Woman torn between opposite food desires
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Q: Hello and thank you! I have read the excerpt and look forward to reading the entire book! My main point of concern is this: I am healthy and have never been more than 15 pounds (in my opinion) over my ideal weight. I would like to stop obsessing about this extra weight now and forever! I hate it! I love to eat, and I love to exercise. I have indulged for almost three years in self-help and spirituality through reading (which has become an obsession in itself!), so everything I read is sounding very familiar. How do I go about living the rest of my life feeling perfect happy in my body without struggling for those darned 10 pounds? I eat relatively healthy but love the typical fattening foods (baked goods, ice cream, candy&8212;mostly sweets!) I would like to get rid of these extra pounds but do not want to sacrifice eating what I want! I know I have issues with food, however...I hate dieting, for I loathe the feeling of being deprived. I love my freedom, but tend to get mad at my lack of self-control. Thank you so much for your response!

— Darci F., Reno, Nevada

Dear Darci,

At some point, and it's possible that you are at the point, it's no longer about taking in more information, but about "digesting" what you already know. And putting into practice what you deeply believe. For instance, you say that you hate the extra weight, but you probably have already experienced that you don't change by hating yourself. You write that you want to lose those 10 pounds, but that you don't want to sacrifice anything to do it. Change happens through lavishing kindness upon ourselves and through aligning ourselves with the truth of our hearts and our souls. What is the truth for you? What do you love more than losing weight, more than sweets? Do you love feeling connected to yourself? Do you love being at peace with yourself? Your actions need to stem from answering those questions and then taking action accordingly. Once you know what your priorities are and what you care about most, you can figure out how to proceed in your life without being torn between two seemingly opposite desires.

Next: Can you simply like the taste of food—or is it something more?

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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.

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