Terms and Acronyms

You may hear a variety of unfamiliar terms and acronyms when you first come to OA. Don’t hesitate to ask what they mean. Here are a few common ones:

A key concept in working the OA program, defined by OA as “refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive eating behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight.” Each OA member is responsible for their interpretation of how this definition applies to them.

Action Plan:
One of the nine “tools” of OA in which members identify and implement attainable actions, both daily and long-term, that are necessary to support their individual abstinence and recovery. Not all action plans are alike. Tools of OA 

One of nine “tools” of OA guaranteeing safety at OA meetings. The protection anonymity provides offers freedom of expression and safeguards members from gossip. Meetings often close with the saying: “What you hear here, what you see here, when you leave here, let it stay here.” Anonymity is also a tradition principle related to not using last names when dealing with the public media. Tools of OA

Big Book:
Nickname for the basic book Alcoholics Anonymous.

Unrestrained eating.

Clean Team:
This is a group of OA members you are comfortable with calling and asking for help. They support your abstinence efforts.

OA meetings designated as “closed” allow attendance by only members, that is, anyone with a desire to stop eating compulsively. The meeting is not open to students, press, and family members who do not identify as compulsive eaters

Compulsion (Compulsive Eater):
According to one Webster definition, a “compulsion” is an “irresistible impulse to perform an irrational act.” Compulsive eaters are driven to eat in ways that are not sane or healthy.

Acronym for “Don’t even notice I am lying.”

Eating Plan:
One of nine OA “tools,” a plan of eating helps members to abstain from eating compulsively. This tool helps deal with the physical aspects of our disease, and helps achieve physical recovery. It is different than just a “diet,” which tends to be temporary. A plan of eating defines what, when, and how we eat over the long term. Tools of OA

Fear is often an eating trigger. When used as an acronym, depending on context, F.E.A.R can be:
False Evidence Appearing Real
Face Everything And Recover
F* Everything And Run

OA is often referred to as a “fellowship,” that is, a group of people with a common interest/goal.

In OA the word “God” is sometimes used interchangeably with “Higher Power” or “HP,” but not in the religious sense. Many interpret GOD as an acronym for “Good Orderly Direction.”

Acronym often seen on the “We Care” sign-in lists at meetings, meaning “glad to be here.”

Acronym for too hungry, angry, lonely, tired … four common eating triggers.

Higher Power or HP:
Individuals in OA develop their own concept of a Higher Power. Some use their OA group as that power. Others use the God of their religious background. There is no one definition, but coming to a personal understanding and relationship with something is a key step in the program.

Honest. Open. Willing.

Intergroup is an OA service body defined geographically that coordinates activities and services for its constituent meetings and members. The New York State Capital District Intergroup encompasses the broader NYS Capital District including those as far north as Queensbury and Glens Falls, west to Johnstown and Schenectady, and east to East Greenbush and Vermont (Bennington and Arlington).

Generally speaking, a program is a system for achieving a goal. The OA program is a path to recovery from compulsive eating, guided by steps and traditions.

Pray Until Something Happens

Serenity Prayer:
Often said at the beginning or end of meetings;

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

If said in the plural, “me” becomes “we” and “I” becomes “we.”

Sponsorship is one of nine OA “tools.” A “sponsor” is an OA member who is living the Overeaters Anonymous program to the best of their ability and who is willing to share their recovery with others. You can think of a sponsor as guide and mentor. [link to what is sponsor page page]

The Twelve Steps are the heart of the OA recovery program. They offer principles for living that enable the compulsive eater to live without using food inappropriately to cope with life. Twelve Steps of OA

One of the nine “tools” of OA, “telephone” is synonymous with communication, and includes texts and email.

“The Rooms”:
General name for OA meetings and program.

The Twelve Traditions of OA are designed to keep our meetings and service committees on track, by following principles to nurture the recovery of all compulsive overeaters who seek help OA.  Twelve Traditions of OA

If you have a suggestion for a term or phrase that you would like to see added to this list, please contact the web team. share4oa@gmail.com