— Elaine D., St. Charles, Missouri
Glad you enjoyed being at The Oprah Show, Elaine, and maybe I can shed some light on your situation by telling you what I tell my students: Everyone has situations. Everyone has a life that's almost impossible to put the eating guidelines into practice 100 percent of the time exactly as they are written. The eating guidelines are more like the North Star. Sailors use it to as an orientation, as a guide, but they don't expect to land on it. You need to fit your life into the guidelines, and not vice versa. So, you have to figure out how, when and what to eat based on your needs, your health and your very own life. Test it out. See what happens when you stretch out eating for the tiniest bit longer than you used to. See what the edge of your own growth is. If you go too far out on the limb, you will rebel and go all the way back. But if you don't go far enough, you won't change. Be honest with yourself. Given your particular situation, how can you use the eating guidelines to learn, grow and feel more passionately alive?
Next: How do you stop eating?
Every week, Geneen will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your questions now!
Geneen Roth's books were among the first to link compulsive eating and perpetual dieting with deeply personal and spiritual issues that go far beyond food, weight and body image. She believes that we eat the way we live and that our relationships to food, money and love are exact reflections of our deeply held beliefs about ourselves and the amount of joy, abundance, pain and scarcity we believe we have (or are allowed) to have in our lives.
Geneen has appeared on many national television shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, The NBC Nightly News, The View and Good Morning America. Articles about Roth and her work have appeared in numerous publications, including O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Time, Elle, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She has written a monthly column in Good Housekeeping magazine since 2007. Roth is the author of eight books, including The New York Times best-seller When Food Is Love and a memoir about love and loss, The Craggy Hole in My Heart. Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything??is her newest book.
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