WSO Glossary

OA Board-approved glossary, primarily for use in translations.

Common words and definitions from our local members.

Cross Talk – “Crosstalk” discouraged during an OA meeting is giving advice to others who have already shared, speaking directly to another person rather than to the group, and questioning or interrupting the person speaking/sharing at the time.

Closed Meeting – is a group that is open to anyone with a desire to stop eating compulsively or anyone who thinks they may have a problem with compulsive overeating.>

Intergroup – (IG) The service body that supports local area groups. The intergroup is made up of representatives from each group it serves and is managed by a board of officers. Intergroups generally provide published local meeting lists, an answering service for newcomers and OA literature.

Lifeline – A monthly magazine of Overeaters Anonymous, publishing stories of recovery written and submitted by OA members.

Open Meeting – is a group which is open to anyone.

HOW format groups – Some OA members and groups choose to work their programs through a HOW format meeting, known for its adherence to professionally (via a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian) defined food plans and its disciplined sponsor/sponsee approach. Whereas the OA program offers only suggestions and allows for individual flexibility defining abstinence, the HOW (Honest, Open, and Willing) format provides a set structure to follow. All OA groups are sanctioned and registered by Overeaters Anonymous as they practice the Twelve Steps for personal recovery, follow the same Twelve Traditions and adhere to the OA World Service Office Bylaws.

Sponsorship – Sponsors are OA members who are living the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to the best of their ability. They are willing to share their recovery with other members of the Fellowship and are committed to abstinence. Find a sponsor who has what you want, and ask that person how he or she is achieving it. A member may work with more than one sponsor and may change sponsors at will (adapted from Tools of Recovery).

World Service Office (WSO) – The administrative headquarters for Overeaters Anonymous in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Staffed by 14 professionals who conduct the day-to-day business operations of OA, the WSO tracks OA groups worldwide, develops OA literature, produces the monthly Lifeline magazine, and sells and ships OA materials.