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

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  15,963 ratings  ·  1,671 reviews
Roth began exploring emotional eating in her bestseller When Food Is Love. Now, two decades later, here is her masterwork: WOMEN FOOD AND GOD.

The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. No matter how sophisticated or wise or enlightened you believe you are, how you eat tells all. The world is on your plate. When you begin to understand what pr
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Scribner Book Company (first published May 11th 2009)
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Rachelle Eyre I think she is trying to get you to look deep within yourself and explore what you are really hungry for and to realize that food will not fix the rea…moreI think she is trying to get you to look deep within yourself and explore what you are really hungry for and to realize that food will not fix the real root of your desire to eat. Eating is an easy go to for a variety of feelings, hunger usually is not one of them.(less)
Lori I read her previous books and am finding this one to be well worth the read if you wish to understand and engage with your desire to eat when you aren…moreI read her previous books and am finding this one to be well worth the read if you wish to understand and engage with your desire to eat when you aren't hungry (or could be applied to any "addictive" behavior). It sure isn't a diet blueprint, and what you get out of it equals what you put into it. It sounds like you have judged it already and found it lacking, so I wouldn't recommend that you read it. (less)

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Feb 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jennifer Lane
Apr 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
“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
Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Summer Lewis
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, body, self-and-life
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
Nov 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
*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
Jul 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
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
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Nicola Mansfield
Apr 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Ange H
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Many years ago, I read Geneen Roth's "Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating," which was one of two books that I credit for really changing my life for the better. (The other one was "Your Erroneous Zones," by the late Dr. Wayne Dyer.) So she has all my respect and support for anything she does.

So I am sad to say that this book didn't do anything for me. Considering the grandiose title, I found it uninspiring. I didn't care for the writing style or the focus on her retreats. I read later that Opr
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has helped transform my compulsive eating habits/the way I see myself. Don't look for this book to change your life, but as a path to a new way of living. Honest, relatable and beautiful. ...more
Tricia Culp
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who doesn’t have a healthy relationship with food or ever eats when not hungry needs this book. It’s been life-changing for me. The way she approaches getting to the core of why we eat what we eat- what we’re really feeding when we’re not healthily feeding our bodies, and how to start changing our inner beliefs and habits around food- it’s absolutely amazing.
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
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
May 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am reading – on actual paper – Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. Roth’s fundamental idea is that women overeat or constantly diet because we believe that somehow our ability to control our weight will give us control over our lives. This idea is one I can wholly agree with. I know that when my stress level goes up I will eat most things in site, especially if I don’t have time each day to wind down and think through my feelings. Perhaps the strongest thing I’ve taken from the book is that I ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jill
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
Selena Kitt
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Joy Weese Moll
May 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: health
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
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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

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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)” 323 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)” 218 likes
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