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Friday, July 2, 2010

"Women Food and God"

by Geneen Roth, 2010, 211p, rating=3.5

In the last few months I've gained more weight than I care to say so when I came across this book I was eager to see what Ms Roth had to say and hoping that it would enlighten me.  OK, honestly I was hoping to lose weight just by reading it!  No luck!  Funny thing, I was thinking about digging into that double chocolate brownie ice cream in the freezer while I was reading the book!  Also the adobo and rice and basically all the food at home was eye candy!  Tells you how engrossing the book was.  But really, Ms Roth did have some very interesting and compelling things to say.  I was just waiting to finish the book before I started to diet ... quite similar to the I'll start my diet tomorrow excuse I tend to tell myself.  Well, I finished the book so what did I learn?  Would I apply them? 

The first thing that came to mind after finishing the book was that going to her retreats would be necessary to fully grasp her theories (personally, I'm having a hard time with what she calls "Inquiry").  I'm sure she summed it all the best she could but I would imagine being there in her twice a year retreats which some of her students seem to take for years goes to show that this would need continued work?  Yet, I'm not saying one wouldn't be able to be successful by reading the book alone.  I think it would depend on whether the reader believes her theories enough to give it a shot.  Or perhaps desperate enough (me!) to try anything, even this one, to lose the perpetual excess pounds!

There's really so much information and wonderful insights that it's too overwhelming for me to sum it up.  But will go directly to what I was hoping to get when I started this book... guidelines!  This of course needs to be in conjunction with "Inquiry" which basically (meditation) tells you to sense your body, ask certain questions, find associations with the sensation to a feeling, disengage from and dispel The Voice (negative thoughts), pay attention to censored thoughts or feelings, and don't try to direct the inquiry with your mind.  So without further ado, here's The Eating Guidelines:
  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
  • Eat without distractions.  Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
  • Eat what your body wants.
  • Eat until you are satisfied.
  • Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
  • Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
So what does this mean for me?  I'd like to go back to that I'll start tomorrow excuse but why not eat when you're hungry and feel what you're feeling when you're not (can't find her actual phrase at the moment) give it a try now!  Here goes something!!

The following "my quotables" (word I made up, apparently) might give you a sense of some of the things in the book.

**My quotables:
"Yes something is wrong, but it will not be fixed through losing weight." pg 33
"Compulsive eating is a way we distance ourselves from the way things are when they are not how we want them to be.  I tell them that ending the obsession with food is all about the capacity to stay in the present moment." pg 37
"Change happens not by hatred but by love." pg 121
"It's an axiom in both love and food that getting what you want is worlds apart from wanting what you can't get." pg 162
"When a diabetic tells me that she can't eat what she wants because what she wants will kill her (and therefore she feels deprived), my response is that what will kill her is wanting another life than the one she has, another condition than the one that is hers." pg 184

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