Women, Food, and God author Geneen Roth is answering your questions all summer long to help you find your own path to a full and healthy life. Get her advice and end your war with weight today!
Q: As I watched The Oprah Show, I could relate to many of the women. I, too, have struggled all my life with weight. I've been on every diet and program out there, losing and gaining. Most recently, I tried mulberry tablets that I forgot to take halfway through the first 10 days. I see an ad, and off I go to buy the product. But even though I have "things" going on just like everyone else does, it seems to me that I just like the taste of food. I get joy in that, not thinking I'm trying to numb myself. My question is: What about the people that have love from their husbands, children and friends even though we're big? Would this book benefit me, or is it just another attempt to lose? Thank you for your time.

— Kelly B., Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Dear Kelly,

While many of us like the taste of food, it's also true that when you "get joy" in something, you get most joy when you pay attention to it. When you allow yourself to really have it without guilt. Compulsive eating is eating without regard to the body's need for food, which means you probably feel some degree of guilt or shame in addition to the joy you feel. Why do that to yourself? When you eat for reasons other than hunger and you eat past fullness, you are hurting yourself as well as giving yourself joy—and that's not love...that's suffering. Every time you turn to food when you're not hungry, there is something else you could be doing, something else you could be giving yourself that would deeply satisfy you other than food. But to find that, you have to be willing to look beyond what is immediately available (like food!) and discover what else there is in your sweet world. Women, Food, and God is not a weight loss book! It's a book about examining the beliefs and feelings that lead us to using food when we are not hungry. My hope for you and for readers of the book is that it will bring you closer to yourself and will help you understand that there is something so much better than turning to food when you are not hungry.


Next: How to understand Geneen's food guidelines

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.

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:
7 eating guidelines to eat more consciously
Are you a Restrictor or Permittor? Take the quiz!
Start a conversation and connect with others


Next Story