My blogs have been a bit few and far between lately, mainly due to my little stomach parasite setback. So today I just thought I’d recommend a great book I’ve been reading and tell you a little bit about it.
This amazing book by Geneen Roth is fascinating in that it’s written ostensibly for and about people who are overweight and want to understand why they overeat. Or that’s what I thought when I started reading it!! A friend lent me the book, and I was just curious from a psychological point of view to find how the author linked women, food and God (or spirituality). I didn’t expect to get so much out of it for myself.
Geneen writes in such a personable way, with great insight and humour. She’s extremely straight with the way she presents her views and experiences and there’s no psycho-babble. I was drawn in immediately after reading the first few pages, and now I’m hooked. I haven’t even finished the book and I’m telling everyone I talk to that they have to read it – AND I’m writing a blog about it.
We are what we eat … or HOW we eat!!
The blurb sums up Geneen’s point of view when it says: “No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, how you eat tells all”. And the more I think about it and read the book, the more I’m convinced.
But not only that, I see that whatever we find to obsess about or become addicted to, whether it’s food, alcohol, gambling, sex, information, shopping, – even illness!! – if it is indeed an obsession or addiction, we are using it to escape from really facing our emotions and what’s really going on in the background. We use these things to avoid facing ALL that we don’t want to face about who we THINK we are underneath all the other stuff.
The Self-Help Queen
Now, I’m a classic self-help queen, who LOVES navel gazing and looking into why I do things and why other people do things. You couldn’t find someone MORE willing to face themselves. BUT I still know that there are things I hide behind – things I use in order to not face what I’m really feeling. I sometimes even use self-analysis to NOT face what I’m really feeling – pointless navel gazing where I get fascinated with my own rubbish without actually doing anything about the rubbish!! 🙂 (familiar anyone?!)
In a way nothing Geneen Roth says in Women, Food and God is new to me, but in another way, because of the way she SAYS it, it is new. She has a great way of simplifying more complicated concepts, giving examples from the retreats she runs for people who have eating problems, and having me constantly exclaiming “oh, this is sooo good” in a way that sounds like I’m reading something a little bit more steamy.
A Good Read
Anyway, I just wanted to recommend it to you all. Whether you have any issues (or think you have) with food or not, it’s really not about food. It’s about the relationship we have with our bodies and the choices we make around that relationship. Really, it’s about the relationship we have with OURSELVES and how it is reflected in how and what we eat … and how that extends to the rest of our lives – management of CFS included! Mindfulness and being present in our bodies seems to be the key in Geneen’s experience.
I just bought the audio book today on Audible, so I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m not sure if Geneen reads it or not, but I guess I’ll find out. [Update: I’ve listened to almost the whole book now, and I’ve got even more out of it that way, especially because Geneen Roth DOES read it. I find audio books great because I can listen while resting my eyes and body in bed]
Let me know if you read it or listen to it and leave a comment below.