OA in Houston – Unity in Diversity

This website is intended to serve as a common gateway for those in the Greater Houston Metropolitan area who are seeking a solution to a compulsive eating problem, no matter what form it takes. While this web site is maintained by Houston Metro Intergroup, Inc., (“HMI”), we also cooperate with, and list meetings for groups that are members of OA-HOW Houston Intergroup, Inc. (“OA HOW Intergroup”) and Galveston/Bay Area Intergroup.  We invite any Houston area meeting, group or service body that is registered with the World Service Office of Overeaters Anonymous to provide us information for posting in either the meeting list or the events calendar on this website. (Please contact us using the contact information provided on our Home page.)

Because of the diversity of compulsive eating problems and those who suffer from our common problem, various ways of working an OA program have developed over the years.  We believe that through such diversity, the solution of the Twelve Steps can reach even more compulsive eaters who still suffer.  However, for a newcomer, we appreciate that such diversity can be confusing.  For that reason, we want to try to give newcomers a brief overview of the OA solutions that are available to you in the Houston area.

In the Houston area, OA meetings generally fall into one of two major categories, based on the structure and tools used, although all of them base recovery on the Twelve Steps:

1)    OA Groups:  OA, as a whole - including HMI, does not endorse any specific food plan.  OA does recommend that each member develop a food plan as a tool of recovery.  For specific dietary or nutritional guidance, OA suggests consulting a qualified health care professional, such as a physician or dietician.  HMI and Galveston/Bay Area Intergroup are comprised of such groups and meetings, which are sometimes referred to a “mainstream OA.”

2)    OA-HOW Groups:  Some OA members and groups choose to work their programs through OA-HOW, which is a subset of OA. OA-HOW is known for its adherence to food plans and its disciplined sponsor/sponsoree approach. Whereas the OA program offers only suggestions and allows for individual flexibility, the OA-HOW method usually provides a set structure to follow. Both programs practice the Twelve Steps for personal recovery, but the philosophy regarding abstinence is different.  Houston OA-HOW Intergroup services the needs of these groups.  For more information on OA-HOW, please see the OA-HOW Intergroup’s web site by clicking here.

Cooperation between OA and OA-HOW:

In 2010, HMI and OA-HOW formed a “First Tradition Committee” in order to foster understanding and mutual respect, cultivate an atmosphere of cooperation, and provide an open environment of communication between the two intergroups, based on the philosophy of OA’s first tradition, which states:

Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity.

The work of the First Tradition Committee resulted in the mutual approval of a Unity Statement. The three Houston area intergroups cooperate extensively in planning and organization of the Houston area’s annual OA convention and multiple workshops; while also continuing to hold their own separate events that focus on their unique approaches to working the Twelve Steps to achieve recovery from compulsive eating.