Mini-Review: Women Food and God

I have mentioned before I am participating in a Virtual Book Club lead by Emily and Paige. First it was Project: Food Budget, and now VBC. I really need to come up with some of my own things – but since these ladies are so good at thinking up new projects, I haven’t needed to! I will stick to blending up crazy concoctions and sharing ways to get your picky spouse/significant other/child  to eat foods they don’t “like.”

Side note before we get to the book: Over the weekend, I did a relay triathlon with two co-workers who had been athletes at one time but hadn’t done anything competitive in years. Setting a goal and working together, we had the best time. Oh, and we came in 2nd place. And, their competitive fires are re-ignited. Successful weekend indeed!

Moving on…

This month, the book of choice was Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost EverythingWomen Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth. Let’s skip  over the fact that I strongly believe this book title is missing not one, but TWO commas. Sometimes, the annoying grammarian in me can’t get past those little things, but, we’ll skip over it, mmm-kay?

I’m not really a book-reviewer, per se, but I wanted to share some thoughts about this book and bring it up as a potentially interesting read for anyone – not just women, and not just those with a spiritual life in the traditional sense.

The book is a quick read – I read it in one evening the night before the Twitter Chat (not on purpose – it has been a crazy month!). It is also very relatable. Geneen has a gift with storytelling – she gets inside your head, and she explains the root of many, many common problems with ease.

Who this book is for: Well, honestly, just about anyone. If you have ever struggled with your weight, if you have ever wondered why you can’t fix it, if you love someone who struggles with weight – read this book. (Hint: “Fixing it” is not the answer.)

I have to admit, I wasn’t initially that ‘into” reading this book this month. Something about the title and the concept just pushed  me away a little. But, three pages in and I was hooked. It is a page turner. Or, in my case, a screen flipper. Paper books are a thing of my past – it’s all digital now days.

Here are my takeaways, as told in the Twitter Chat last night:

Q1: What insights, if any, did you gain about your own eating habits?
A1: I realized I have, at times in my life, had “compulsive eating” behaviors that I didn’t even know about! #surprise

I have always been concerned about my weight, but not what I thought was overly so. I grew up in a family that has weight struggles. Deep down, it appears I have done whatever it takes to avoid growing into what I was told at an early age was inevitable from many different people.

Q2: According to @GeneenRoth, “fixing ourselves is not the same as being ourselves.” Is this something that you relate to? How?
A2: Absolutely. It is one thing to “just be me,” it is another thing to always be trying to fix what’s broken. It’s okay to be yourself.

If there was space, I would have added: I am not broken!

Q3: What does the practice of inquiry mean to you? How can you apply it in your everyday life?
A3: I loved this line re: inquiry: “Being with feelings is not the same as drowning in them.” Good reminder that we are human and humans have and need to cope with emotions.

Emotional eating is something pretty much everyone can relate to. Sitting down and taking a moment to figure out why you need that slice of pie or double-cheeseburger can have immense benefits. When I became more athletic in my endeavors, food became fuel, and at that point of inflection – almost instantly – any kind of emotional eating went out the window. Oreos wouldn’t help me meet my athletic goals, therefore, Oreos were out. Funny how that works!

Q4: What were your biggest takeaways and ‘a-ha!’ moments from the book?
A4: It gave me a better understanding of how my childhood has really stuck with me and influenced my adult decisions.
A4 part two: And, it gave me a better understanding for what I lot of people I know with lifelong weight battles have gone through.

Q5: Anything else you want to share about your experience with the book? Any favorite quotes?
 Was really surprised at how much I could relate to this book! It is valuable even for people without obvious weight issues.
A5 part two: “Women turn to food when they are not hungry because they are hungry for something they can’t name.”

I am not a health coach or a nutritionist or any kind of food expert, really. I like to eat. I like to write about it, and I like to help people meet their goals. I try to lead by example. I try to help when people ask for it (and sometimes when they don’t). And, I think that is why I liked this book – it taught me how to see things in myself that I can use to help other people. And, that’s what it’s all about, really, isn’t it?

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