Most helpful critical review
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2012
This book is probably best for someone already committed or about to commit him or herself
to the program. Much of it is short testimonials by those who've been helped, and indeed
some of these people surely avoided death at an early age. That said, I'd mention a couple points:
The 'mechanics,' the nuts and bolts of recovery are not covered in any detail, nor is there
much material on the psychological processes, experiences in detail, or either addiction
or recovery. Autobiographical accounts can help: For example, a member of OA, Phillip Z, wrote
Skeptic's Guide to the 12 Steps [see Amazon!], in which one finds such details.
Based on the accounts, it appears that one does best in the OA program if one is
ready to consider, if not accept. the premises of this and other 12-Step programs,
that there is a God, or at least "Higher Power," (very similar) who is available to
assist one in the recovery process. Almost all the accounts in this book appear to be
from persons of basically Christian orientation and belief. Phillip Z (see above), somewhat
of a skeptic, definitely seems like an exception to the rule; his acceptance by others in OA speaks
for their tolerance as a group.
A further point: although neither AA or OA claim to be the 'only way,' or to suit everyone
(that is, to be THE effective method for everyone who's addicted), one must remind oneself,
in reading these success vignettes ("It worked for me....") that we are not reading an unbiased
sample of overeaters (food addicts) or even of **recovered overeaters** (rather, those
who succeeded in the OA program). Every reader in need will have to determine if the program
could work or works for them. That said, a number of alternatives will necessarily have something
in common with the OA program, in terms of commitment, support from others in recovery, etc.
So the book may be useful to others. It is particularly useful in making the point that
diets and 'dieting' do not work, and often involve scams; rather making over one's life
is necessary, NOT simply listing and following "Do not eat X,Y, Z" guidelines.