A TRG Publication
Published on September 20, 2014
2 Introduction: The following is an adaptation of a Step Study I did online in the summer and early fall of 2005. I’ve been in OA since February 11, 1986. I started working the steps and lost weight, then relapsed, then lost weight, then relapsed. Finally someone in the rooms confronted me (I’ll talk more about that in Step 12) and I discovered a method of working the steps that has worked for me. I became abstinent, worked the steps, and achieved the miracle of being freed from the foods that used to beckon to me, being able to be around them without wanting them. That has been true for me since some time in May, 1993. It took me about a year, as I look back, to achieve a healthy body weight, and I’ve maintained that body weight since that time. Beginning in March, 2005, I began to lose more weight for reasons I’ll talk about later. This Step Study Those of you familiar with the well-known AA team of Joe and Charlie will recognize much of what I say here, although I base this study on my own experi- ence, of course. Virtually all of this step study is based on what I have learned from the great AA speakers, Joe and Charlie, Roger, and Blaine D. (who’s from Winnipeg, Canada, my home town), and a lot of reading of AA history and experience. I don’t think much of what I have to say is particularly original. I therefore want to acknowl- edge the teachings of AA and of those who have given their time and effort and experience to convey the message of recovery to those who still suffer. The Big Book OA stands for the proposition that the Twelve Steps give us freedom from the bondage of food. If the steps aren’t working for you, then maybe you’re not working the steps in a way that works for you. It might therefore be worth it to try the approach to the steps used in this step study, based on the Big Book. The Big Book was written as a set of directions for doing the steps. It was aimed at those people who would not be able to meet anyone from AA, because at the time it was published AA was centered in New York City, and Akron and Cleveland, Ohio. So the Big Book was written as a do-it-yourself manual. As such it is a textbook––a book which contains valuable information to compulsive eaters. It’s not a perfect book, that’s for sure. It was written by Christian male alcoholics who had found them- selves in the gutter and had done a lot of harm to other people. It needs to be interpreted and applied for people who did not have their exact same experi- ence, and it sometimes needs to be clarified because of its 1930s language. But besides its being a great inspirational and loving book, it is one of the greatest Copyright © 2006-2014 by Lawrie Cherniack. This version is dated Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Because this represents a merging of the teachings of many Big Book thumpers, including the AA speakers Charlie, the two Joes, Blaine, and Roger, it’s not origi- nal. I’ve simply put together the thoughts of others from an Overeaters Anonymous perspective. The text is copyrighted only to make certain that it remains unchanged––not to prevent its use. Therefore reproduction of this book is permitted if the text and this note remain unchanged and copies are sold at cost (fund-raising by OA Groups alone is acceptable). This is a work constantly in progress. Criticisms, sug- gestions, disagreements, comments are very welcome. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To help you in this Step Study, it would be useful for you to download certain documents and forms, including Step Four forms, which I use in weekend Big Book Studies I’ve done for many OA intergroups. They’re also reproduced in this study. You’re welcome to download them and distribute them however you want. The Step Four forms and the Step Eleven form were drawn up by an AA Big Book thumper in my home town of Winnipeg, Canada, named Blaine, and OA owes him a debt of gratitude for allowing these forms to be used. They’ve been used by thousands of people with great success! The forms have been slightly modified from Blaine’s originals. Howard W. of Minneapolis has reformatted the Step 4 and Steps 8 & 9 forms to allow them to be filled in on your computer using Adobe Reader. Included among the documents is also a Step Four Out- line, which summarizes a lot of the concepts you’ll find discussed in this study. Go to www.oabigbook.info to download all the forms and get the latest version of this Step Study. This book contains those forms as well.