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When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy Paperback – July 1, 1992


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When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy + Breaking Free from Emotional Eating + Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (July 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452268184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452268180
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This is the fourth book ( Feeding the Hungry Heart, etc.) generated by the seminars Roth conducts at her Berkeley, Calif., home for people who believe that if they were thin, they would be happy. But the author makes clear that losing weight doesn't automatically gain one success, respect and love. Roth's personal story and those of her clients as related here exemplify the need to discover why the overweight are addicted to food. Citing her own deprived childhood, the author demonstrates that gluttons seek the reliable comforts of eating instead of closeness with humans who might become abusive (like her mother) or vanish (like her father). Those bent on self-improvement will find that the book merely repeats well-known principles in a melodramatic fashion.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A life-changing book."
—Oprah

“A rare and special book that touches our inner selves with extraordinary courage, authenticity, and beauty. I have seen very few books with this kind of clarity and human depth. It will move you to tears and to joy. It will entertain and delight you, and it will make you a deeper and more compassionate human being.”
—John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America

“SPECTACULAR! I laughed and I cried. . . a tender and daring book that you’ll never forget.”
—Laura Davis, co-author of The Courage to Heal

“I SEE MIRACLES IN MY LIFE EVERY DAY, AND ROTH IS ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO HELPED MAKE THAT HAPPEN.”
—Anne Lamott in Mademoiselle

“When Food is Love is Roth’s seminal work. This is a big, beautiful, and important book. I cannot say enough about it. I hope everyone reads it.”
—Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones

“She tells of her own experiences with a non-blink frankness cushioned by the gracefulness of her prose.”
Chicago Tribune

“This book is A) good enough to eat, B) nourishing to the heart.”
—Jack Kornfield, Buddhist teacher, co-author of Seeking the Heart of Wisdom

More About the Author

Geneen Roth is the author of the bestseller, When Food is Love and seven other books. She has conducted workshops for over thirty years and has lead retreats for the past ten.

Roth is a frequent contributor to many publications including Salon.com, Huffington Post and Good Housekeeping and has appeared on numerous national shows from Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America, and The View, to Primetime Live and NPR's Talk of the Nation.

Customer Reviews

This book has shed some light on my life like nothing else!
Linda Dodrill
I have grown so much from reading this book, and I have bought several copies to pass out to my friends.
K. Becker
Geneen is interweaving her stories of struggling with weight and building a love relationship.
Galya Jazz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

256 of 260 people found the following review helpful By J. Grigsby on January 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first bought a copy of WHEN FOOD IS LOVE as a Valentine's Day present for myself in 1996. I was 200 pounds overweight at the time and WHEN FOOD IS LOVE became my only non-food source of comfort, nurturance, love. I read my beloved copy from beginning to end and then started, again, at the beginning. I read WHEN FOOD IS LOVE probably 10 or more times that winter. Geneen's words became my mantra of sorts.
Because of Geneen's remarkably profound insight and her willingness to share the parts of herself that she least wanted to and because of my sheer desperation, I began grasping the principles that she set forth in WHEN FOOD IS LOVE and subsequently, I lost 140 pounds.
I suddenly, almost magically, found myself able to do things that I had not been able to do in my whole adult life: cross my legs, walk around the block without feeling like my legs or my heart would collapse, fit with ease into the seats at the movies.
As an avid reader, people frequently ask me which book is my favorite. I often mention John Irving's A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY or Jane Hamilton's A MAP OF THE WORLD or Harper Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. It simply seems too melodramatic to say that my favorite book of all-time, the book that saved my life, the book that brought me back to me is Geneen Roth's WHEN FOOD IS LOVE. So usually I don't.
Instead I continue to cling to, to pore over my cherished copy - with the curled up cover, the tear-stained pages - with the absolute knowledge that Geneen's words have impacted me, touched me like no other book, with the absolute knowledge that I am a being who is worthy of compassion, grace.
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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Roth doesn't just tell you to diet and exercise--in fact, she tells you not to! As she tells the story of her own struggles to get past her abusive childhood, and to become able to trust and enjoy her relationship with her boyfriend (who later becomes her husband), she shows us how we use food to make ourselves feel better, and why we become so dependent on it. She talks about how hard it is to enjoy the good things without trying to sabotage them, which is something I did without realizing I did it. (My wonderful boyfriend is really glad I read this book!) Though our stories are very different, I saw myself in many of her actions. I never realized that my problems with food, my series of troubled relationships, and events from my childhood (and adulthood) were so connected. This book doesn't just help you lose weight, it helps you change your habits, heal your past and accept good things in your life. I especially reccommend it for everyone who sneaks to the fridge every time you feel depressed, overwhelmed or hurt.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Before I read 'When Food Is Love' 5 years ago, I never could have imagined how it would effect my life - entirely for the better. After 10 years of battling compulsive overeating, weight problems and self-hatred, I finally found something that not only helped me overcome these issues, but also explained, so very clearly, why I had had these problems for nearly half my life. And why most other women do as well.
Once you fully understand the problem you can make significant changes. I did, and I've never been happier. My only regret is that I didn't have this book to read years ago. I would have enjoyed high school and college so much more!
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92 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Luciani on August 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I hate giving any book less than a 5 star rating, but I must be honest, this book was not what I needed. I am not saying that it is not for you! It is mainly an autobiographical account of the author's difficult childhood and trouble with intimacy due to growing up with an abusive mother. There is a little bit here and there about compulsive eating, but mainly with the philosophy that there is no other reason a person compulsively over eats than having had something very traumatic happen to them at the time they began compulsively overeating or having a bad childhood. Her philosophy is that it is very important to review all the old stuff, and talk about it and relive it and explore it and analyze it. I know this is a popular mode of thinking, but having grown up in an abusive home myself,and spending years in therapy I realized that enough was enough already. It happened. Life can go on. You don't have to be a mess forever because of it. Or stay stuck in old wounds. I did find her vulnerability and openess touching, and if these are the philosophies you hold, then this may be the book for you. It just wasn't for me.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I think Geneen could have stopped after the first four chapters. After that, the correlation between emotions and eating became increasingly obscured. Perhaps it was because I read "Breaking Free" and "Why Weight" first and those two books are the indisputable champs of that topic. Perhaps it was because Ward and June Cleaver raised the five of us. Or perhaps I just had a newer outlook toward food at the time this book arrived from Amazon. Whatever the reason, I do believe I am objective when I say, "if you can only buy two Roth books, buy the others first." PS...an update on progress from the first two books...they are everything they promised, now four weeks later and 11 pounds lighter. Trust me...they are worth the price of admission!
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