Understanding our relationship with food

Pioneering writer Geneen Roth transformed what it meant to have an obsession with food.  Her New York Times bestselling books When Food Is Love and Feeding The Hungry Heart provided millions of readers with invaluable insights into their troubled relationships with eating and dieting.  This March, Scribner is pleased to publish WOMEN FOOD AND GOD: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, Roth’s eagerly awaited next step in her deepening exploration of how we use food in every aspect of our lives—physical, emotional and spiritual.

Since adolescence, Geneen Roth has gained and lost over a thousand pounds.  She has been dangerously overweight and underweight.  She has been plagued by feelings of shame and self-hatred.  And she has felt euphoric after losing a quick few pounds on a fad diet.  Then one day, on the verge of suicide, she did something radical:  she dropped the struggle, ended the war, and stopped trying to fix, deprive and shame herself.  She began trusting her body and questioning her beliefs.  And it worked (and losing weight was only the beginning).

With penetrating insight and irreverent humor, Roth traces food compulsions from subtle beginnings to unexpected ends.  In WOMEN FOOD AND GOD, Roth goes beyond her by-now well-known guidelines for eating (which are included in this book) to explore the complicated dialogue we have with our bodies and spirits every time we eat.  No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, Roth says, how you eat tells all—it is all on the plate in front of you.  The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive, she writes, and in a culture where notions of success and happiness have become skewed, where obesity has taken over a disproportionate percentage of the American populace, we need to examine and face those beliefs if we are to end the battle with our bodies.  “Your relationship to food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation, and yes, even God.”

Roth teaches personal examination, showing readers how to use their relationship with food to discover fulfillment they never thought possible.  “When we welcome what we most want to avoid, we contact the part of ourselves that is fresh and alive.  We touch the life we truly want.  We evoke divinity itself.”  Furthermore, we must be willing to delve into these beliefs – where they originate from and whether they’re actually true.  Is thinness actually the currency of happiness?  Are the emotions we are avoiding actually capable of destroying us?  Roth argues that by honestly exploring and questioning our beliefs, feelings and physical sensations through the technique of inquiry, we will understand what our bodies and our spirits truly need.