Twelve Step Podcast Series

In this series of workshops, members share on the importance of working ALL Twelve Steps and how working the Steps changed their lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Introduction/Step Zero

This introductory workshop focuses on the nature of the disease of compulsive eating and what it takes to be willing to go to any length to recover. Some call this Step Zero. When examining the essence of compulsive eating/food addiction, literature used includes the book Alcoholics Anonymous, a.k.a. the Big Book (The Doctor’s Opinion; Chapter 5–How it Works; and Chapter 6–Into Action) and Overeaters Anonymous, Third Edition (Foreword; Appendix A–The Role of a Plan of Eating in Recovery from Compulsive Eating; Appendix B–A Disease of the Mind; Appendix C–A Disease of the Body; and Appendix D–A Disease of the Spirit). Members talk about what gave them the gift of desperation, and journal questions are offered to help members prepare to work the 12 Steps as the workshop continues.

Listen Now - Introduction | Download

“We admitted we were powerless over food - that our lives had become unmanageable.” Workshop leaders emphasize the importance of the Steps by reading the Introduction to the Twelve Steps “…Since our program is based on the Twelve Steps, we would like to offer here a study of those Steps, sharing how we follow them to recover from compulsive eating. We hope in this way to provide help for those who still suffer from our disease….”  (p. ix: The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous.) The speakers discuss each aspect of Step One, sharing their experience, strength, and hope on how Step One relates to their beginning and ongoing recovery. References The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, The Twelve -Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous,  Voices of Recovery, (January 1), and the story, “Freedom of Choice” (Abstinence, 2nd Edition).

Listen Now - Step One | Download

“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” This week’s workshop leader discusses each aspect of Step Two, sharing her experience, strength and hope. “Ours is a spiritual program, not a religious one.” (p. 13, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous.)  Step Two “is a bridge” between Step One and Step Three, and the “hoop you have to jump through is a lot wider than you think.”  Give the OA program a chance to work for you. References include the “The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous” (Step 2), Voices of Recovery (January 9th and 10th), For Today (March 28th), Lifeline Magazine – February 2011 and February 2014 and AA's The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (Step 2).

Listen Now - Step Two | Download

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” This week’s workshop leaders discuss the critical importance of Step Three to their recovery. The OA program tells us emphatically that "Once we compulsive overeaters truly take the Third Step we cannot fail to recover" (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 27). Step Three allows us to accept help from a higher power, and in Step Three we decide to "follow spiritual guidance in making every decision" (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 19). References include the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous (Step Three), the Doctor's Opinion and the Third Step prayer ( p.63) in the book AA, and AA's Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (Step Three).

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“Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” In this fourth installment in the workshop series “The Importance of Working All Twelve Steps," leaders discuss how working the first three steps is preparation for the Fourth Step, how important the Fourth Step is and specifics about working the Fourth Step. Also referenced is the variety of OA literature available to help members take Step Four (Fifteen Questions, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous , Fourth Step Inventory Guide, AA's Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Twelve Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous, Sponsoring through the Twelve Steps, Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book and Twelve-Stepping a Problem). “Those of us who have completed Step Four have found that taking this searching and fearless moral inventory was one of the most loving things we ever did for ourselves.” The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous p.29

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“Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” The Step Five workshop speakers share about how the promises of Step Five came true for them. One speaker qualifies on working the first four Steps to arrive at Step 5; the who, what, where, when, how and why of doing a Fifth Step; and the necessity of working this Step. “We will be more reconciled to discussing ourselves with another person when we see good reasons why we should do so. The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking.” (Alcoholics Anonymous p.72) The second speaker tells her OA story and the importance of working all the Steps. She shares about multiple techniques her sponsor showed her to inventory, how to be fearless when taking the Fifth Step and the relief she felt after completing it. “As we complete Step Five, we may feel many emotions, among them humility, elation and relief. We often feel nearer than ever before to our Higher Power and more loving and trusting of other people. Whether we feel these things or not, we can rest assured that we are nearer to God and more capable of trusting others.” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous p. 51) Referenced Material: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous

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“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” The Step Six workshop speakers share their individual stories of recovery and the vital part Step Six, “one of the most difficult of the Twelve Steps” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 53),  plays in that recovery process. One of the speakers discusses why she found it so hard to be entirely ready to part with her defects, explains the concept of the payoff that kept her holding on to them and the key of an attitude of willingness: “Having such an attitude we cannot fail” (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 58). The other speaker provides guidance on how to take our Fourth Step defects and resentments and discover the assets many of these defects actually were until our compulsive eating turned them into defects. She helps explain how the Steps help us recapture the assets that were part of ourselves, so we can live happy, joyous and free, without the fear that we will be nothing without these defects. Referenced Material: The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous

Listen Now - Step Six | Download

“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” The seventh in the series of “The Importance of Working All Twelve Steps” workshops discusses what to do with the defects of character discovered in Step Six. Two members tell their stories and talk about how OA–approved literature (Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book) , The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, and Sponsoring through the Twelve Steps) helped them take the Seventh Step. Memorable quotes from The Twelve Step and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous were: “… our goal is … simply to draw closer to being the people God intends us to be” (p.61), “Real humility about our character defects carries with it acceptance” (p.61), and “Our simple prayers, humbly spoken, are answered in wonderful ways as we open our lives to God’s transforming power, and we find that God does for us what we could never do for ourselves” (p.65). Questions from the pamphlet Sponsoring through the Twelve Steps were provided to help members who might be stuck in Step Seven.

Listen Now - Step Seven | Download

“Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” Continuing the series, “The Importance of working all Twelve Steps,” the leaders share their personal experiences as sponsor and sponsee in dealing with Step Eight. Emphasis is placed on the concept of making amends—changes—and not just saying I’m sorry. Also stressed is the importance of working with a sponsor, in order to determine if amends are needed, and if so what should be said or done. While Step Eight encourages forgiveness, it also requires the individual to focus on what his or her part was in the situation . . . to clear off their side of the street, regardless of how the amends are received. Both speakers stress the freedom and relief felt in making the list and becoming willing, without any thought or concern about the future steps. Individual sharing is excellent as members relate their own positive experiences, including the need to add one’s own name to the list and then become willing to making amends to oneself.

Listen Now - Step Eight | Download

"Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” The series continues with discussion of Step Nine. Both speakers describe their own personal experience with doing Step Nine, giving specific examples of amends they have made. In addition, they emphasize the need to make amends in order to refrain from returning to compulsive eating, and to be released of the negative feelings or turmoil created by holding on to the amends. Also discussed is reviewing the list and practicing amends with a sponsor, remembering the principles of forgiveness and love for others, and that the focus of the amends should be on one’s own role and behavior, being specific and actually making amends and changes. Suggestions are also provided for making amends to people who have died or are no longer in one’s life. The second part of Step Nine is also stressed, ensuring that no further injury or insult occur due to inappropriate amends.

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"Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it." This week the speakers share their stories of their experience, strength, and hope. Both speakers describe their personal experience with Step Ten. Perseverance is the spiritual principle of this Step. Continuing to do a personal inventory daily helps us identify character defects and feelings that come up unexpectedly and see if we need to make amends to anyone. Working with a sponsor also helps us with the process of Step Ten. We cannot rest on our laurels if we are to continue our journey of recovery on a daily basis.

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“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact we God as we understood Him, praying only for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." The principle of Step Eleven is Spiritual Awareness. Step Eleven workshop speakers share their individual stories of recovery and how they work Step Eleven. Their stories tell how they use their spiritual relationship with a Higher Power in everyday life situations. “God can, I can’t, I think I’ll let Him.” The literature referenced was the Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, and the Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous—the questions asked come from the workbook.

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"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs." The principle of Step Twelve is Service. The Step Twelve workshop speakers share their individual stories of recovery and how giving service in all its forms has enriched their lives. The literature referenced was the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, and The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous.

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