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Tools are essential to get the job done, and they work for us. As defined by Webster, a tool is any person or thing used as a means to get something done. We have seven tools of the program that help us recover on a daily basis.


Three meals daily, weighed and measured, with nothing in between except sugar-free soda, no-calorie beverages, and diet gum. It is recommended that you obtain your physician’s approval before beginning your abstinence using the HOW food plan. Any recommendations your physician makes will be accepted.


We use the “Alcoholics Anonymous” (Big Book) and the “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.” When we substitute the words “compulsive overeater” for “alcoholic” and “food” for “alcohol”, we feel we identify absolutely; our writing assignments for the first thirty days are taken from them. We use the “A.A. Big Book” and the “12 and 12” as a tool of examination and release. We also believe that negative thinking is a large part of our disease, so we are learning, one day at a time, to abstain from negative thinking.


When we meet another member in the outside world, we do not mention that they are members of OA-HOW. What you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.


We are required to make four calls a day – one to our sponsor and three to other OA-HOW members. The phone is like a lifeline; we need the contact; it can be like a mini-meeting.


You must attend three meetings a week. It is recommended that you commit to one specific meeting as your home group.


Service is abstinence – the greatest service to yourself. Service is coming to meetings on time; being a leader or speaker; volunteering to be a service person (such as a program chairperson, coffee person, treasurer, secretary, literature person, intergroup representative) etc. Service is OA-HOW. Service is putting away chairs when necessary, picking up after the meeting, being quiet when a member is sharing. Service is one way to get involved in the program. Service is needed at all levels and at every meeting. Service is giving of yourself to help OA-HOW continue to function. Let’s all get involved to help OA-HOW because we all know that “Service is freedom from the bondage of self.”


A Food Sponsor is a compulsive overeater who initially completed 30 days of back-to-back HOW abstinence, completed thirty days of questions, and took the first three steps. A Food Sponsor will help the newcomer with guidance and support to get and stay abstinent.