While attempting to organize and clean over winter break, I discovered Geneen Roth’s Women Food and God under my bed.
To date, I cannot recall who gifted it to me, but I wish I did so that I could thank her. A HUGE thank you to woman blessing Christie. This book rocks, and I do not say that lightly.
Roth had me by page two, “. . . our relationship to food itself is an exact microcosm of our relationship to life itself. I believe we are walking, talking expressions of our deepest convictions; everything we believe about love, fear, transformation and God is revealed in how, when and what we eat.”
Roth, a New York Times bestselling author and leader of workshops teaching the seven guidelines of natural eating, shares how she gained and lost the same weight over the course of close to fifty years before she learned to step away from negative self-talk in place due to years of harmful verbiage from her parents as well as others. Instead, she chooses to truly listen and trust herself through meditation, inquiry, and mindful eating.
Paraphrasing on my part, Roth poses such questions throughout such as, “Are you truly comfortable trying to balance food, hoping it doesn’t spill on your jacket, while driving your car?” Instead, Roth urges her readers and retreat participants to truly pay attention, “Pay attention to what you value. Pay attention to how and what you spend your time. Your money. And pay attention to the way you eat” (16-17).
One retreat participant, a single fifty-something woman, questioned Roth on her philosophy of eating minus any distractions including music, literature, television, etc. The fifty-something woman said she enjoyed reading The New Yorker while eating alone so as to prevent loneliness. When Roth questioned her further as to why she felt eating alone equalled loneliness, the woman responded, “‘Anyone knows that people who are living alone at fifty-two years old are losers. Complete losers. When I read and eat, I don’t have to face the fact I am a loser'” (185). Roth explained if the reading and eating gave her pleasure, this would be fine. Instead, what the reading and eating was inevitably doing was causing her pain because the participant was doing it to avoid her learned belief that eating alone resulted in harsh judgement from others.
I know; deep, right? Women Food and God is deep, but in an inevitable eye-opening way. I was truly bummed when I had finished reading the Addendum. Roth writes in a manner where the reader feels as if he/she has just met a new friend who shoots straight from the hip which, I believe, is the best kind of friend to have.