I read your first book 20 years ago. I felt intuitively you were right, that somewhere deep inside I did really know what to eat. But in this culture, I just couldn't trust it. So 20 years and 40 pounds later, here I am. Now in a new thought ministerial role, I know with even greater certainty that the answer is always from the spirit within and this absolutely is the truth. My question is this: Do you believe some foods for some people (primarily sugar) have a biologically addictive property that obscures their ability to really hear what their spirit and body is saying? So for some at some times, do they need to be eliminated to get clarity?
— Nancy J., North Kingstown, Rhode Island
If sugar is a food that causes you to want more of it, and if you then eat more than what feels good in your body, then you have a decision to make: Do you keep sugar in your life because it tastes so good, or do you eliminate it because you don't feel good when you are eating it? I don't speak in the language of biologically addictive foods, but in the language of what your body needs and wants.
In my experience, our bodies want to feel good. They want energy. They want to feel alive and passionate and able to serve us as we live closer and closer to the possibility of ourselves. My recommendation is that you return to trusting your body because, as you wrote, it knew what to eat. Your mind might not know. Your mind might be screaming and shouting that it wants chocolate cake, but your body might be asking for toast and almond butter instead. Or an apple. Come back to yourself. Return to the voice of your body. Trust that much.
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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.
Read More from Geneen Roth:
Forgive yourself for your food addiction
Can I like the taste of food, or is it something more?
Get clear about Geneen's 7 food guidelines