Woman eating chocolate bar
Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Thinkstock
So, here's my suggestion: Let yourself have what you love. One piece of it, one little bit of it, each day. You need to start small so you don't overwhelm yourself. If you like chips, take one and sit down by yourself for three minutes. Smell it. Hold it up to the light. Rub it on your lips. Then take a small bite of the chip and notice how it tastes. You might discover that it's the salt you want and not the rest of it. Or the crunch and not the salt. After you swallow, ask yourself if you want another bite. Be truthful with yourself. Notice if, when you ate that one bite, you were already thinking about the next one...and the next. Notice if, even as you read these words, you are saying to yourself, "I can't be satisfied with just one little bite." How do you know until you try?

All any of us ever want is to feel wonder, pleasure, peace and contentment, but the way we go about it—by depriving ourselves of what we love—sabotages our deepest longing. This much I promise you: Your world will be a better place when you realize you can have what you love without gaining 1,000 pounds. When you allow yourself to have what you love, you realize you are someone upon whom love can be lavished.

And if anyone happens to ask you to choose either laughter or chocolate, tell them that you'll take both.

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.

Roth 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. 

Read More from Geneen Roth:
How to respond to your cravings
Free yourself from food addiction
Get clear about Geneen's 7 food guidelines


Next Story