It's Not About the Weight, but It's Not Not About the Weight.
I'm on chapter five of the book and so far, I'm impressed. In fact, I'm so impressed I signed up for the Geneen Roth two-day workshop on October 8-9 in Seattle. Grace will be attending too, and I'm super excited to meet her (forget Geneen, I get to meet Grace!).
If you want to sign up for the workshop, here's the link:
Also, if you go to this link, there's a popup where you can sign up to get a free chapter from the book, Women Food And God, emailed to you. I signed up for it myself and was sent the free chapter, and it's chapter four, the best chapter I've read so far. I'm on chapter five, but chapter four was the one that really hit home with me.
The one paragraph that that's really struck me is in chapter four, page 52:
The bottom line, whether you weigh 340 pounds or 150 pounds, is that when you eat when you are not hungry, you are using food as a drug, grappling with boredom or illness or loss or grief or emptiness or loneliness or rejection. Food is only the middleman, the means to the end. Of altering your emotions. Of making yourself numb. Of creating a secondary problem when the original problem becomes too uncomfortable. Of dying slowly rather than coming to terms with your messy, magnificent and very, very short--even at a hundred years old--life. The means to these ends happens to be food, but it could be alcohol, it could be work, it could be sex, it could be cocaine.
I could practically quote the entire first five chapters of the book. I've highlighted and underlined many sentences and paragraphs because it seems like she's speaking about me. It seems the key is finding out the issue and facing it, not necessarily fixing it. This is a new concept to me. I know my issues but I thought I had to fix them, which seemed insurmountable. Geneen says we're not broken, and we don't need to be fixed, we just need to face the issues and feel the pain. It won't kill us. A very difficult thing to do. It's so much easier to run away from it, compulsive overeat and let weight become the primary issue.
Strangely, this book is giving me a sense of peace about my weight. I don't feel as freaked out about coming back from vacation and having gained six pounds in nine days.
When I stepped on the scales this morning, my first morning back home, I looked into the mirror first and told myself regardless of what the scale said it didn't make me a bad person. It didn't make me lazy or stupid or ugly. It didn't define me. I weighed, and I'm 173 pounds.
Yes, I'm up a few pounds, but considering I ate cookies, candy, and a lot of meals at restaurants, and I barely exercised (three gym visits and a few walks in nine days), the gain was expected. I'm surprisingly not upset, not shaming myself, not doing the negative talk that "I'm a fat, lazy, stupid pig and why did I do this to myself?"
Perhaps if I'd read more of the book while I was on vacation, the results might have been different, but I accept me as I am now.
One more quote from the book that had a profound impact on me, chapter four, page 53. I wish I'd read this before my vacation. :)
Sometimes people will say, "But I just like the taste of food. In fact, I love the taste! Why can't it be that simple? I overeat because I like food."
When you like something, you pay attention to it. When you like something--love something--you take time with it. You want to be present for every second of the rapture.
Overeating does not lead to rapture. It leads to burping and farting and being so sick that you can think of anything but how full you are. That's not love; that's suffering.
Weight (too much or too little) is a by-product. Weight is what happens when you use food to flatten your life. Even with aching joints, it's not about food. Even with arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure. It's about your desire to flatten you life. It's about the fact that you've given up without saying so. It's about your belief that it's not possible to live any other way--and you're using food to act that out without ever having to admit it.
I highly recommend this book, Food God and Women, and will be periodically writing about it as I continue reading.
I had a great time in Fairbanks. Nine days with my family was bliss. I'm very fortunate that I have such a wonderful family. They're people I'd hang out with even if I wasn't related to them.
They're not perfect by any means (neither am I), and we have dysfunctional things just like anyone else, even some Jerry Springer shows could be made on some of it, but for the most part, they're awesome.
A few pictures from my trip (out of order, but I'm too lazy/tired to rearrange them).