success with it b/c it's a solid program, is more than just religion undercover, and people can, to a small extent, personalize it. Your friend might get something out of it. Doesn't hurt to attend a meeting or 2 and see, right? I don't know how I'd swallow the religious stuff personally, but I do think the program works for a lot of people. I don't know how many people going it alone works for. Ultimately, many pagans do have a belief system, right? Something about mother earth or the universe or something? Maybe your friend can make substitutions in her mind; I'm sure many AA-type members do so and it's accepted.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jes View Post
Yeah, AA is jesus-y. I think a lot of people have success with it b/c it's a solid program, is more than just religion undercover, and people can, to a small extent, personalize it. Your friend might get something out of it. Doesn't hurt to attend a meeting or 2 and see, right? I don't know how I'd swallow the religious stuff personally, but I do think the program works for a lot of people. I don't know how many people going it alone works for. Ultimately, many pagans do have a belief system, right? Something about mother earth or the universe or something? Maybe your friend can make substitutions in her mind; I'm sure many AA-type members do so and it's accepted.
Aye, I believe so.

...my dad was in AA, and he's a hardcore atheist. I'm still not sure how THAT worked.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:33 PM   #8
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This is kind of the problem I'm having with my grief support group. It is religous based and I am not, really. Besides the fact that I'm not real happy with a God that will take my husband and best friend from me. So I am trying to take support from the people there and gloss over as much religion as I can. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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As Mergirl here quote.

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Originally Posted by mergirl View Post
Step 2 is mental! -"2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."
Jeeeebus!!
I was told that power greater than ourselves doesn't have to be Jesus or God. It could be anything.

My problem with OA when I was involved with it was that after we went from one person to the next and read each passage and the chapter out loud we had to go around the room and share our thoughts and feelings. I am usually a rather private person I couldn't bring myself to do that so I left the group.

I don't know if they have this where you are located but I was introduced this week to EFT at a meetup. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is an emotional, needle free version of acupuncture that is based on new discoveries regarding the connection between your body's subtle energies, your emotions, and your health. Here is the web site. http://www.emofree.com/
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:30 PM   #10
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Mer, I've never been to an OA meeting but I am familiar with 12-step programs. I belong to one of them (Al-Anon) and am about the least religious person on the planet. I haven't attended a meeting in ages, but when I needed it ... it was a wonderful place to be. Although the founding principles are undeniably religious in nature, the focus is most definitely not. People are encouraged to define their higher power in a way that makes sense to them. For me, it has nothing to do with God or Jeebs, since I believe that both are about as real as Santa and the Easter Bunny. I would encourage your friend to at least attend a meeting. It's not for everyone, and she may find that it's not her cuppa, either. I was very cynical when I first attended an Al-Anon meeting and in fact, went because I was just about at my breaking point emotionally and didn't feel that I had anything to lose. It turned out to be one of the wisest decisions that I've ever made.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:57 PM   #11
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This thread is going to be re-opened, after days of discussing it on the admin board. Please don't fear that your reported posts and messages about this thread went unheard; they did not. We just needed to be clear on some issues before re-opening.

I think that for some with no experience with OA or what their mission is, the mention of OA brings up visions of Weight Watchers and other diet groups (TOPS also comes to mind). I'm sure there have been a few OA chapters whose focus is diet, but in fact, by reading OAs bylaws and mission statement, one can see what they are all about. See for yourself...

Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive eating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Worldwide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.

OA is not just about weight loss, gain or maintenance; or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet. If you want to stop your compulsive overeating, welcome to Overeaters Anonymous.


For those of you who skim, at least read the portions that have been bolded...

This thread will be re-opened, as long as some guidelines will be followed. Any posts that stray from them will be removed. Dimensions does not allow diet talk. There will be no posts here about goal weights, about dieting, about how fatness = bad, etc.

All of us, and I include Conrad here (while also not speaking for him) understand that there can be health consequences that can come from fatness; and also that there can be other issues surrounding it, such as disordered eating. As well, some of us (I list myself in this group) do have eating disorders and struggle with separating the genesis and foundation, and results, of those disorders from the desire to have a more healthy relationship with food.

To that end, this discussion will continue, in a serious, on-topic vein. While men in general have less disordered eating problems, there are some who do struggle with it. Men with eating disorders and experiences with OA are welcome to post here, too, as long as the BBW forum rules are followed. All rule violations, all diet talk, all off-topic stuff will be removed.

Thank you for being patient and for letting us know how you feel -- we really do want to know. When there is a serious issue, we do take the time to discuss them, and sometimes it can take a while to come to some kind of accord and define what that accord will be -- what shape it will take.
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Last edited by Tina; 11-17-2009 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mergirl View Post
Step 2 is mental! -"2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."
Jeeeebus!!
There is a group called rational recovery based on cognitive behavorial theory. google it.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:48 PM   #13
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I really appreciate the mods taking a moment and reading thru the OA site to see what this is really about.

I've checked out OA every year for the past 6 years. I always chicken out at the last minute. I tried the online groups and they seemed like a chat room to me and I never felt safe to say anything. This week, tomorrow, I'm going to a meeting before I see my therapist. I'm terrified of going, but I'm more scared of letting food rule my mood and my life.

I can relate to ssfbelle, I'm not sure I will want to read anything out loud or even talk for that matter. I don't read the bible, nor do I believe in it. I do however believe in a higher power so I'm feeling like there may be benefit for me to go.

I would think at the heart of addiction lies the same core issues regardless of the drug and the 12 step programs seem to be effective for a lot of people. I do wonder about other options though.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:50 PM   #14
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I'm really glad this thread is back. It really was helping me to understand support groups. I really need help with understanding. Thank you for putting it back.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar View Post
I really appreciate the mods taking a moment and reading thru the OA site to see what this is really about.

I've checked out OA every year for the past 6 years. I always chicken out at the last minute. I tried the online groups and they seemed like a chat room to me and I never felt safe to say anything. This week, tomorrow, I'm going to a meeting before I see my therapist. I'm terrified of going, but I'm more scared of letting food rule my mood and my life.

I can relate to ssfbelle, I'm not sure I will want to read anything out loud or even talk for that matter. I don't read the bible, nor do I believe in it. I do however believe in a higher power so I'm feeling like there may be benefit for me to go.

I would think at the heart of addiction lies the same core issues regardless of the drug and the 12 step programs seem to be effective for a lot of people. I do wonder about other options though.
I was in OA for quite some time and it was the only thing to help with my bulimia after 13 years of hell.

As a Jew, the emphasis on G-d was fine with me, but lots of others just used a broader concept of "Higher Power" in whatever way they definded "Higher Power". The concept was merely that you were powerless over a certain substance or behaviour. In a well known book about the program, the writer even talks about making the group itself your Higher Power, i.e. the group can help heal you while you can't do it yourself.

None of the readings in any group I went to were from the Judeo-Christian Bible, they were from the AA "Big Book" and other 12 step related writings.

You absolutely do NOT have to talk or read if you don't want to. At your first meeting they will ask if anyone is new or returning and you can raise your hand and may be invited to introduce yourself, but that is it. You can even approach the leader before the meeting and say you're just there to listen to see if OA is right for you and you're prefer to not speak at this time.

One downside I've found is that the meetings themselves can be crapshoots as far as emphasis. Some have more of a "food addict" direction and will often suggest abstaining from certain specific foods with the idea that they trigger binges. Others are focused on anorexia/bulimia. Still others are more general and allow you to define your own concept of abstinence. For me, abstinence was not throwing up or using laxative. For others it might be three committed meals a day which meant calling a sponsor each day to plan your food and sticking to that plan. For others, abstinence was abstaining from certain types of food----typically refined sugar, white flour, alcohol, and refined carbs. I recently moved and have been unable to find bulimia specific meeting where I live now, and the "food addict" ones just don't work for me, but that's just a regional thing, it's nothing to do with OA on the whole.

At your first meeting they will suggest you try several meetings to determine if the program is right for you.

Last edited by Tina; 11-17-2009 at 09:42 PM. Reason: No diet talk, please.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:16 PM   #16
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Hi, Mer!


There are two ways of looking at the God thing in OA, AA, NA, DA, CA---

1)

"Thank you for pulling me, bleeding and broken and alone, out of this ditch. I'm so grateful for your help. WHAT? You're into GOD? Drop me this instant! Goodbye!"

or---

2)

"Thank you for pulling me, bleeding and broken and alone, out of this ditch. I'm so grateful for your help. God? You're into GOD? Well, ok. I really need help, and I want the help more than I am bugged by whatever it is you care to believe, so let's go."

Whatever works, man.
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:48 PM   #17
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I wish there were more options, with no talk of gods.

I would not scream and run out of a group...that is silly...but I also would not be able to push aside certain talk, as it is part of the foundation. The first example is more than a little insulting to many people. I have no problem with people making...whatever...work for them. I would consider OA if it did not have that base.

I need to do some research.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:50 PM   #18
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My mom took me to a series of OA meetings when i was 12. It was a warm atmosphere with little "christian" talk. There may have been some god referrals but i was not put out by it since it was a general god or higher power. It was a long time ago but it was a nice group of people. All of whom i could relate to. I have many issues with food and it was kind of nice. Being 12 on the other hand, it was also VERY scary since i was the youngest person there. I loved the parties they held though
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:18 PM   #19
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From what I understood when I was at OA, 'Higher Power' could mean anything you wanted it to be. It could be 'The Force' or something as simple as meditation/tapping in to some inner most center of personal fortitude. It wasn't really religious based at all and there was never any actual push. Most religious institutions that I know of don't like OA/AA because of that and have fashioned their own that are strictly Christian based. If you've never been to OA or AA don't be turned off because you think someone is going to try to indoctrinate you with Jesus stuff. It's not like that at all unless you actually live in the bible belt. Even so, don't be deterred from at least taking a look around if you're looking for help/support.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by HottiMegan View Post
My mom took me to a series of OA meetings when i was 12. It was a warm atmosphere with little "christian" talk. There may have been some god referrals but i was not put out by it since it was a general god or higher power. It was a long time ago but it was a nice group of people. All of whom i could relate to. I have many issues with food and it was kind of nice. Being 12 on the other hand, it was also VERY scary since i was the youngest person there. I loved the parties they held though
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From what I understood when I was at OA, 'Higher Power' could mean anything you wanted it to be. It could be 'The Force' or something as simple as meditation/tapping in to some inner most center of personal fortitude. It wasn't really religious based at all and there was never any actual push. Most religious institutions that I know of don't like OA/AA because of that and have fashioned their own that are strictly Christian based. If you've never been to OA or AA don't be turned off because you think someone is going to try to indoctrinate you with Jesus stuff. It's not like that at all unless you actually live in the bible belt. Even so, don't be deterred from at least taking a look around if you're looking for help/support.
Thanks ladies, this was helpful. I just may have to use the force for now!
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:05 PM   #21
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Thanks ladies, this was helpful. I just may have to use the force for now!
Just remember that the word 'Anonymous' is in the title of the institution for a reason. You don't have to say anything if you don't want to. If they try to push you then leave right away. That's not what it's supposed to be about.
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:14 PM   #22
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Just remember that the word 'Anonymous' is in the title of the institution for a reason. You don't have to say anything if you don't want to. If they try to push you then leave right away. That's not what it's supposed to be about.
I will, thanks so much! (((hugs for support)))
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:45 PM   #23
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I do OA, and I actually have a meeting today.

OA does not stress that your higher power be " Religious" it can be anything of significance to you.

My personal higher power is the group that I belong to. That may change over time. I don't know.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:12 PM   #24
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I have some things to share here in this thread, but not tonight, too tired. For now, I'm just very happy that this thread exists and is open for business, and I wanted to thank the moderators and Conrad for reevaluating and reopening the thread. Much appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:26 PM   #25
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I had a lot of experience in OA in the past, and I've spent the past, um, 15 months dealing in part with eating patterns I was less than pleased with, and right now I feel like OA is not the place for me to deal with my relationship with food, but I think we could all benefit from talking about the ways we deal with food and hunger and pleasure and all the other stuff tied up so tightly in morality messages about appetities and bodies.

I don't know if I have a point here, but just to say that in the future I might want to share more about where I was, and where I am, when it comes to food and how that impacts my physical and mental health.

I will say that weekly individual therapy was a huge help in my ability to deal with a lot of these issues (well, all my issues , not just the food ones). If others reading this would be willing to speak about other places/people that they've interacted with in order to address their relationship with food, that would be helpful, I think.
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