Episode 203: Secular Overeaters

In this episode, we meet Jenne M., and Jim D., both secular members of Overeaters Anonymous. We talk about their struggles with food addiction, the difficulty they experienced as atheists in OA, their experiences starting secular OA meetings, and their website secularovereaters.org.

Topics Discussed

  • Jim’s Story
  • Jenne’s Story
  • What makes a secular OA meeting, secular.
  • Overcoming the obstacles with starting secular OA meetings.
  • The history of secular OA groups.
  • How COVID has increased awareness of secular OA meetings
  • How they were inspired to start their website.

Memorable Quotes

There have been agnostic or freethinker meetings in OA from the beginning. There were a number of psychologically-based groups in the ’60s and ’70s. —Jim

We were using these alternative Steps, and we didn’t know we couldn’t do that. After three and a half years of doing this, someone squealed on us. We had a three or four-month-long process where we were going to get kicked out of OA if we didn’t stop doing this. —Jenne

Our choice was to read their Steps or to read no Steps at all. We decided that we would not read the sTeps and we started a non-OA secular group where we read alternative Steps. —Jenne

At our face to face meetings, we would have eight to ten people, now our online meetings have almost forty every time. Everybody is coming together and it’s really looked. I hate that we are having this pandemic, but it has really helped our organization. —Jenne


Secular Overeaters Website

How You Can Support Our Site and Podcast

Consider Supporting AA Beyond Belief with a small monthly contribution. This helps pay for podcast transcripts, hosting fees, and other costs associated with creating content on the site and podcast. Even a dollar or two a month helps out a great deal. You may donate through the crowdfunding site Patreon or through PayPal.

Become a Patron!