The subject of this week is Geneen Roth. She is an author and a mentor to thousands of women who attend her retreats and workshops, and who have read her books. Having struggled herself with weight gain and weight loss, losing and gaining over 1000 lbs since adolescence, Roth turned her life around to focus on what motivates compulsive eating. She has now publicized her studies to share her healing wisdom,
Her bestseller, Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything is a must-read for any woman who lives with an inner critic that takes a toll on their her and happiness. Roth reveals that there is a link between what shows up on our plates to our beliefs about the amount of joys and strains in life that we deserve.
My mother presented this book to me two years ago, and as 19-year old without any religious values, I immediately felt dissuaded by the title. However, this book is far from religious. The concept of God that Roth presents is not specific to any organized religion, but as a spiritual place where healing, goodness, and love exist. God is a place where wholeness is achieved not by remedying our feelings and anxieties with temporary comfort, but by looking within ourselves and acknowledging where these feelings are coming from.
The rawness of this book is what it is important. In a world saturated with advertisements telling us that consumption is the path to happiness, Roth challenges her readers to face themselves. While she acknowledges that the path to wholeness can be difficult and scary, it is important to ask yourself: “do I want to continue to live like this.” Whatever kind of eating disorder you may face, she explains, the essential choice we must all make is self-love or self-judgment.
When and why we eat defines our attitude around food. Roth provides a set of seven guidelines to adhere to in order to redevelop a healthy relationship to the dinner plate:
1. Eat when you are hungry. (Truly hungry – body hungry, not mind hungry)
2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspaper, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversation and music.
4. Eat only what your body wants. (Big difference from what your MIND wants!)
5. Eat until you are satisfied. (This is different than full).
6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
These rules emphasize the importance of listening to your body and taking time to appreciate food.
Women, Food, and God is a #1 New York Times top seller and Roth has been invited to appear on various talk shows to discuss confronting compulsive eating since its release. Roth also hosts her own retreats and workshops in America. Women are invited to engage in their struggles personally with the guidance of Roth herself. Her clients learn to befriend themselves and identify what constructs exist in their lives that affect their eating patterns. If this is something you would be interested in, visit her website.
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