Women, Food and God: A Review (and then some)

I decided to read 'Women, Food and God' because Oprah recommended this book as a "book that all women should read to finally end their war with food".  I sincerely admire and love Oprah so I bought it and finished it in less than ten days.

If the green highlighted sections now decorating the pages are anything to go by, this book truly resonated with me.  I've read a lot on food, including several diet books and I believe this book actually gets to the heart of why we overeat.  What you put on your plate reflects your relationship and beliefs about yourself and life whether you embrace love or fear.

She talks about how food is avoiding suffering and ultimately living life.  When the suffering is allowed, it dissolves and weight loss occurs naturally.  She says when you finally give up on trying so hard to have that perfect body, be present in the moment and 'feel' what you've been missing...everything falls into place.

I really like these quotes:

' The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs about love, value and possibility.  To change your body you must first understand that which is shaping it'

'When you actually relax and listen to the truth of what is there, something bigger than your fear will catch you.'

....'Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness'

'You are not who you think you are'

I think with my own relationship with eating--I had a childhood deeply rooted in fear so I ate and ate.  I ate because I never knew when my next meal would be.  I ate because I was hideously lonely.  I ate because I craved love and comfort that was not available to me.  I ate because I was scared of what was happening.  I ate because I blamed myself for not being able to protect my brothers and sister. In college, I dropped a lot of weight the unhealthy way by depriving myself of real food and exercising way too much.  Of course when I moved to London I put it all back on and then some due to stress and the fact that that what I was running from (myself) still followed me across the pond.  I'm much wiser now though and I've educated myself about food but most of the weight is still here.  Its just now I'm eating healthy meals and then binging in between on things that are organic but still not what my body needs (like organic cookies).  I'm eating for entirely different reasons but mostly what is at the heart of it is exactly what Roth says, Fear and a lack of loving myself.  Trying to fix this in me seems to be like this huge wall.  I feel like I'm so deeply stuck in the mud that I give up because its too hard.  My head knows that I need to carry on and not give up hope and that I'm more than my body but trying to convince my heart that's been stamped on so damn much is another story.

I'm going to try to do what this book says but take it one day at a time.  I know, I know you're thinking back to half of every project I've started and stopped before....ya right...I'll believe it when I see it.  But, I have to try...to keep pulling myself up when I screw up (which is alot) and eventually I'll conquer my battle with food (and myself) and finally get it through my head that I'm freaking worth it.

To end I want to share a few things of inspiration about loving yourself and connecting to that loving universe out there.  When we connect to that and understand we're not our bodies but something much grander...life gets so much more beautiful.  You don't need to have a religion (I don't) to have that spiritual understanding/connection:

I've posted about Stephanie Nielson before. I'm no longer a Mormon and although this video is catered to that audience...I think the overall messages of this video can be applied to any belief system or religion you may have. I frankly find her story inspiring (and this video well done even if it is a 'church' oriented video) and if she can learn to love herself again and realize that she's not her body...maybe we too can stop beating up ourselves over not fitting into those size 10 jeans.

Finally here are some blog posts about other women going through the same thing with embracing their bodies and figuring out how to love themselves:

'Thank You, Lane Bryant'

The Grass on the Other Side

How to fall in love with yourself:  Step 4

How to fall in love with yourself:  Step 3

How to fall in love with yourself:  Step 2

How to fall in love with yourself:  Step 1

Real Beauty

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