Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. Given my current schedule, I don't have a lot of extra time for reading, so it generally takes me awhile to finish a book. This book captured me right away. Within the first few pages I was reading things that were exactly the same things I do or similar to the thoughts I have around food. I immediately grabbed a highlighter and a pencil (helps me process) and started marking the book up. Before the end of the day I was emailing and texting my girlfriends, my mom, my clients, telling them to GET THIS BOOK!!!
This book is for any woman who eats. Yes, I'm saying it's for all women everywhere. As Geneen says in the book, this is not a quick fix. You won't finish the book and have all your food issues solved for the rest of your life. Like every other change in life, you have to be willing to do the work, look inside and figure out why you do the things you do.
There are two types of people: Restrictors and Permitters. I didn't even have to read the descriptions to know right off the bat...I am totally a restrictor. "Restrictors believe in control. Of themselves, their food intake, their environments. And whenever possible they'd also like to control the entire world." Yep, that would be me! On the other hand, "Permitters find any kind of rules abhorrent....They are suspicious of programs, guidelines and eating charts." Every woman is both a permitter and a restrictor. The moment a restrictor decides to let loose and "binge" (although, I have to think there are people like me who don't all out binge, but allow yourself to eat whatever food is not on the current "plan" in normal amounts) she turns into a permitter. And the permitter turns into a restrictor the moment she decides to follow a diet plan.
The core of the book is really about getting in touch with yourself and determining the reason that you are eating and being aware of what you're eating and why. It's about listening to your body. Your body has a set-point, what I like to call a "happy weight", that it will reach if you can be in a state of awareness around food. In the book meditation techniques are given to help you learn to listen to your body and really feel what it wants. The "Guidelines" for eating, might be scary to a lot of women. To me, they are a good way to slow down and be present in the moment.
I finished the book on Sunday. I took my twins to Starbucks after their naps on Sunday for donuts and "coffee" (that would be chocolate milk on ice with whipped cream). I was really wanting a latte. I haven't had milk in a long time and I hate to admit this, but I'm afraid of milk. Doesn't that sound stupid? On a contest diet, we don't consume dairy products because of the sugars in it. I have to keep reminding myself that I can't go through life "extreme dieting" all the time. I ordered a Grande Skinny Vanilla Decaf Latte and I savored every sip. It was absolutely delightful! I finished the evening with a rather large glass of merlot and savored every sip of that as well. And this morning...brace yourselves...I put strawberries on my oatmeal!!! Hey, baby steps...
As I said before, this book will only help you if you're willing to do the work of changing. If you're ready then it is a great read. If you're not, read it anyway and then read it again when you ARE ready.
*I should also note: this is NOT a religious book. "God" refers to whatever you believe as a higher power. There are not religious references in this book.