This 10 Day Workshop was held at The Recovery Group on October 16, 2006.

October 16th – October 26th

Share and Questions ~ Tradition Three

"The only requirement for OA membership
is a desire to stop eating compulsively.”

Welcome to all of you who are studying the Traditions with us in this first-ever Traditions study on TRG.

My name is Dodee. I've been a member of OA for almost 20 years and serve as an administrator for TRG. I'm grateful for online recovery and for all of you.

From page 10 in the AA 12 & 12:

"Early intolerance based on fear. To take away an alcoholic's chance at AA was sometimes to pronounce his death sentence. Any alcoholic is a member of AA when he says so."

From page 129 in the OA 12 & 12:

"Most organizations have a list of qualifications for membership, but in Overeaters Anonymous we have only one requirement: a desire to stop eating compulsively."

From page 130 in the OA 12 & 12:

"In OA we even find a wide rage of opinions about the program itself -- about the twelve steps, the twelve traditions, and how best to apply them. Nobody is expelled from OA for not working the steps, not getting a sponsor, not respecting the traditions, or not adopting the tools and practices many of us employ. Does this mean the steps, traditions, and tools are unimportant? No, they are the vital difference between OA and all the other ways we have tried to deal with our compulsive eating. Recovery is a journey, and the twelve-step program is the road we travel together in OA. The purpose of tradition three is to ensure that the road will always be accessible to all who wish to travel it. Thus we say that any two or more compulsive eaters who come together to practice the twelve steps and twelve traditions are considered an OA group, as long as they, as a group have no other affiliations."

Someone in my f2f group says “They can’t kick me out.” In this world of requirements for school, jobs, clubs, etc, there is peace in the fact that there are no requirements for membership in OA. It does say that I must have the desire to stop eating compulsively, but according to the Traditions, I also get to make the decision regarding my desire.

The OA 12 x 12 also says that we do not have to have the same experiences either in our disease or in recovery. Some of us have binged, some have starved and everything in between. In recovery, some of us have defined a Higher Power in a traditional sense, some are agnostics and atheists. Some of us find a very structured plan works for us and some need to start with “baby steps” and progress in a less-structured way.

I sat in my f2f meeting one day and heard a man talk about not being able to recover until he joined a group in which he had to use a certain food plan, weigh and measure his food, make three phone calls a day in addition to his sponsor, etc.

Next a woman spoke about her years of recovery. The only way she was able to recover was by first attending a meeting each week. Then she stopped eating sugar. After a year of sugar abstinence, she started the 3-0-1 plan (three meals a day with nothing in between, one day at a time). The next year on her abstinence anniversary, she made one other change. Her recovery was the total opposite of the man's.

We have women who are pastors in a church and we have an atheist.

Different people with totally different methods of working the program – yet all are accepted members of Overeaters Anonymous.

How can we apply this Tradition to online recovery? Anyone who has a desire to stop eating compulsively is allowed to join any TRG loop.

However, in TRG, as in f2f meetings, no one should be allowed to cause a disturbance. In the OA 12 x 12, it outlines ways to deal with someone who harasses members – to confront them and ask them not to attend until they change their behavior.


Do we encourage every member of every loop to share?

Do we focus our shares on the things compulsive eaters have in common and avoid topics that can cause dissidence?

What are the topics compulsive eaters have in common?

What are topics to avoid?

TRG has a large number of specialty loops – some for certain religions, nationalities, food plans. Does every member need to meet both qualifications? E.g. Does a person need to be in HOW to join the HOW loop, or do they need to be Christian to join the Christian loop?

Are there any restrictions in their shares if they do not meet both qualifications?

What if someone attends your f2f meeting or joins a TRG loop and says he is an addict, but does not eat compulsively? Should he be asked to leave?

Can you think of any other way that Tradition 3 is upheld or violated?


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