The Twelve Steps are the heart of the OA recovery program. They offer a new way of life that enables the compulsive eater to live without the need for excess food.
The ideas expressed in the Twelve Steps, which originated in Alcoholics Anonymous, reflect practical experience and application of spiritual insights recorded by thinkers throughout the ages. Their greatest importance lies in the fact that they work! They enable compulsive eaters and millions of other Twelve-Steppers to lead happy, productive lives. They represent the foundation upon which OA is built.
The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous are:
- We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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.
Permission to use the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for adaptation granted by AA World Services, Inc.
For an in-depth study of the Twelve Steps, read The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, available from our online literature catalog.
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) are:
- 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