Geneen Roth is a conscious foodie and I've admired her work for many years.
Actually, it's because of Geneen that I realized in my mid-twenties that I was allowing three numbers in a small metal box to tell me how to feel about myself every day. That was the day I threw my scale out the eleventh-story window of my New York City apartment. [Full disclosure: into an alley.]
It's also to Geneen's credit that I can eat just a few Oreos and leave the rest for later, but that's another story. It's been years since I read a book by Geneen Roth. Enter Women Food and God. C'est magnifique!
Geneen Roth has done her homework from the beginning and over the years. This brilliant book supplies hope for anyone and everyone who has ever had any sort of issue with food. Enter all North American females. This way, please.
Sit down at a table. Look at your meal. Appreciate it. Appreciate those who grew it. Appreciate yourself for choosing it. Be conscious. Be conscious. Be conscious. Interestingly, the word conscious means with knowledge.
Are you hungry?
Stunned silence. Stunned into silence within, even. I had not been hungry in 25 years when I first heard that question. No idea, I thought. Not even a clue. What's hungry? Be conscious.
The weight game is a devastating one. "Failure is built in to [it.]" Geneen's right. We who play it "fit in by hating" ourselves. Dang. Right again.
Food , and our relationship to it, can be a spiritual path. All spiritual paths lead -- ideally -- to being more conscious. All paths lead to Rome -- uh, God. Why not food? Geneen is doing her blessed best to get us into the moment. Now. With the food on our plates. Here. Present. Accounted for. Not in story, but in the moment.
Have you ever sat down to eat as a meditation? It works.
"It's not life in the present moment that is intolerable; the pain we are avoiding has already happened. We are living in reverse."
Dear ones, it's our stories about our pain that keep us there. Having been a therapist for 28 years, I've learned that people tell their stories until they themselves hear the learning in them. Then, those stories are dropped. Geneen quotes Stephen Levine, a Buddhist teacher, "Hell is wanting to be somewhere different from where you are." Amen.
A major part of the difficulty here is that we who struggle with weight have a fixation with fixing. We are broken, we say, and we need to be fixed. Says Geneen, "It's not about the weight and it's not not about the weight." I didn't even have to read that sentence twice. Got it in one, and she is so right.
"Brokenness is learned," writes Geneen. Is it ever! What's "hidden in plain sight" is our wholeness, and we need to be willing to see it. When we are "yoked to disordered eating," we are arguing for our brokenness. Says Geneen, "You can't be stuck if you're not trying to get anywhere."
The second half of her book is practices anyone can use to be conscious about food.
"All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness."
"The medicine for the pain is in the pain."
"Show up where you already are."
"The problem isn't that we have bodies; the problem is that we're not living in them."
"--God has been here. She is you."
And then, TADA! The last page. Seven guidelines for eating. So simple. So clear. So kind. So real. So tender. So now. They are worth the price of the book.
If you are a woman, or a person, who struggles with weight, or is waiting for your life to begin once you lose the weight, hie thyself to the bookstore. Geneen Roth's book, Women Food and God, will set you firmly on the road to freedom.
Geneen, thanks for staying with it.