WAKE UP AMERICA! Geneen Roth
Who is Geneen Roth?
Geneen Roth turned distress into compassion, struggles into victories, and has plenty to show for it. A well known, bestselling author of numerous books including Women, Food and God, Lost and Found, and When Food is Love. She has appeared on numerous national television broadcasts including The Oprah Winfrey Show and ABC’s 20/20.
Her personal story is both frightening and inspiring. A young woman on the brink of suicide, obsessed with food, takes you on a journey of enlightenment that begins on your plate.
Geneen believes our relationship with food is a window into ourselves. When we examine this relationship, we gain insights that can lead to self transformation and healing.
In the words of Geneen Roth
I believed that if I fixed my body, I could fix everything else.
- From age 11, I felt that my weight was the problem. If I could fix my body, I’d fix myself. My body was my ticket to transformation.
- I went on extreme diets and became addicted to diet pills for years. I gained and lost over 1,000 pounds.
The fourth law of the universe is that for every diet there is an equal and opposite binge.
- Extreme diets and deprivation lead to binges which lead to self loathing.
- Obsessed over my plan to kill myself, I suddenly realized I had never become curious about my relationship with food.
How you deal with food is an expression of your self worth.
- The way I dealt with food was an expression of myself. Food was “a stand in” for my feelings I couldn’t reveal any other way.
- My mission became understanding the code. I asked myself when I was hungry what I was hungry for.
- I insisted that I talk to myself kindly for a couple of weeks as I was turning my anguish into curiosity.
*How you eat tells all.
- “The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive, no matter how sophisticated or wise or enlightened you believe you are.”
- We are always transmitting our beliefs in everything we do. We eat several times a day so food has a big overall impact.
- Overeating can be a belief that what you really want is not possible so you will eat instead. If you can’t pinpoint or express the belief, you may use food to numb yourself.
- Eating when not hungry and overeating is how most define emotional eating. It is also about what has your attention when you’re eating. You must examine your eating patterns. Where are you? What is distracting you? Are you focused on the nourishment from the food? Do you rob yourself of the pleasure of food without even knowing it?
*”The world is on your plate.”
- Look at the food you take and ask yourself what was required to get this food on your plate. Did someone have to grow it somewhere? What resources were needed? Was an animal slaughtered? Did this item grow in the ground or on a tree?
- How does your plate relate to your own beliefs? Does it reflect who you are and how you wish to treat yourself? Are these thoughts harsh or kind?
- Those with food issues believed that in order to change, they had to deprive, force or shame themselves.
- Those in the study who were reassured and treated themselves with kindness actually ate less than those who criticized themselves.
- Deprivation and self criticism causes people to hang on to their source of comfort (food) no matter how it impacts anything or anyone else.
- Food can cause a fierceness because it becomes all about survival in that moment. Empathy for the environment, animals or even yourself is lost.
- “What you decide to pay attention to will grow.”
- When you wake in the morning, do you complain about lack of sleep or how much you have to do? Or do you notice something beautiful around you at the moment? What do you say when you become aware of what is on your plate?
I accepted the challenge to look at my relationship with food and how that reflected my beliefs. I couldn’t believe I had never really examined myself in this way. I found her words to be so true.
I’m a very empathetic person and that fits with my food choices to not eat animals. However, my compassion is limited when it comes to knowing where all my food comes from. Do I really want to know? Because if I know, then I have to act on what I know, because of my empathetic nature, and that feels overwhelming. I try to avoid overwhelm in all areas of my life.
My biggest issue with food is overeating–eating too much even if it’s healthy and then feeling miserable. I’m also the person who has to have her favorite sweater in every color because if I just have one, I feel like I’m not taking full advantage. If I cook a great meal, I feel like I have to eat a lot of it to feel satisfied.
Lastly, I believe food is fuel and pleasurable and that I deserve to fuel my body that works so hard for me. Therefore, I will sit down, even by myself, and enjoy a meal–focused solely on the nourishment I’m receiving. I’m happiest when my plate aligns with my number one priority- health.
A Healthier YOU begins…
…with accepting the challenge to examine your relationship with food and how it relates to who you are as a person. Do you treat yourself with kindness when it comes to food? Do you believe you can’t be happy until you lose weight? Do you self loath, criticize, judge OR talk kindly to yourself? Is food fuel for your organs and muscles, your mistress, or your vehicle to punish yourself? What would change if you became aware of the world on your plate? Do the contents align with your beliefs and values?
Learn more about The Food Revolution and how you can purchase the entire summit in audio and .pdf formats.
The Food Revolution Network, founded by food activists, John & Ocean Robbins, conducted a series of audio interviews with twenty-four of the most well respected researchers, doctors, and authors, with a focus on how we can improve our food systems and lead healthier lives. This series will provide summaries of each of these interviews so that we may all improve our health by eating more consciously. Please read intro to series for disclaimer.