I finally finished Women Food and God by Geneen Roth.
I was not exactly sure what to expect with this book, but I have to say that it wasn’t really what I expected. Does that make sense? First off, I was put off by the title, hence the reason I waited so long to read it. I was concerned that it might be a religious approach, which I was not interested in. However, Ms. Roth uses the word god as more of an abstract concept, but the continuous use of the term got in the way at first. I think people looking for some sort of spiritual guide would be pretty disappointed in this book.
The majority of this book just seemed to be case studies from her seminars and flashbacks to her life, which led it to seem somewhat disjointed to me.
Here were the positives and negatives I found with the book:
– Recognizing the inner voice. This is, to me, the best advice in the book. To stop letting that inside voice speak to you negatively. This was key for me in my journey and I think is really step 1 for any serious life changes.
– One of the best sentences in the book? On page 199 – “Since the relationship with food is only a microcosm for your relationship to the rest of your life… any attempts to change the food part without also engaging in the beliefs it represents will end in disappointment 100 percent of the time.”
Makes such a great point that food often times is not the issue. So many times people think, if I can eat right, the rest of my world will fall into place. It gives food too much power.
– The 7 eating guidelines (although this is also a negative as outlined below), which could be very helpful if you have never heard of them before.
My favorite guideline? #7 – Eat with enjoyment.
– No practical advice. Really, she just says “once you do X, then you will see clearly about Y.” However, she gives no real steps about how to achieve this. Even with the meditation (which she calls ‘inquiry’), it is just “notice the tingle in your arm and reflect on that.” Well – I don’t feel any body tingles when I meditate. The book “Savor” is one that explains this concept much better.
– Profanity. Okay, I have to admit that I curse like a sailor, but I certainly don’t put it in my blog. I don’t have a problem with profanity, but I don’t know as the f bombs really had a real place in this book. It seemed gratuitous.
– The eating guidelines at the end in an appendix. She kept referencing the rules, but never actually stated them in the book. You had to go to the very end of the book for the bulleted list – in fact, the very last page of the book. And then there was no explanation on how to actually achieve the rules. Eat when you are hungry? Fine. But how does one recognize stomach hunger versus head hunger? Eat what your body wants? Okay, but isn’t there a difference between what it wants and what it needs?
Finally, there is something about her delivery that really bothers me and I can’t quite put my finger on it. She is never surprised by anything her seminar people say, like she can predict their thoughts. She talks about how these really emotionally disturbed women are practically emotionally healed after a week at her seminar. Some of the things these women say about themselves is really heartbreaking and really need something more in depth than a week-long seminar. Is this egomania? Someone help me out here.
I really did want to like this book more since so many people seem to. I think this book is probably more of a background book to further study in the field than anything else. I really don’t see why Opera thought it was so life changing when there really isn’t anything groundbreaking or new in it. Or maybe it is just me. Personally – I got way more out of Savor or The Beck Diet than I did WFG. A lot more.
Question: Those of you who have read WFG, what good and bad points did you take from the book?