Book Review #43: Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth

9 Jul

I don’t read very many self help books, because I’m not a touchy-feely kind of person. However, like many women my age, I’ve been fighting my own personal battles with food for many years now. There’s no magic bullet for compulsive eating, but Geneen Roth is one of the only experts who’s books really focus on binge eating, rather than anorexia or bulemia. This book is not a magic cure for your eating problems, or self esteem problems or anxiety, or loneliness, or whatever troubles you.

But it is the first book or essay I’ve read where I thought “she gets it.” She doesn’t make working through your issues sound easy like many other sources – because it’s not. She recognizes it’s exhausting and tricky and you have to be willing to spend a lot of time feeling uncomfortable things which you might not like.

And her descriptions of what it feels like to feel so powerless over your eating habits is scarily accurate. It’s a beautifully written book, and it really gets at the core of what it feels like to stress out about eating in public, or what it feels like to binge alone, or that rush when you finally break your latest ludicrous diet. 

I think it’s good to note that Geneen Roth isn’t talking about “God” in the traditional, Christian sense. She is obviously very spiritual, but she writes the book generically and speaks about connecting with your environment, the people you care about, yourself, and whatever spiritual set of beliefs is your thing. So there’s not an overabundance of religion here.

Her rules for living your life are simple. And her methods for breaking through the binge cycles are simple. It’s just a matter of whether something in her writing speaks to you and helps you figure out how to change.

For me, she described how over the course of 15 years, if you tallied up the pounds she’d gained and lost, it was 1,000 pounds. And when I thought about my own life, I realized over the past 7 years, I’d lost a total of 80 pounds at various times. And gained a total of 80 pounds interspersed with my periods of dieting. 50% of my body weight gained, 50% lost. Tallied, that’s an entire me. For some reason, that really spoke to me. And I think many people who struggle with all kinds of eating issues will find something that speaks to them in her book.


3 Responses to “Book Review #43: Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth”

  1. Passionate about HR July 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    Thanks so much for posting on this important topic. I have read a few reviews about this book, but you really captured how the author made this real for you and it resonated with me. I’ll be adding it to my book list of “to read” for the summer.

  2. Alan Surgoine July 24, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    I love to read self-help books both online and offline. Self-help is a great topic too and of course we should always improve ourselves. ;.`:.

    Kind thanks“>


  1. HelloKatieO’s #CBR4 Review #43: Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth « Cannonball Read IV - July 9, 2012

    […] There’s more… Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookEmailDiggStumbleUpon Posted by HelloKatieO in 4 stars – a great book and tagged CBR4, eating, Geneen Roth, hellokatieo, Mental Health, Self-help book […]

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