In 2014 the Virtual Services Committee invited the Board of Trustees and the Region Chairs of Overeaters Anonymous to share insights on some of their favorite OA literature and on topics that made a difference in their recovery from compulsive eating. In the series OA Literature-The Heart and Soul of OA, you will hear how OA and its literature helped members move from the pain of the disease to the passion for recovery and carrying the message. In the series Our Primary Purpose, you will hear about the Disease of Mind, Body and Spirit; Plans of Eating, Tools, Abstinence, How to sponsor; the 12 Principles, 12 Steps, 12 Freedoms, Strong Meetings and Recovery from Relapse. Members share their experience strength and hope to bring the Twelve-Step program of Overeaters Anonymous to life.
"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 OA, you'll find acceptance and understanding; support and companionship from others who have similar challenges; and a transformation to physical, emotional and spiritual well being. In this 13-episode series, you will hear the experience, strength and hope of people who struggled and found recovery and a new life in Overeaters Anonymous. (In keeping with Tradition 6, OA does not endorse nor is affiliated with Voice America.)
“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.
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!
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.
The common solution offered in the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous is the theme of this workshop. A member shares her story and intertwines how OA’s focus on diversity in recovery made it possible for her to recover. The pamphlet A Common Solution: Diversity and Recovery, which mentions four aspects of diversity (program, cultural, gender and life), focuses on how members found help and support in Overeaters Anonymous despite their differences. “Focus on what unites us; not our differences” captures the message of this workshop!
Using the Abstinence PowerPoint Presentation as a framework, this Region Chair explains how she came to discover her plan of eating and behaviors that undermined her recovery. She discusses the statement…”We are either abstinent or we are not!” and explores the idea that a plan of eating is more than what you eat. Body image, Higher Power, sponsorship, service, meetings and action plan are examined. Lastly, she talks about the reason abstinence is so important to her. If you wish to view the Abstinence PowerPoint, go to http://www.oa.org/membersgroups/group-support/#Powerpoint
“Person to Person – Carrying the Message” is the topic for this OA literature workshop. A member maintaining a 200+ pound weight loss shares her journey in recovery and how the OA literature, Steps, Traditions, Tools and a sponsor guide her recovery. She discusses sponsoring, the difference between a suggestion and advice, and how her sponsor’s suggestion to pray and has helped her with the dilemmas of life. To unselfishly share our experience, strength, and hope is the message of the pamphlet “Person to Person: Carrying the Message, Our Special Gift.”
In this workshop, the speaker tells her story and talks about her personal commitment to abstinence one day at a time and the actions she takes to ward off the deadly disease of compulsive eating. The pamphlets “A Commitment to Abstinence” and Maintaining a Healthy Weight” are explored as she shares on the importance of enjoying the gifts of recovery and how continuing to work the 12-Step program of recovery has given her an alternative to using food to cope with life.
This workshop is focused on how using OA’s Tools of Recovery helps us achieve and maintain abstinence. Two members share about their eating history and how using the nine Tools of Overeaters Anonymous—Plan of Eating, Sponsorship, Meetings, Telephone, Writing, Literature, Action Plan, Anonymity and Service—has enriched and supported their recovery. They explore questions like: What does it mean to use the tools with intent? Do I demonstrate my priorities in the way I use the tools? and How do I use the tools to work my program of recovery?
Three OA members share their varied journeys to develop their Plans of Eating, and how a plan guided them to eat in a calm, balanced, rational way, separating eating from emotions. A Plan of Eating is one of OA’s nine tools. These members describe how the Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous coupled with the Plan of Eating and other tools helped them get and stay abstinent.
Using the pamphlet A Guide for Sponsors as a framework, a members describes how sponsoring and being sponsored has enriched her program and been vital to her own long-term recovery and the long-term viability of OA. She addresses how to be a sponsor, why sponsor, when should a sponsor-sponsee relationship change and other thought-provoking topics.