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Women, Food and God

An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

By Geneen Roth
15-minute read
Audio available
Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth

Women, Food and God (2010) takes a close look at the complicated relationship women can have with food, particularly in how eating disorders reflect deeper issues than a superficial concern about flat stomachs. Author Geneen Roth shows how our relationship to food is emotionally charged and deeply tied to our understanding of who we are, what we’ve been through and the spiritual path we are on.

  • Dieters and binge eaters
  • Psychologists
  • Nutritional advisers

Geneen Roth is an author, speaker and seminar leader who specializes in demonstrating the relation of compulsive eating and compulsive dieting to deep emotional and spiritual struggle. She is the author of ten highly successful books including When Food is Love (1978) and Lost and Found (2011).

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Women, Food and God

An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything

By Geneen Roth
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth
Synopsis

Women, Food and God (2010) takes a close look at the complicated relationship women can have with food, particularly in how eating disorders reflect deeper issues than a superficial concern about flat stomachs. Author Geneen Roth shows how our relationship to food is emotionally charged and deeply tied to our understanding of who we are, what we’ve been through and the spiritual path we are on.

Key idea 1 of 9

Suffering can lead to eating disorders, but it can also lead to spiritual insight.

A complicated relationship with food often starts with some other kind of difficulties, such as being bullied at school, experiencing abuse at home or the divorce of one’s parents.

In the case of the author, Geneen Roth, her suffering as a child lead to her eating disorder.

In her early teens Roth was often sad or angry about boys or her parents’ dysfunctional relationship, so she would binge eat in order to soothe her troubled feelings.

Naturally, this led to weight gain, which caused Roth to see herself as unlovable. This led to her following a strict diet for weeks or months at a time. But, of course, these plans routinely fell apart: Sooner or later she would experience an emotionally disturbing event, which could range from a fight with a sibling to an unkind look from a stranger in the street. Those feelings of sadness or anger would well up again, and the binge-eating would resume for days or weeks.

Despite the discomfort, however, suffering can eventually lead to spiritual insight.

Nobody likes to suffer, but without emotional turmoil we wouldn’t have the incentive to search for some deeper meaning in our lives. After all, when our suffering reaches a breaking point, we come to a crossroads: either give up on life or change the way we live and look at life.

When Roth came to this point, she turned to meditation and experienced a spiritual epiphany. In her case, it was the realization that there is more to life than what we perceive with our five senses.

To discover your own spiritual truth, focus on whatever is standing in the way of your peace of mind. When you meditate on a subject like this, you’ll eventually come to understand the deeper emotions behind suffering, which you can then acknowledge and resolve.

In order to put an end to the vicious cycle of bingeing and dieting, Roth had to completely change the way she thought about herself. This meant believing that she was worthy of love just as she was. Ultimately, this lead to a huge transformation in her life.

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