Overeaters Anonymous Mid-Peninsula

Russian Ridge Wildflowers - OA Mid-Peninsula

HOW Questions - Steps 6 - 12

These questions are designed to be used by members of H.O.W. who have completed their Fifth Step.  These questions are to be done after the Fifth Step is completed but before the maintenance questions are done.  These questions are to help the member become better familiarized with the Steps of this program, which are the keys to our recovery.  Many of us have found that to stay with the program, if is necessary to continue using our tools of reading and writing. 

These questions are only suggested and not a requirement of the program.

It is suggested that these questions be written down and given to a step sponsor to be read.  These questions would be read by the Step Sponsor and given back to the Writer. Any suggestions or comments could be written by the Sponsor to the Sponsoree-- This method is suggested to free us from the telephone whenever this seems to be indicated.

Before answering each set of questions, read the appropriate step in the “Twelve and Twelve”.


  1. Read pages 75-76, Chapter 6 in the 'Big Book.' Make a list of the character defects that you are ready to have God remove.
  2. Do you truly believe that your own willpower will not work with food?
  3. Has your obsession with food vanished?  If not (a) what steps can you take? (b) If yes, Why?  What can you do for the consistent removal of the obsession?
  4. Step Six--Read from the 'Twelve and Twelve' the first paragraph of page 66 and all of page 67.  Pick a defect of character that seems to be troubling you such as a resentment or jealousy of a person, place, or thing, or perhaps pride or procrastination.  Ask yourself if you are entirely ready to give it up.  If you are, then it is time to take Step Seven.  If you are not ready, make a list of the reasons why you would like to give it up.  Then make a list of the reasons why you still want to keep that defect.  What are the payoffs for giving the defect up?  What are the pay-offs for keeping it?  Now, ask God to help you to be willing to give this character defect up.
  5. What does the concept of “patient improvements” page 65 in the “Twelve & Twelve” mean to you as stated in Step 6?
  6. Make a list of your “No, I can't give this up yet” items.  Refer to the seven deadly sins page 48 in the twelve and Twelve. Why is it necessary to make a beginning and keep trying?
  7. Explain the concept as it relates to you: “Delay is dangerous and rebellion may be fatal.”
  8. List the character defects you really enjoy that “masquerade" as something other than they are.  Now make a list of your positive character assets.  Check and see if any “positives” are really masquerading negatives.  Write on what this question has meant to you.


  1. Read “As Bill Sees It," p. 22,61,75.  How has working the twelve steps helped me work through fear?
  2. Do you truly understand humility?  Read Step 7 in the “Twelve and Twelve”.  Discuss and reflect on how humility has affected your life.
  3. Read from “As Bill Sees It ”.  Page 139 "Basis of all humility" and page 212 "Faith and Action”.  Discuss and reflect on the act. of (a) humbly asking God to remove defects. (b) Having faith that is vital, accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish constructive action.
  4. The mental hygiene and spiritual housecleaning we have started in our inventories and continued in Step Five reach their climax in Step Seven.  Read #48, 103, 136, 196, 281, and 327 in "As Bill Sees It.” Are you ready to fully subject your’ will to God?  Do you wish to surrender to Him all your moral imperfections?
  5. What has there "Never been enough of" for you?
  6. How do you make, or how can you make honesty, tolerance and true love of man and God the daily basis of living?
  7. Do you still place self-reliance first and are you still rebellious?
  8. How can humility give us serenity?
  9. How does the taking of the 7th Step aid in the reduction of Ego?
  10. Make a gratitude list of what God has done for you that you could not do for yourself.
  11. What unreasonable demands have you made upon others, yourself and God?  How did self-centered fear play a part?
  12. What proof have you had that other problems besides "the deadly obsession of overeating' can be banished?


  1. Read,  “No Man is an Island”, page 118 in “Came to Believe.” Why is it necessary to “Make a list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make amends” before you can start relating harmoniously to God and to other people?
  2. Do you deeply and honestly search all your motives and actions in your past and present relationships when completing your list of any amends you may need to make?  Think carefully of past relationships and any resentments you may have and check your own part in creating these disturbances.  Write on at least one of these relationships.
  3. What emotional harm have you done to yourself?
  4. What kinds of harm have you done to others?  What personality traits have injured you and disturbed others?
  5. Construct a "long list' of people who have been affected by your behavior.  This can be in a positive, as well as in a negative way.
  6. Why is forgiveness of the utmost importance in working Step 8?
  7. Why is the taking of this step “the beginning of the end of isolation” from our fellows and God?


  1. Read in the “Big Book”, "Freedom from Bondage' pages 544-553.  Write about a resentment you have.  How are you using the program to be free of it?
  2. Read in “As Bill Sees It,” Pages 39, 58, 153.  How have righteous indignation and resentment wreaked havoc in your life?  How do you handle anger today?
  3. Read in "As Bill Sees It" Pages 179 and 286.  Discuss and reflect on the idea that nothing pays off like restraint of tongue and pen.  How have you used this to avoid conflict?
  4. Read page 13 in the "Big Book”. Discuss and reflect on your willingness to approach those individuals that you have harmed.  Also discuss and think about what attitude you should have in making an -amends.
  5. Have you made your amends list?  Are you working on making amends?  Do you make direct amends on a daily basis?  If not, make your list.
  6. Read paragraph 14 and 15, chapter six of the "Big Book." Describe the lengths to which you would go for victory over compulsive overeating.
  7. Besides your eating, what other defects have you had to live with?
  8. Have you experienced any of your most severe critics meeting you more than half way when making admissions and amends?  How do you stay in balance when this happens or quite the opposite happens?
  9. Are you delaying making amends because you are afraid?  If so how can you move into the "spirit" of Step Nine as mentioned in the last paragraph of this step in the Twelve and Twelve.
  10. Write on the scariest amend you have to make and how you will move into action to make it.


  1. Reread page 91 in the “Twelve and Twelve.” Write on the concept of progress rather than perfection as it applies to life today.
  2. Have we begun to practice justice and courtesy to those we dislike?  Write about how you can start practicing this principle.
  3. Read page 233 in “As Bill Sees It.” Draw up a two-column balance sheet for the day.  On one side write the things you've done right-good intentions, good thoughts and good acts.  On the other, write the things you feel you could have improved upon.
  4. Read Step Ten in the “Twelve and Twelve.”  Discuss and reflect upon the following concept: “Every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.”
  5. Read pages 90-92 in the “Twelve and Twelve.” Discuss and reflect on the idea that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.  How have you dissipated some anger in a healthy way today?
  6. Read pages 92-95 in the “Twelve and Twelve.” Write about the idea that pain is the touchstone of spiritual progress” Write about some pain you have been in lately.  How did it help you grow?
  7. Read pages 84-85, Chapter Six in the “Big Book.” The purpose of Step Ten is to continue our daily inventory and check our daily progress.  Name some things you need to guard against if you are to continue your progress.
  8. Have you stopped trying to make unreasonable demands on the ones you love?  Write on the last unreasonable demand and the results of that demand.  How do you tell what is reasonable and what is unreasonable?
  9. Most feelings or defects of character will come under one of six categories: fear, jealousy, anger, resentment, pride and sex.  To continue to take personal inventory, fold a sheet of legal sized paper into three sections.  In the first section write, WHAT IS IT? In the second section write, HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME? Then in the third section write, WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?  Identify the problem.  For example--fear of failure.  In the second section write as much as you can about 'How does it affect me?  Go to extremes in your writing if you are able to.  Now ask God, 'What can I do about it?' For extra reading, read from 'As Bill Sees It, 'pages 39, 65 and 89.
  10. Are you able to stay abstinent, "Keeping emotional balance and living to good purpose under all conditions?  What are some of the ways that you work on keeping emotional balance?
  11. List your assets and liabilities.  How can you convert 'the pains of failures into assets. Think of a specific example where you have done this.
  12. What can you do to stop having emotional hangovers?  Write about the last one you had and the state you were in when it was caused.
  13. How can you acquire the habit of accurate self-appraisal through Step Ten?
  14. How does the axiom, “Every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us,” relate to you?
  15. Step ten talks of “dangerous exceptions” for our recovery.  What are your dangerous exceptions?
  16. How are you developing tolerance?  The release of rationalization?
  17. The Tenth Step says to “spot, admit and correct flaws is the essence of character building and good living.” In the essence of character building, develop a gratitude list now for your “blessings received.”


  1. Read from "As. Bill Sees It”, pages 93, 108, 127, 189, and 243. Discuss and reflect on how taking time daily to set myself apart with God improves my conscious contact with Him and changes my life.
  2. Read pages 85-89 in the “Big Book.” How has prayer and meditation helped you to be free of self-will run riot?
  3. Read "As Bill Sees It," pages 33, 117, 101, and 331.  Step Eleven is for mental efficiency, for spiritual strength and for physical endurance.  What does this mean to you?
  4. Read page 164 in the "Big Book.' Discuss and reflect on how to "See to it that your relationship with Him is right" and the importance of it for you today.
  5. Read "As Bill Sees It" pages 270 and 172.  How do you apply the principle that your recovery depends upon God?
  6. Read pages 202 and 250 in "As Bill Sees It." Discuss the importance of spending daily quiet time alone with your higher power.  How do you do this in your life on a daily basis?
  7. Read page 264 in 'As Bill Sees It.' Discuss and reflect on the idea that we shall locate our trouble in our misunderstanding or neglect of Step Eleven, prayer, meditation and the guidance of God.


  1. Read Chapter Seven,. “Working with Others” in the “Big Book.”  Did you have a spiritual awakening?  Was it vital to your recovery?  When did it take place?  Can you define it?
  2. Read pages 196 and 263 in “As Bill Sees It.” Reflect on and discuss the idea that the basic anecdote for fear is a spiritual awakening.
  3. Read pages 449-551 in the "Big Book.' Discuss and reflect on how “acceptance is the answer to all of our problems.”
  4. Read in "As Bill Sees It," pages 3, 5 and 163.  Write about how working the program has brought joy to your life.
  5. Read in 'Came to Believe,' pages 46, 47 and 48, 'The Belief will come' and in "As Bill Sees It,' page 331.  Discuss what needs to be done to be most effective in helping those who still suffer.

Written by Step Sponsors of the Monday night Pomona meeting, March 20, 1989

We express our appreciation and gratitude to the Step Sponsors of the Monday night, Pomona Valley meeting who participated in making these questions available for all Sponsors in the HOW program.