“The Eating Guidelines:” A Spiritual and Physical Practice

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eatingIf you struggle with food (regardless of your weight), I have a wonderful resource for you. Geneen Roth is the guru of food and weight issues. She leads powerful workshops and is the author of nine books, my favorite of which is Woman, Food, and God, a #1 New York Times bestseller.

Even though her work focuses on the deep emotional aspects of problem eating (such as using food to numb, distract, or punish ourselves, or to rebel), I’d like to skip ahead to the prescription for making peace with food. Geneen writes:

In the food and weight arena, the Eating Guidelines are both the spiritual and physical practice. They provide a precise path to the world of being in the moment as well as well as a concrete path to feeling well. They are descriptions of what eating would look like if you had no problem with it at all. You’d listen to your body. You’d eat to nourish yourself. You’d love yourself with food. The Guidelines are exactly what you will come around to when you are tired of aching joints. Of lugging yourself around. The Guidelines are nothing more than understanding that your body is yours and you can eat as a way to be yourself. After all these years, all these diets, all these pounds gained and lost and lost and gained, after eating to resist and rebel and fight, you realize that eating can finally be—and always was—for you, only you.

Geneen Roth’s Eating Guidelines

  1. Eat when you are hungry.
  2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
  3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
  4. Eat what your body wants.
  5. Eat until you are satisfied [physically].
  6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
  7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto, and pleasure.
If you are intrigued (or at least tired of the fight), I would highly recommend that you check out Geneen’s work. Why Weight? is an excellent workbook designed to get you in touch with your eating and food issues. Women, Food, and God then takes the conversation to a whole new level.
Thanks for checking in, and have a beautiful week.

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