Eating Disorders Anonymous

Tuesdays 6:30 pm MT (8:30 pm ET)

-- Currently Meeting Online --

Contact: Bonnie S.
Phone: (801) 231-3442

Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) is a fellowship of individuals who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from their eating disorders. People can and do fully recover from having an eating disorder. In EDA, we help one another identify and claim milestones of recovery.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to recover from an eating disorder. There are no dues or fees for EDA membership. We are self-supporting through our own contributions. EDA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. EDA does not wish to engage in any controversy. We neither endorse nor oppose any causes.

In EDA, we recognize what we call "milestones of recovery." What is recovery ? What are milestones ? What are some suggestions for building recovery?


In recovery we face our pain and fear without obsessing on food, weight and body image. This does not mean we never have food, weight or body image issues. It merely means we take it in stride when we do. Recovery means developing healthy perspectives, knowing we will do better some days than others, knowing we will never be perfect at anything including recovery, and knowing recovery is not freedom from trouble and pain but freedom from getting stuck in feelings of uselessness and self-pity.

We binged, starved, purged and obsessed in an effort to manage unwelcome emotions. The solution to an eating disorder has to do with accepting our thoughts and feelings, and finding safe and responsible ways to express them. There is no magic about recovery. When we take responsibility for understanding our needs and getting them met, we walk free. It sounds so simple, but it is hard work, especially at first.

Recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves and others, taking careful risks to learn what is safe and good for us. As we practice careful self-honesty and self-disclosure we regain perspective. Perspective enables us to see our options and make careful, responsible choices in our lives. As we learn careful self-expression, we regain lost authenticity, peace and power. The process is usually gradual and halting. New attitudes and behaviors are alien, and it is hard to feel safe and keep perspective. It is hard to remember we are aiming for balance, not perfection. It is very important for us to claim our successes in achieving balance and attaining perspective, in identifying our needs and in developing more resilient relationships with ourselves, with others and with food. This is just where "milestones of recovery" come in.


A "milestone of recovery" is a self-defined marker on our journey in recovery. It is essential to recognize that even on our worst days we do things that are right and good and supportive of our recovery. Milestones -- which take myriad and often surprising forms -- are bright spots in our meetings that inspire us with their honesty and reality. We find, often in retrospect, that our milestones express how we are working the principles of the program in our lives. The principles -- embodied in the 12 Steps of EDA -- include Honesty, Equality, Accountability, Love, Trust and Humility (Health: the EDA motto). We claim as many milestones as we can!


Eat when hungry, stop when moderately full. Consistent nutrition is essential for recovery. Recovery is about feelings, not food, but we can’t reason or build trust when bingeing, purging or starving.

Get basic needs met first. If hungry, eat. If angry, find a safe outlet. If lonely, reach out. If tired, sleep. If ashamed, talk about it.
Be an adult. This takes training and practice. Get some!

Ask others for input and make your own decisions.

When anxious, get physical, get outside, pray. Then deal with the problem head-on.

Get open with others. Honesty restores integrity.

Develop willingness to look at things differently. Recovery is not rigid.

Go to 12-Step meetings, read the literature and work the steps with a sponsor or buddy.

Be proactive and plan your recovery.

Want more suggestions from people in recovery?


"I ate pizza last night for the first time in three years and it was great!"
"I took responsibility and let go of one of my boyfriends."
"I refused to let my wife tell me what to think about this issue."
"I’m looking at how miserable I am, and I need to know what I’m getting from staying stuck. Maybe if I know what works about it, I can make a different plan to get those needs met." "I thought about what might make me happy and decided to take dance lessons."
"I forgave my friend for disappointing me. I felt very mature about that."
"Ugh! I’m obsessing again, but at least I know it, and I’m being open about it."
"I finally weaned myself off laxatives. It’s been twelve years since I’ve gone without them for this long!"
"I was feeling very hurt and rejected, and I said so calmly without expecting any particular response."
"My need for security always seems to conflict with my need for self-expression. It makes me mad and I want to escape! But I realized I’ll never be safe until I allow myself to have and express ugly thoughts."
"I screamed what I was thinking on paper, and then I found I could talk about it calmly without blaming."
"I wanted to run and hide by being really busy, but I sat down and asked myself what I was afraid of. I made a new plan. My fears evaporated, and I felt terrific!"
"I was sad yesterday and I just let myself be sad."
"I almost ate something I hate because I didn’t want to look eating disordered, but then I decided I care more about what I think than about what they think of me."

The Twelve Steps of Eating Disorders Anonymous

1. We admitted we were powerless over our eating disorders—that our lives had become unmanageable. We finally had to admit that what we were doing wasn’t working.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. We started to believe that we could get better, and that there was a fundamental healing power upon which we could rely for recovery.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God. We decided to trust that, as we let go of rigidity, we would not fall. As we took (and continue to take) careful risks, our trust grew—in God, in ourselves, and in others.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We looked at why we had gotten stuck, so we would be less likely to get stuck again. We looked at our fears and why we were afraid, our lies and why we had told them, our shame and guilt and why we had them. (This Step is the searchlight that reveals the blockages in our connection to God.)

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. We shared our shortcomings. We held ourselves accountable to others for our past thoughts and actions, and discussed what we ought to have thought and done instead. This established our authority as responsible people; we began to feel like we belonged to the human race. (This Step is the bulldozer that clears the blockages in our connection to God.)

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. We began to accept ourselves as we really were and take responsibility for our actions. We realized we couldn’t “fix” ourselves. We had to be patient and focus on our efforts instead of results. We realized that the results were not ours to control.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings. We asked God to help us accept our imperfect efforts. We made a conscious effort to take care of our own basic needs, so we could be of better service to God and those around us. Character-building exercises helped us build strength from weakness. We began to notice what we were doing right. As we did so, the “right” things began to increase.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. We made a list of people we had treated badly, no matter how they treated us. We accepted responsibility for our part and made an effort to forgive them for their part.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. After counsel with a sponsor, or an EDA (or other Twelve-Step group member who has worked the Twelve Steps), we went to the people we had injured and admitted our fault and regret. Our statements were simple, sincere, and without blame. We set right the wrongs as best we could and expected nothing in return. Accountability set us free.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. We continued (and continue) to listen to our conscience. When troubled, we get honest, make amends, and change our thinking or behavior. We continue to notice what we do right, and we are grateful when engaged in right thinking and positive action.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out. We earnestly and consciously seek to understand and to do whatever will best serve our God or higher purpose every day. When we take care of our basic needs and place ourselves in service to our Higher Power or higher purpose, we gain the peace and perspective needed for recovery.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening3 as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others with eating disorders, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. If we have been patient and persistent in working these Steps, we have experienced a transformation that enables us to live at peace with ourselves and the world around us. We consciously bring our new way of thinking into everything we do, for it is a pattern for living that works in all contexts. We readily share our experience, strength, and hope with those who suffer with eating disorders as we once did, glad that even our worst experiences can now serve some good purpose. Carrying the message of recovery reinforces gratitude, solidifies new habits of thought and action, and fills us with purpose and joy.


In recovery we face our pain and fear without obsessing on food, weight and body image. This does not mean we never have food, weight or body image issues. It merely means we take it in stride when we do. Recovery means developing healthy perspectives, knowing we will do better some days than others, knowing we will never be perfect at anything including recovery, and knowing recovery is not freedom from trouble and pain but freedom from getting stuck in feelings of uselessness and self-pity.


We set aside time each day for prayer and meditation. Before accepting any commitments, we ask our Higher Power and friends for guidance.


We decide which are the most important things to do first. Sometimes that may mean doing nothing. We strive to stay flexible to events, reorganizing our priorities as needed. We view interruptions and accidents as opportunities for growth.


We do not add a new activity without eliminating from our schedule one that demands equivalent time and energy.


We allow more time than we think we need for a task or trip, allowing a comfortable margin to accommodate the unexpected.


We schedule time for play, refusing to let ourselves work non-stop. We do not make our play into a work project.


We try to do one thing at a time.


We work at a comfortable pace and rest before we get tired. To remind ourselves, we check our level of energy before proceeding to our next activity. We do not get "wound up" in our work so we do not have to unwind.


We do not yield to pressure or attempt to pressure others. We remain alert to the people and situations that trigger pressure in us. We become aware of our own actions, words body sensations and feelings that tell us we're responding with pressure. When we feel tension, we stop to reconnect to our Higher Power and others around us.


We accept the outcomes of our endeavors, whatever the results, whatever the timing. We know that impatience, rushing, and insisting on perfect results only slow down our recovery. We are gentle with our efforts knowing that our new way of living requires much practice.


We admit our weaknesses and mistakes, and ask our Higher Power and others for help.


We attend W.A. meetings to learn how the fellowship works and to share our experience, strength and hope with each other.


We use the phone to stay in contact with other members of the fellowship between meetings. we communicate with our W.A. friends before and after a critical task.


We balance our work involvement with efforts to develop personal relationships, spiritual growth, creativity and playful attitudes.


We readily extend help to other workaholics, knowing that assistance to others adds to the quality of our own recovery.

Living in the Now

We realize we are where our Higher Power wants us to be --- in the here and now. We try to live each moment with serenity, joy and gratitude.

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