After gaining and losing one thousand pounds, Geneen Roth finally found peace. She came home to herself, and she shows you how to do the same in her book, Women, Food and God. Regardless of your choice of faith/spirituality (or lack of), Women, Food and God is a book that holds lessons for everyone. women-food-and-god-bookGeneen’s philosophy is: issues related to food are not about the food, and issues related to weight are not about the weight. She believes compulsive eating and perpetual dieting spring from deeply personal and spiritual issues. Her personal website describes her approach: “[Geneen] 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 believe we have (or are allowed) to have in our lives…Rather than pushing away the ‘crazy’ things we do, Geneen’s work proceeds with the conviction that our actions and beliefs make exquisite sense, and that the way to transform our relationship with food is to be open, curious and kind with ourselves-instead of punishing, impatient and harsh. In the past thirty years, she has worked with hundreds of thousands of people using meditation, inquiry, and a set of seven eating guidelines that are the foundation of natural eating.”   Geneen’s 7 guidelines, as discussed in her book, are: 1. Eat when you are hungry. (Truly hungry – body hungry, not mind hungry) 2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car. 3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspaper, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversation and music. 4. Eat only what your body wants. (Big difference from what your MIND wants!) 5. Eat until you are satisfied. (This is different than full). 6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others. 7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.   women food and god Women can fall into the trap of believing in “good” and “bad” foods. Believing that certain foods will make them skinny; other foods will make them fat. Certain foods will make them healthy; other foods will make them unhealthy. The focus, today, is on the food. The focus is on each food as an individual item that you should choose with your logic, not your hunger. To this, Geneen says: Stop. She says to be kind to our body’s wants and needs. “Only kindness makes sense,” she writes. “Everything else is excruciating.” Geneen does not focus on specific foods at all. She says it’s how you eat that’s important, not what. She urges women to stop caging, shaming, and fearing themselves. She urges women to embrace every feeling with tenderness. Trust yourself, she says. Listen to the whispers. They will tell you how to eat, and, more than that, they will tell you how to live your life. In the book, there is a wonderful scene where Geneen tells a group of women to eat a single raisin slowly. She tells them to savor it and to feel its ridges, its hard outsides, its softer insides. The women are surprised at the detail and richness of that raisin. And then Geneen leads them to the conclusions: Wow, look what we were missing when we took more, and look what we can gain by taking less. This exercise is part of Geneen’s more general urgings to pay attention – to pay loving, nurturing attention to yourself. This is the way to connect to the source of all love, she says. This is the way to find wonder.