a book report: women food and god

a couple {few?} months ago i watched this episode of oprah featuring geneen roth, the author of women food and god.
{and crazy-coincidentally...this exact episode is being re-aired today @ 3!}

i'm not typically a daily oprah-watcher, but this particular show intrigued me.
the episode ended up bringing me to an hour-long session of tears.

after which, i felt inspired to get up off the couch & i make my angieinshape blog private.
and vowed to myself & my god to stop worrying so much about my waistline & start giving my spirit more attention & respect.

i've been on quite a journey related to my spiritual health & my physical body since.
i've started to accept where i am & who i am.
i've lost 20+ pounds, gained 5 back, and lost 4 again.
and struggled {a lot} in between.
i've tweaked my strategies & tried to be self-forgiving.
with some major help, divine & otherwise, i've made great strides.

well, thursday i got around to purchasing the book.
a couple days later it was marked up & dogeared.
*and chloe spilled myron's drink on it.

what a worthwhile, applicable-to-me read.
loved it.

to people who don't struggle with their relationship with food-
this book {and post!} might seem a little dramatic.

but to people, like me, who have battled with it every. single. day. since forev, or who have ever in their lifetime struggled with purposely under-eating or compulsively over-eating {in my case both}....it is inspiring and profound.

she captures exactly [to-the-t] the feeling of what it's like to to be addicted & obsessed with food &/or body image. *and then she explains {in the coolest writer way} how god is our freedom from it.

she has kinda a different definition of god than i do {and some obvious political differences} but her principles can be applied to one of any faith or party. basically the book suggests that the way to overcoming our obsession with food is by inquiring/questioning our feelings & hunger. she says that the answer isn't dieting....it is always spirituality & love. loving yourself. and god is love.

a quote from the book:
"if you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you've had enough, you end the obsession because obsessions and awareness cannot coexist. when you pay attention to yourself, you notice the difference between being tired & being hungry. between being satisfied and being full. between wanting to scream and wanting to eat.
the more you pay attention, the more you fall in love with that which is not obsessed: that which is blazing itself through you. the life force that animates your body. food becomes a way to sustain that blaze, and any way of eating that keeps you depressed or spaced out or uncomfortable loses it's appeal. when that happens, you slowly realize that you are being lived by that which is God and you wouldn't have it any other way."

i totally agree with her. i know through my own little awakening this year, that the occasional times that i feel genuinely whole, healthy & happy are when i'm in tune with the god who created me/my body. or in other words: when i'm living in the conscious moment & acting accordingly. {in my church we call that following the spirit.}

it is god that teaches me complete acceptance.
it is god that rids me of shame, guilt & unhappiness.
it is god that reminds me to love & be grateful for my body.
it is god that gives me the strength to say no to things that harm it.
it is god that inspires self-discipline & moderation in all things.
it is god that suggests love when a disturbingly unflattering picture of me is posted on facebook.
it is god who understands my feelings behind the food.
*it is me who chooses to listen,explore,follow,learn from god or not.

{that's what i got out of it, anyway.}

i thought it was just fabulous. i would recommend it to anyone who has food issues: girls & boys alike.

if you read it & hate it: sorry! blame oprah!

oh, and ps:
*parental advisory:
there's a little bit of language.


VICKI IN AZ said...

I am so grateful you posted this. Truly.

I have skipped over that episode of O. on my dvr so many times, I think I just haven't been ready for it.

I have passed up the book too.

This really helps me want to just get on with it and learn what is there to learn.

You are inspiring.

runningfan said...

Awesome! I'm always looking for a non-fiction book recommendation, and this one sounds like a winner.

Cadi said...

I'm going to print that quote out and hang it on my mirror...I need to brand that in my mind. So helpful- thank you.

Laurie said...

Thanks Angie, I will definitely be looking for this book. Food has always been an obsession for me- whether I'm at a target weight or 30 pounds over it. I need to find peace with myself!

granny said...

Sounds like a winner. It is nice to find little nuggets of truth that help us be the best of what we are. Thanks for sharing.

Britney {Jesses Girl} said...

i'm totally adding this book to my list of books to read.

and it's moving its way toward the top rather than placing itself at the bottom.

thanks for sharing!

Alison said...

I love her monthly article in Good Housekeeping. Thanks for this post. You rock, Angie!

Lori said...

Thank you for the suggestion - I will add it to my wish list. Thank you also for sharing your feelings and helping the rest of us remember what is important. I'm a little bit older (I'm a lot older) than you and I still have body issues that I struggle with. I look and compare myself with women my age - you know the 40-50 year old trophy wives that get to go to the nail salon, hairdresser, gym, etc. on a daily basis. Those women who are tanning at the tanning salon and talking to their personal trainer on the phone. I look and wish (I'm ashamed to admit it) that I were them. I wish I had their bodies and their money. But then I get the satisfaction of knowing that I have talents and I'm good at my career and I have a fabulous family and I feel better. I want to be thinner and prettier, but in God's eyes I am. To my family I am. I appreciate your comments and your blog more than you will ever know. You help this old woman a great deal - thank you!

Natalie said...

I saw that episode - haven't read it yet. Another book that I think goes along with the principles of spirituality and choices and being who we want to be is "Excuses Begone." Check it out. :)

Staci said...

20 lbs! You are amazing! I saw this Oprah on this week & watched 10 minutes or so before Parker begged me to change it to Arthur;) I need to watch the rest of it & get the book! I need some good motivation, thanks for sharing!

amy mo said...

That's exactly the struggle I've been going through lately. True story: during a fitness assessment I was told that nutrition is one of the most important things to getting healthy, and that soda is super terrible, etc. The whole time I just kept thinking about how much I really wanted to get a dr. pepper, and as soon as I left I got one (not even the diet kind). I'm thinking I need to get this book.