Virtual Workshops

Listen to recordings of virtual workshops on a variety of topics, including The Importance of Working All 12 Steps, OA Literature: The Heart and Soul of OA and Our Primary Purpose. Members share their experience, strength and hope to bring the Twelve-Step program of Overeaters Anonymous to life.

Sound Bites from Overeaters Anonymous: A 12-Step Solution to Compulsive Eating

"Sound Bites from Overeaters Anonymous (OA)" was an Internet radio show that aired October 17, 2012 to January 9, 2013 on VoiceAmerica.com. It is dedicated to educating you about recovery from compulsive eating using OA's 12-step program, so you recognize the symptoms and find the support you need and a program that works to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. (In keeping with Tradition 6, OA does not endorse nor is affiliated with Voice America.)

Interviews, Readings, and Meetings

Hear interviews with members in recovery from compulsive eating, readings of some of OA's literature, and recordings of OA meetings.


Virtual Workshops

Step Three – March 8, 2015


“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” [OA 12 and 12, 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” [OA 12 and 12, 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, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Alcoholics Anonymous’ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (Step Three).

Step Two – February 8, 2015


“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 “OA 12 & 12” (Step 2), Voices of Recovery (January 9th and 10th), For Today (March 28th), Lifeline Magazine – February 2011 and February 2014 and Alcoholics Anonymous 12 & 12 (Step 2).

Step One – January 11, 2015


“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….”  (pg. 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 “OA 12 & 12”12-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous,  Voices of Recovery, (January 1), and the story, “Freedom of Choice” (Abstinence, 2nd Edition).

The Importance of Working All 12 Steps – Workshop Series – Second Sundays of 2015


In this series of workshops, members share on the importance of working ALL 12 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.

TRAILER – Second Sundays of 2015 – The Importance of Working All 12 Steps


OA’S FIRST EVER SPECIAL HOLIDAY PODCAST:  A PREVIEW OF COMING ATTRACTIONS IN 2015!

GOT RECOVERY? FIND OUT HOW IT WORKS! DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN TO THE OA HOLIDAY SPECIAL FOR A PREVIEW OF 13 HOURS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

More virtual workshops will continue in 2015.  Starting with Step Zero and Step One in January and working through all 12 Steps, members will share how working the Steps changed their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually. Check the OA Datebook Calendar for more information.

December 14 – Our Primary Purpose: Recovery from Relapse


As this member tells her story of recovery from relapse, she talks about how the kindness and repeated calls from a fellow member when she was isolating brought her back into OA. Pertinent OA literature and the Twelfth on the Twelfth Campaign are described as she shares how they may help members in relapse. Her passion for carrying the message is demonstrated throughout this workshop as she keeps it real about relapse, losing 150 pounds and her 41 years in OA.

December 7 – OA Literature: The Twelfth-Step-Within Handbook


What is “Twelfth-Step-Within”? Carrying OA’s message of recovery to those who still suffer within the OA Fellowship and addressing relapse, relapse prevention, and member retention. These topics are addressed in The Twelfth-Step-Within Handbook and by the Conference Twelfth-Step-Within Committee. This member shares how she was a chronic relapser for many years and how the principles discussed in this handbook have helped her get and stay abstinent for more than 10 years. She mentions many of the OA resources in this valuable handbook including ways to carry the message, sponsorship suggestions, ideas for a Twelfth-Step-Within packet, suggestions for workshops and retreats, a suggested Recovery from Relapse meeting format, and talks in detail about using her favorite part of The Twelfth-Step-Within Handbook, the 30 “Slipping and Sliding” questions. This handbook is available at the OA Bookstore.

November 9 – Our Primary Purpose: Twelve Freedoms


After sharing her story and some of the changes she made to find recovery, this long time member outlines the twelve freedoms she discovered in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. Included are freedom from: food obsession, insanity and hopelessness; the bondage of self; dishonesty; isolation; the fear of change; self-reliance; blame; fear of people; complacency; loneliness; and lack of purpose. These freedoms are correlated with pages in this valuable piece of OA literature. Later in the podcast she talks about the personal freedoms she gained from working all Twelve Steps. The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous is available in the OA Bookstore.

November 2 – OA Literature: Think First & Before You Take That First Compulsive Bite, Remember…


“In OA you are among people who truly understand you, a part of something special. Welcome to Overeaters Anonymous. Welcome home!” (Before You Take that First Compulsive Bite, Remember.)

This member shares how she found a home in Overeaters Anonymous in 1989 and has stayed abstinent by working the Twelve Steps and doing service for OA.The wallet card Think First and pamphlet Before You Take That First Compulsive Bite, Remember are two of her favorite pieces of OA literature. As she discusses the suggestions offered in this literature to avoid eating compulsively, she shares her own experience. “Thought does not have to equal action” is one of the ideas explored. These invaluable, inexpensive pieces of OA literature are available at the OA Bookstore.

October 19 ­ Our Primary Purpose: Using the Twelve Steps on Life Problems


The Twelve Steps are our Program of Recovery. In this workshop, two members relate how working the Steps allowed them to turn obstacles into opportunities for growth when life presented them with problems. One OA member shares about how, through working all Twelve Steps, she discovered her Higher Power, rebuilt her relationship with her son, and dealt with surgery on a tumor. Another member relates how she used each step to work through a life problem concerning a relative living in her home and how she made the decision to return the child to her parents. Both powerfully demonstrate how through using the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous, compulsive eaters can deal with any life issue without turning to food.

October 12 ­ Our Primary Purpose: Strong Meetings


The Strong Meeting Checklist, available on the OA website (http://www.oa.org/pdfs/strongmtgchecklist1.pdf), is the focus of this workshop. The speaker shares her story, talks about the practical aspects of the checklist and emphasizes the importance of having strong meetings to effectively carry the message and keep newcomers returning. As she discusses each point of the Strong Meeting Checklist, she details of how these ideas are important to OA’s Primary Purpose.

October 5 ­ OA Literature: Just for Today & Pocket Reference for OA Members


“If you remove your body from the truth, when you are ready the truth is nowhere to be found. But if you continue to bring your body to the truth, then when you are ready the truth is waiting there for you. And that truth—our promise of recovery—is in every OA meeting when we join hands, pray together, and joyously, lovingly encourage one another: Keep coming back!” This quote, from the Pocket Reference for OA Members, is the theme for this member’s story of recovery. She also shares the many ways the Just For Today wallet card encouraged her to move forward in her recovery . . . one day at a time.

September 14 ­ Our Primary Purpose: Promises


After telling her story of losing 140 pounds (63 kg.) and gaining spiritual fitness, this member talks about the many promises described in the OA literature and how they have come true for her. The focus of this workshop is the importance of working and continuing to work the 12 Steps to attain and maintain the Promises of Recovery. What a glorious promise to have the obsession lifted and have freedom from the compulsion to eat compulsively. The 12 Promises of Compulsive Eating are also enumerated.

September 7 ­ OA Literature: For Today, Voices of Recovery & the Companion Workbooks


A great workshop discussing some of OA’s most popular books: For Today and Voices of Recovery and the companion workbook for each. Each workbook provides thought-provoking questions for every reading in For Today and Voices of Recovery. The daily readers and workbooks are available at bookstore.oa.org and as e-books.

August 10 – Our Primary Purpose: Principles of the 12 Steps


After telling her story of recovery, this member shares how she is living a principled life as a result of practicing the 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous. She talks about how using each of the 12 principles daily (Honesty, Hope, Faith, Courage, Integrity, Willingness, Humility, Self-discipline, Love, Perseverance, Spiritual Awareness and Service) has given her a fulfilling and wonderful life. (The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, pages 103-106)

August 3 – OA Literature: Welcome Back & Members in Relapse


This member shares recovery from numerous relapses on the anniversary of her last binge in 1983. “Welcome Back” had special meaning for her as it was the first OA literature addressing recovery from relapse. “Members in Relapse” offers practical suggestions from relapse survivors on what helped them feel supported. Topics: relapse is not a failure; willpower is not enough; a food plan without Steps is a diet; getting past past black and white thinking and perfectionism; abstaining in spite of life challenges; one hour of abstinence a week at the meeting is a start; call even if bingeing; getting help with reading and writing.

July 6 – OA Literature: Sponsoring through the Twelve Steps


Working the Twelve Steps with a sponsor is an important key to recovery in Overeaters Anonymous. In this workshop, an insulin dependent diabetic shares how she got abstinent and stays in recovery using the Twelve Steps and the tool of Sponsorship. She lists many OA resources for sponsoring and talks in detail about using her favorite piece of OA sponsorship literature, Sponsoring Through the Twelve Steps. This and other OA literature are available at the OA Bookstore: http://bookstore.oa.org/

June 8 – Our Primary Purpose: How to Sponsor


“Uniquely useful” is how this member describes the opportunity to sponsor when she tells her OA story. After listing OA literature that discusses sponsoring, she tells what she learned from her long time sponsor about sponsorship. Topics include: what is sponsor is and is not; why sponsor; how to pick a sponsor; and how and when to become a sponsor. In addition she shares her perspective on commonly asked questions about temporary sponsorship, frequency of contact, the number of members to sponsor, when to decline sponsoring, how to treat a slip or relapse and other practical considerations of sponsoring.

June 1 – OA Literature: OA Members Come in All Sizes & Tools of Recovery


After sharing the basics of her story, this OA member weaves her experience, strength and hope into two OA pamphlets. The story, “It’s Only Fat between My Ears,” in the OA Members Come in All Sizes pamphlet prompts her to share about her gastric bypass and how it didn’t solve her problem. In her words: “They could rearrange whatever they want in my stomach, but the disease is in my head and that’s what the 12 Steps helped me with.” She also discusses how all the nine tools in Tools of Recovery help her live and work the 12 Steps. Her love of OA shines through in this workshop!

May 18 – Our Primary Purpose: Sponsorship – How to pick? Why have one?


In this workshop, we explore sponsorship. While telling her story, a member shares how her sponsor relationships have evolved. She discusses how, when and why she changed sponsors and the benefits of being both a sponsor and a sponsee. Together we can recover.