Leader's Introduction

Step Zero

Hi everyone,

My name is Shlomo.

I am a compulsive overeater and the leader of the WTS workshop that begins on 1 April.

Let me tell you a bit about myself.
I am 70 years old, I have 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

I joined OA about 18 years ago and TRG about 16 years ago.
I was active in OA ever since, working the steps, giving service, leading step workshops and sponsoring.
In all my time in OA I was never without a sponsor and always gave service which I continue to do to this day.
I was and am also active in TRG, as coordinator and member of the executive committee.
I also led a few WTS studies and a sponsor-sponsee workshop.

This program literally saved my life.
Physically I was very obese and had all kinds of diseases as a result of my obesity.
But my obesity and illnesses were not the worst part.
The worst part was my emotional state.
I was depressed, full of resentments and fears, and blamed everyone for my bad feelings and my destructive Behaviour.
The doctors didn't give me much time to live unless I lost the excess weight

And I tried but could not.
The more I tried the more I gained.
I tried dieticians, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnosis and Self hypnosis, pills, alternative medicine like acupuncture, homeopathy, all kinds of energy healing, spiritual groups, etc…
Some worked for a while and I lost the weight but I didn't feel any better iInside and I put it all back with interest.
The only thing that worked at last was the 12 step program.
It caused a tremendous change in me.
My emotions, my ideas and attitudes and conceptions changed.
I became a different person inside.
The program calls it a "spiritual awakening" and it worked and still does.
Working the steps freed me from my obsession with food as is written in the tenth step promises.
But it didn't promise me that I would lose the excess weight.
I stopped bingeing and overeating but my weight stayed almost the same.
The Doctors told me that I couldn't wait for my body to begin reacting to sane eating and I had to have gastric sleeve surgery.
This worked in solving my obesity problem quite fast but of course it was not recovery.
Recovery is reached by working the 12 steps which enable me to have conscious contact with a Power greater than myself.
I know quite a few compulsive eaters who had such surgery and didn't lose any weight because they didn't work the 12 steps and were slaves to their food obsession.
They couldn't binge (eat large quantities in a short time) because of their small stomach, but they ate small amounts of all kinds of fattening foods containing sugar flour and fat all day long.

So here I am to share how the recovery program worked and works for me.

Now let me tell you about the coming WTS workshop.

What do we need for this workshop?

1. Willingness to do everything that is needed to recover from food Compulsion. This means a personal commitment to work all the 12 steps during this workshop.

2. We need a sponsor that has worked all 12 steps and continues to work them on a daily basis.
The sponsor can be an online sponsor or a f2f sponsor.
Just grab one who agrees to work with you.
I will send out a sponsor directory to the WTS loop every week.
  That will help those who have difficulties in finding a sponsor.

3. We need a reference book.
This is the book "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS" which is also called the Big Book.
This is the textbook that gives us precise direction on how to work the steps.
Other books that we will use as supplements are the AA 12 steps and 12 traditions and the OA 12 steps and 12 traditions. You can read the first two books on the Internet at www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=359
When you click on the book you want to read you will see this line: to view a simpler (non-interactive) version that is compatible with assistive technology "click here".
Click on "click here". I recommend buying the books if you don't have them.

I hope all that is clear so far so let us continue with what we are going to do in this workshop.
The workshop will last three months.
During that time we are going to work all the twelve steps. Not just talk about them or write what we think or feel about them and not how we worked them in the past.
We will work them in the present.

There will be action assignments to carry out and we will share about those current actions and their results.
This is a program of change and this change or transformation is a process that is driven by action and more Action.

An important parts of the workshop are questions that you ask me.
  I urge and invite you to ask me questions.
Ask anything that is not clear to you about my explanations, or about the assignments.
May be you would like me to enlarge some point, or to mention points that I have not dealt with.
Anything at all that is connected to our 12 step workshop.
Every question is important to our understanding of what we do, in order to do it properly.
When you ask questions, write them in a separate e-mail to me at 10.shaft@gmail.com   In the subject space write QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER.
Don't send your questions about the program to the WTS loop.

I will answer all the questions that are sent to me separately as QUESTIONS TO THE LEADER to the best of my ability without mentioning the name or address of the persons who sent the questions.

You send your answers to the assignments to the WTS loop at: wts@lists.therecoverygroup.org

Now to the first batch of ASSIGNMENTS.
1. Read the Big Book from the PREFACE to page 60
In your mind convert alcohol to food or to certain foods or food substances.

Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information
And with another color mark and copy the sentences that tell you to do
Something, action, direction.

2. After reading and marking and not before!!
Answer in your own words.

A. What is the new information (new to you) that you learned from your Reading?

B. What are the directions that tell you what you should do.

C. Explain in writing the following subjects and concepts.
The nature and purpose of the Big Book,
The nature of the disease,
The nature of the solution.
And the following concepts:
Cravings, bingeing, compulsion.
Defeat(bottom) for this concept also read step one in the AA 12&12 ,
That’s all for now folks.
Start working. It works if you work it and it doesn't if you don't.
I will send out my next share in a few days so please hurry up with the work

Leader of the WTS workshop


Step Zero

Hi everyone.
My name is Shlomo and I am a compulsive overeater.
When we come to this program we have to put our preconceived ideas aside and
approach it with an open mind.
Here is a nice prayer that will help us do just that.

Set Aside Prayer

Please help me set aside
Everything I think I know
About myself, my disease,
These steps, and especially a Power greater than myself,

So I can learn with an open mind
And have a new experience
With myself, my disease,
These steps, and especially a Power Greater than myself.

Let me first explain my understanding of a few basic ideas and concepts
That are specific to compulsive eaters.

Alcohol vs. Food
We don't need to drink alcohol in order to live.
We do need to eat in order to live.
Therefore eating is a basic survival instinct.
A recovered alcoholic lives his life without feeling any need to drink
But a recovered compulsive eater has to eat

Compulsion-a strong irresistible impulse to act.
Obsession-compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or unwanted feeling.
Now let me share some of the information I got from the Big Book.

The Big Book is the basic text book of the program we are going to study and
apply here.
About a hundred alcoholics participated in its writing
And they present themselves as people who recovered from a seemingly
hopeless state of mind and body.
They show us in this book precisely how they recovered.
This means that If we follow their directions precisely we too can recover.
We are also told that permanent recovery is possible.
During this workshop we will learn what exactly is meant by the word
The Big Book also tells us that we have a two-fold disease.
A disease of the body which manifests as a physical desire for more when we
begin eating,
Especially when we begin eating certain foods or food substances.
This desire for more when eating is usually an irresistible feeling beyond
our mental control, called cravings.

And most importantly, a disease of the mind which is composed of obsessive
Those thoughts nullify our willingness to refrain from eating compulsively
And convinces us to start eating compulsively again after a time period of
refraining from compulsive eating by using our will-power.
Our main problem is our obsession since if it was gone we would never begin
eating compulsively again,
And will not feel any need to begin eating foods or food substances which we
know will cause us cravings and therefore bingeing.

The disease is always with us.
It never leaves us.
It is chronic-doesn't have a cure, progressive- gets worse with time even if
we stop eating compulsively,
And it is fatal -it will kill us if it is not restrained by recovery and the
obsession is not removed.
In order to begin recovery from a disease we have first to be aware that we
have it and diagnose it.
The Big Book tells us the following : "we have to fully concede to our
innermost selves that we are compulsive eaters.This is the first step in
I call this step "Step Zero". It is the first step we have to take in order
to begin our journey to recovery, but it is not step one of the twelve steps.

Step zero is our first action direction.

Explain in your own words what is meant by this step and why it is important

Then do this step zero.
The Big Book tells us that our problem is our inability to deal with our
Disease by our will power and that other persons cannot deal with our
disease for us.
It says: "Lack of power that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by
which we could live and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves".

This brings us to the first part of our second action direction, which is
the first part of
Step one of the twelve.
"We admitted we were powerless over our (problem) food compulsion."

Explain why we are powerless over our food compulsion.
Don't explain what we do as a result of our powerlessness but why we are
And then do this part of step one.

Read page 52 in the Big Book. Mark and copy the bedevilments.
Read page 62 mark and copy the sentences that deal; with
selfishness-self-centeredness, and other negative feelings and actions.
Read page 64 mark and copy the sentences about the resentments.
Read page 67 mark and copy the sentences about fear.

Those pages describe our spiritual malady-unmanageable life. Explain this in
your own words
Also explain why we cannot deal with our negative feelings and actions.

That's all for now. Short and sweet, surprised you a bit didn't I ?
Your questions and comments are most welcome.
Send the assignments to wts@lists.therecoverygroup.org
Send your questions and comments to 10.shaft@gmail.com

Workshop leader.


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