About HOW-OA

What is Overeaters Anonymous?
OA is a fellowship of men and women who meet to share their experience, strength and hope. OA offers a 12-step program of recovery from all types of under and overeating, anorexia and bulimia.

Is HOW-OA part of Overeaters Anonymous?
Yes. HOW-OA is a subgroup of OA. It is considered a special focus group that offers a structured approach to working the 12 Steps of OA.

What is the difference between OA and HOW-OA?
HOW-OA is for people seeking a structured program. HOW has a basic weighed and measured food plan with abstinence from sugars and refined flour. Modification of the food plan by health care providers is acceptable. A sponsor is required prior to receiving the HOW food plan.

What does HOW stand for?
Honesty, Open-mindedness, and Willingness

What is its purpose?
The purpose of HOW-OA is to help ourselves and others who suffer from the self-destruction of compulsive eating.

How do I begin?
We encourage newcomers to go to a meeting and get a sponsor. A sponsor is the newcomer’s guide during their first thirty days and a continuing helping hand in their recovery program.

Is there a cost for membership?
There are no dues or fees for membership. We are self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. Contributions are optional.

Do you have to be overweight to be a member of HOW-OA?
No. Obesity is just one of many symptoms of the deadly disease of compulsive eating. It is not how much we weigh or even how much we eat or don’t eat that brings us to HOW-OA; it is the ways we have desperately tried to control our food, eating and weight.

What if I have only a little weight to lose?
The amount does not matter; if you need help with compulsive food thoughts and behaviors you are in the right place!

Do we have a diet?
No, OA is not a diet club. However, HOW-OA does have a food plan.

Is HOW-OA a religious group?
No. It aims at spiritual growth, but it is not limited to any sect or denomination. It is open to all who want recovery. Recovery is targeted at three levels: Physical, Spiritual and Emotional.

What is compulsive eating?
A compulsion is an irresistible urge. Please see these questions to determine for yourself if you are a compulsive eater.

What happens at meetings?
You will hear positive shares from recovering compulsive eaters. They will talk about how they used the 12 Steps and the Tools of Recovery of the HOW-OA program and became able to cope with life without eating compulsively. Please see the Meetings page for more details.

How do I start?
Come to a meeting (see schedule) and listen. We will welcome you, answer any questions and help you get started. We all began the same way.