Geneen Roth’s new title, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything, is almost banal. I had a really hard time getting through it and it was a very quick read. Promoted by Oprah Winfrey [book selection and guest appearance], the book follows the classic genre of self-help diet books. For all the hype, it reads like most every other diet book sans recipes, menus, points, weights, and measurements. Roth gives the formulaic fat book a twist: you can eat what your body needs and feed your soul without counting calories or stepping on the scale.
Compulsive eating, calorie counting, dieting, obsessing over weight and appearance, binging and purging are all symptoms of a spiritual hunger. Figuring out what your spirit craves that is stuffed down with food is the key to weight loss. Key, but the key only unlocks the possiblity. And so do counting calories, exercising, and hypnosis open that door. Every path requires you walk through that door and get what you really want. Much easier to talk the talk, than walk the walk.
Generally speaking, opening those doors to one’s deepest spiritual hungers can unleash all kinds of unexpected things; not all pleasant. While most diet books are careful to dictate the reader take the advice of the author under supervision of a doctor, Geneen Roth might have offered such a caveat. Women Food and God is a diet book that should not be adhered to without professional counseling and/or psychotherapy!
The big insight is a simple reworking of her previous New York Times’ Bestseller, When Food is Love. She’s built a successful platform for the publication with a career in leading retreats for women with food issues. Were the answers so simple to weight loss, obesity could be conquered. While I concur with Roth’s central premise, it’s kind of a one-liner and incredibly shallow. The book is a well-trod path to almost nothing.