October 22, 2012

Book Review: Women Food and God

Have you ever read a book that articulated something you have been thinking - or feeling - in a way that finally clicked...you know, gave you that "AH-HA!" moment that you have been waiting for?!  Well, I just finished reading exactly that kind of book, and I am looking forward to sharing it with you today.  The book is Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth.

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 about being alive.  Your relationships with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation, and, yes, even God. 
A timeless and seminal work, Women Food and God shows how going beyond the food and the feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul - to the bright center of your own life.

Yes, back in 2010, Oprah Winfrey had Roth on her show.  In fact, after reading Roth's book, Oprah vowed that she was through with dieting - forever - as in, never again.  I don't know about you, but if something as simple as a book could get Oprah off of her decades-long diet rollercoaster, well then, I'm intrigued.  After reading the book myself, I can understand Oprah's reaction.  Practically every other page of my copy is dog-eared, lines upon lines of Roth's words are underlined, and the margins are covered with my written reflections, reactions, and responses.

Roth says, "every single person has a shtick with food and therefore everyone should read this book." 

The take-away is this, whoever you are, READ. THIS. BOOK.


Just in case you aren't convinced, here is a L-O-N-G list of my favorite quotes from the book.  If these quotes don't perk your interest, well then, I give up.  Here goes:

  • About God - "And I believe in love.  And beauty.  I believe that every single person has something they find beautiful and that they truly love...And I believe that if you follow this love all the way to its end, if you start with the thing you find most beautiful and trace its perfume back to its essence, you will perceive an intangible presence, a swath of stillness that allows the thing you love to be visible like the openness of the sky reveals the presence of the moon." (Pg. 25)
  • Ending the War - "But fixing ourselves is not the same as being ourselves...The relentless attempts to be thin take you further and further away from what could actually end your suffering: getting back in touch with who you really are.  Your true nature.  Your essence." (Pg. 32-33)
  • Beyond What's Broken - "Realize that brokenness is learned, not innate, and that [your] work is to find [your] way back to what is already whole. " (Pg. 65)
  • Breath by Breath - "The problem isn't that we have bodies; the problem is that we're not living in them...Change happens not by hatred but by love.  Change happens when you understand what you want to change so deeply that there is no reason to do anything but act in your own best interest.  When you begin to inhabit your body from the inside." (Pg. 120-121)
  • Being Hot Fudge Sundaes - "It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale.  We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around   When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels." (Pg. 174)
  • Breath by Breath - "There is no way back to the body; the body is the way.  You leave and then you return.  Leave and return.  You forget and then you remember.  Forget. Remember.  One breath and then another.  One step and then another...And it doesn't matter how long you've been gone; what matters is that you've returned...Soon you begin wondering where you've been all this time.  How you wandered so far.  And you realize that torture isn't having these arms or these legs; it's being so convinced that God is out there, in another place, another realm, that you miss the lavender slip of moon, your own awakened presence." (Pg. 125)

Question of the Day:

Have you ever read a book that said something in a way that you had an "AH-HA!" moment?  If so, I would love to hear all about it in the "Comment" section below!

Ally and Bo

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