I've read your book and have had a few aha! moments. I have struggled, like all the women on the blog. Weight is always on my mind. What should I eat? What should I cook for dinner? I have had my food sensitivities done by a naturopath, been on every diet known to man, I know what my body should eat and shouldn't. Avoid wheat, some meat, dairy etc.—ugh! I have committed to never dieting again but don't want to get bigger. I am 30 pounds from what is considered my ideal weight. I've never been there—apart from when I was 18 years smoking and not eating—so I want to be healthy and live my life.
My question is: How do you really know "what" your body wants? I look in the fridge and ask myself out loud, and I don't get a response. If I ask myself this, I'll answer pasta and chocolate every time. The kicker is, I'm a wellness professional and I can talk the talk with the best of them, but when I go to walk, I walk to the wine, pasta and chocolate. What is the answer to the process? Thank you, thank you!
— Janet C.,Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
As you are discovering, your mind likes chocolate! But that doesn't mean eating chocolate when you are hungry feels good in your body. And there's the real distinction: Your mind will go on and on all day long about what delicious, fabulous-tasting thing it would like next, but your body wants to feel good. Your body wants to have energy. Your body wants to feel awake and alive and able to do what it needs to do to provide you with what you need to do what you love. So, next time your mind says, "Gimme pasta and chocolate," say, "Uh-huh, I hear you, mind. I hear that if it weren't for this teeny thing called a body, we could eat chocolate all day long. So, thanks for sharing. Now I am going to ask my body what it wants." And then, Janet, ask your body what would give it the most energy. Ask your body what would feel good in it. Not what would be the most exciting thing to eat. Not what would thrill you, but what would sustain you, awaken you, make you feel satisfied and well-nourished. See what happens.
: What about men who deal with food issues?
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 Geneen 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. Geneen 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 food cravings
Try her 7 eating guidelines to eat more consciously
Eat less and enjoy your food more—it is possible!