Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
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Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  7,759 ratings  ·  1,227 reviews
No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, how you eat tells all.

After three decades of studying, teaching and writing about our compulsions with food, bestselling author Geneen Roth adds a powerful new dimension to her work in Women Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs abo...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Scribner Book Company (first published May 11th 2009)
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Jennifer Lane
“Feel the Pain, Don’t Eat It”

This is a non-fiction book that I found enlightening and helpful, with many truths in its pages.

Author Geneen Roth had fluctuated between severe food restriction and severe binge eating all her life. Her self-worth was tied up in her weight and shape, and her existence was a miserable yo-yo of dieting and shame. She went to therapy, learned about herself, studied mindfulness and meditation, taught and wrote, and slowly began to deal with her emotional pain by learni...more
Jill
Dec 14, 2010 Jill rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: those who hate being fat, but are extremely, annoyingly spiritual
Shelves: audible
Yes. I have food issues. And God issues. And I'm a Woman. It seems I meet all of the criteria.

This is a BRUTAL book. I can only read a little bit at a time. Make it stop.

**********************************************************************
I don't know. I just don't know. I was going back and forth between 2 and 3 stars, but it's really more like a 2.5 for me. The epilogue was the best part of the book, in my opinion.

Hmmm. I'm confounded here. I was extremely surprised how little God there was i...more
Ashley
Maybe I entirely missed the point, but this book was the biggest waste of my time. Firstly, as other reviewers have pointed out, the "and God" part of this book is nonexistent. Not that I mind that, but don't put it in your title. Isn't that editing 101? Which is what this book seems to be missing: a good, thorough editing. Someone to remove the reaching, lofty language that struggles to make a point but doesn't really ever get there. Someone to concisely outline the goals for the book, for even...more
Rebecca
I picked this up off the "new arrivals" shelf at the library where it was displayed next to books about economics, WWII, and Karen Armstrongs, "A Case for God." I thought-- Fantastic! A feminist reading of foodways! Boo, hiss, completely wrong.

It's a meandering, blissfuly citation-free, whiny self-help book. The author tells us how crazy she is and how horrible her life has been but how many people love her and how many thousands of people have completely changed their lives because of her and...more
Reid
I began to realize while reading this book that the title is a bit misleading, since it does not exclusively deal with any of the three things it names. First of all, it is not only for women; men could benefit just a mightily from what is written here. Second, it is not just about food, but about any obsession we use to divide ourselves off from our lives and our true natures. Third, when Roth speaks of God, she is referring to whatever in our world equates to that feeling of being entirely a c...more
Christine
As someone who has dealt with weight problems for many years, I have to say this book was actually very helpful. I had never read any diet books prior to Women Food and God and I was therefore hesitant to read it. At first, I thought it would be a waste of money, and that the book was based on different dieting “techniques”, and the "best way to lose weight", however, it wasn't even close to that!
I found it to be an interesting and insightful book that really thought me a lot about myself and u...more
Summer Lewis
Loved it--down to earth, easy to read, and really resonated with me.

Some quotes from the book:

There is a whole universe to discover between “I’m feeling empty” and turning to food to make it go away. The problem of weight is predictable. We know what to do when we have that problem. Beat ourselves up. Make ourselves wrong. Eat fewer donuts. But staying with the emptiness—entering it, welcoming it, using it to get to know ourselves better, being able to distinguish the stories we tell ourselves a...more
Kelli (I'd So Rather Be Reading)
This non-fiction book is not a "diet book" or even really about food. It's about feeling and dealing with your feeling in a constructive way instead of overeating or eating mindlessly.

I read Women Food and God for work and I really enjoyed it. Geneen Roth presents her material in a thoughtful, insightful way. She includes anecdotes from her compulsive eating retreats as well as her own journey with dieting, weight gain and triumph over compulsive eating.


The only eating guidelines presented in t...more
Helynne
I had been intrigued by the title of this book for months before I read it, and after reading this collection of essays, I was not disappointed, although it should be noted that the author, does discuss women and food a lot more than she discusses God and spiritual aspects of weigh issues. Geneen Roth's main theme is self-love, and "coming home to oneself" as an overall approach to health and weight control. "We don't want to eat hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to be hot fudge sun...more
Deb
*Soul food*

If you're the type of reader who highlights and makes margin notes in books when you come across a body-jolting insight, it is likely you're not going to have much white space when you've finished this book. Although the book is relatively short and the tone is casual, there is more food for thought (yes, pun intended) here than in the shelf-loads of books surrounding it. Geneen's book is nothing short of amazing. Showing how our approach to food is an exact microcosm of our relations...more
Linda
Well, after much anticipation, I finally got my hands on yet another spiritually driven book about awareness. It focuses on Women and on their relationship with food, although that is a metaphor for anyone, with any type of unhealthy habit. The basic premise is that bad food habits are a manifestation of the pain, confusion and loss that we do not know how or want to deal with. Eating when you are not hungry is a way of coping with life but it not only does not solve the initial problem, it crea...more
Charlotte
I've always been skeptical and dismissive of the self-help genre, but I LOVE Geneen Roth and I want to shout it from the rooftops! She embodies the best Jewish/Buddhist mother, someone who knows you to the core, who tells it like it is, who's wise and spiritual, and all with a kick-ass, self-deprecating sense of humor. She resonates with a huge and devoted following of women, and I think that's why. This book offers nothing much that's new since the Refrigerator book,which I read first. It's per...more
Diane
When I first received this book in the mail, I wasn't sure it was for me. I consider myself to be more of a spiritual person than a religious person, so I was concerned that the book might be preachy -- it is not. The title is very misleading, and the author even states that God means different things to different people. As I read a few pages, something about what the author was saying seemed to resonate with me. The author states:

"The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about be...more
Katie
Upon finishing this book, my first thought was "meh." For a book that is dominating the New York Times bestseller list, I thought this was going to be a stellar read; unfortunately, this was not the case.

I just couldn't bring myself to care about what Roth was saying. It's not that I didn't agree with what she said; perhaps it is just that I already knew the philosophy behind what she was advocating. There have been many articles and reports on how women can be emotional eaters; eating when they...more
Liberty
A new take on a million-dollar/yr industry. Amazing notion really... That you don't have to atone, hate, suffer, or diet your self away.

As Geneen writes, "...once the belief and the subsequent decisions (about your worth and a lifetime of dieting) are questioned, diets and being uncomfortable in your body lose their seductive allure. Only kindness makes sense. Anything else is exruciating."

Excruciating is an utterly painful place to be when embodying your Self. This idea that there is neither a...more
Ileana
This is an amazing book. It is not just about we overeat, it can be applied to anything we might use to numb ourselves in order to prevent feeling pain. Loved it!

I do believe there are frozen places in ourselves - undigested pockets of pain - that need to be recognized and welcomed, so that we can contact that which has never been hurt or wounded or hungry.

"To discover what you really believe, pay attention to the way you act -- and to what you do when things don't go the way you think they shou...more
Saranne
I loved this book - here are some of my favorite lines...........

-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.

-If we are actually interested in finding out what we actually believe – not what we think, not what we say, but what our souls are convinced is the bottom-line truth about life and afterlife – we need go no further than the food on our plates.

-I’ve been...more
Loretta
This was a worthwhile, thought-provoking book for me. Although I sometimes find the writing a bit "fuzzy", especially when talking about the more spiritual aspects she addresses, it is overall clear and well-written.

I want to re-read this book in conjunction with Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. I found Mindful Eating very practical, and it has a lot of specific practices and exercises that would be useful to do while keeping Roth's words in...more
Milton224
I learned nothing new, and, to be honest, I read the vignettes about the women featured and felt like we had nothing in common. I learned that Roth used to live in Santa Cruz; this book definitely had the feel of a certain type of SC woman, one which I tend to run away from. They are the cultural appropriators who find guidance and pathways already appropriated by other out-group practitioners. I find that increasingly angering and simultaneously tedious.

She suggests "God" can be found in starti...more
Selena Kitt
If you've read books by this author before, you'll recognize this as classic Geneen Roth - along with the usual message of following your body's cues, eating mindfully - but this time there's an added component of the spiritual.

She isn't the first to see the connection between food addiction (or any addiction) and spirit. Trying to fill what feels like great big hole inside of you with something else never works - whether that something else is alcohol, heroin, sex or food. It's an idea that AA...more
Nicola Mansfield
I read 117 of 211 pages and could not continue to read any further. The book was not what I had thought it would be. I have not read anything by this author before and going by the publisher's summary and the title I had expected this book to incorporate the Judaeo-Christian God into women's struggle with weight loss and food relationship. That surmise was incorrect, the author's concept of the word "God" could be more clearly stated as "whatever supreme deity, power or feeling you happen to bel...more
SwensonBooks
Geneen Roth's new title is almost banal. I had a really hard time getting through it and it was a very quick read. Promoted by Oprah Winfrey [book selection and guest appearance], the book follows the classic genre of self-help diet books. For all the hype, it reads like most every other diet book sans recipes, menus, points, weights, and measurements. Roth gives the formulaic fat book a twist: you can eat what your body needs and feed your soul without counting calories or stepping on the scale...more
Christina White
I really did think there were some excellent points and ideas in this book. As a woman who struggles with dieting and has recovered from an eating disorder, I can tell you that this book is more helpful than the book of Anorexia and Bulimia Anonymous. This book teaches you to eat being body conscious, to focus on being "in your belly" (where your soul resides according to some guru garbage.) The author is all about teaching you to love your self and to eat when you are hungry. I found my self in...more
Alyson
This was a great read that explains how to stop compulsive behavior; food, drugs, whatever. I preferred this to Intuitive Eating by Tribole and 7 Secrets of Slim People by Hansen. THOSE would be good reading if you need something more didactic about food. I liked this approach because she talks about what's going on behind the food/compulsive behavior and most of the book addressed our thinking, not the compulsive behavior we use to avoid it. This might be what Eckhart Tolle was trying to explai...more
Susan
I love my public library. Each time I've moved to a new town, the first place I visit is the public library to sign up for my library card. Most Methodist preachers no longer travel from place to place on horseback, but we still spend a lot of time in the car. My routine for years now has included trips to the library, exploring the audio book collections, and checking out volumes that seemed interesting. I've discovered a love for non-fiction that I never knew I had and that genre fiction is ev...more
Joy Weese Moll
This book promised more than it delivered for me. I saw myself on every page of Part 1, but the answers I expected in Parts 2 and 3 didn’t fully materialize. Partly, perhaps, because I am no longer the person that I kept seeing in Part 1, although I once was. I’ve taken a different path for this journey than this book delineates and it’s working for me. I’m not sure I would go back now to try this path, even if I could.

Still, it plugs some holes in the methods I've been using -- Cognitive Behavi...more
Andrea Alban
I learned to eat what I really want to eat—nothing more, nothing less. I stop chewing when my belly is full. I learned to apply these two simple rules to every moment of the day. What do I really want to do NOW? Am I enjoying? Am I full? Am I filling my life or is life filling me? Without trying, I am letting go of unwanted fat. My pants are loose around the waist. My eyes sparkle.
Dani
I belong to an online weight-loss support group and we decided to read this together. One of the women abandoned the book after the second chapter. I probably should have done the same, but I am compelled to finish books that I start.

This isn't a bad book, but it isn't for everyone. If you know or suspect that you are a compulsive eater and haven't found a way to deal with that issue, then you may want to read this. Since that isn't my problem, I found myself reading story after story about wome...more
Kasey Jueds
The latest book in my recent obsession with food-as-spirituality literature. Because it has such similar subject matter, it's hard not to compare this to the two Marc David books I recently finished... and, compared to them, Geneen Roth's latest book struck me as good-but-not-great. I did like a lot about it--first, the basic premise, that exploring food and eating and nutrition can be a spiritual practice, as much as anything else you pay close attention to can be. Also I love her tone--funny,...more
Jessica Sisson
I originally bought this book for my mom for Christmas. I was leery to gift a self-help book, but as the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, she has struggled with eating, emotions and spirituality since I can remember. It is no surprise to me that I have found myself in the trenches battling such harmful beliefs as Roth describes in this book. Nearly two weeks after I gave it to her, I received a bubble-wrapped package in the mail from my mom. I wondered what on earth it could be until i open...more
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Geneen Roth's pioneering books were among the first to link compulsive eating and perpetual dieting with deeply personal and spiritual issues that go far beyond food, weight and body image. She believes that we eat the way we live, and that our relationship to food, money, love is an exact reflection of our deepest held beliefs about ourselves and the amount of joy, abundance, pain, scarcity, we b...more
More about Geneen Roth...
When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy {When You Feel Anything But} Lost and Found: Unexpected Revelations About Food and Money Breaking Free from Emotional Eating Feeding the Hungry Heart: The Experience of Compulsive Eating

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“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won't discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself. (p. 84)” 184 likes
“When you believe without knowing you believe that you are damaged at your core, you also believe that you need to hide that damage for anyone to love you. You walk around ashamed of being yourself. You try hard to make up for the way you look, walk, feel. Decisions are agonizing because if you, the person who makes the decision, is damaged, then how can you trust what you decide? You doubt your own impulses so you become masterful at looking outside yourself for comfort. You become an expert at finding experts and programs, at striving and trying hard and then harder to change yourself, but this process only reaffirms what you already believe about yourself -- that your needs and choices cannot be trusted, and left to your own devices you are out of control (p.82-83)” 133 likes
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