Ask Geneen Roth: Having Trouble with the Eating Guidelines?
July 15, 2010
Women, Food and God author Geneen Roth is answering your questions to help you find your own path to a full and healthy life. Get her advice and end your war with weight today!
Q: Geneen, I was at The Oprah Show when you were on and enjoyed it tremendously. I have read the book several times, but there is one point I am still not completely understanding, and until it is answered, I'm not sure that I can fully follow your way of thinking. I very often get low blood sugar if I do not eat regularly, and I'm not diabetic because I've been tested. Therefore, in the past, I have always planned my meals throughout the day and ate even if I wasn't hungry because I knew if I didn't, I would be hungry and eat junk later. So how does this fit in with your strategy? I've tried only eating when I'm hungry, but I have missed that fine line of hunger and starting to feel low. Then I'm just grabbing something. I really believe in your thought process and started seeing changes, but how do you fit your three meals in a day?
— 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?
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.