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When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy Paperback – July 1, 1992
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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.
"A life-changing book."
“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.”
“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
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Top Customer Reviews
I regret to say that I have not had the courage to adopt her way of eating. I hope, at some point, that I will be able to trust myself and listen to my body the way she recommends. Even if I never find that place, though, I will keep this book and re-read it from time to time. It's like lancing a boil: a quick and painful cut that exposes an injury and allows it to heal from the inside out.
This is not a book offering a quick fix. To be frank, there are times I have had to book the book down because the words were too painful since I relate on so many levels with Ms. Roth. This book will make you laugh and cry and most importantly, examine YOU - the person you truly are -- where you came from -- confronting your painful past and realizing that it is your job to go rescue that abused child from your past before you can be a whole adult in the present.
I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with a food addiction, especially if you have abuse (physical, emotional or sexual) in your background. It really is not about the food - it is about finding a way to look at the past and tell the truth to yourself so you can nurture yourself, stop torturing and punishing yourself with food and learn to love yourself so you can open your heart in an authentic way to others.
I have spent lots of money on therapy but never quite felt like I was getting the help I needed. While this publication cannot replace therapy, it definitely has helped me see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and for that I am forever grateful.
The author has the guts and nerve to tell the truth: "... after I reached my natural weight and stayed there, I discovered that it wasn't being thin I wanted, it was getting thin." Getting-thin is the grand illusion that masks the pain by making us believe that life will turn around, and suffering will stop once we get there. No. It is not true.
Geneen is interweaving her stories of struggling with weight and building a love relationship. Before the book I could only guess that these two vulnerable and sensitive areas of my life were interconnected. However, "Eating is the metaphor for the way we live," and the similarities are so painfully striking... For 25 years I kept the childish idea that getting thin means being loved and safe. Safe was the key word in my endless diets and pills and food plans and body hatred struggle. It has stopped recently. I am a bit overweight. I am loved by a nice man. I feel content with myself and life.
There is no such thing as (complete) safety. While I was taught from childhood that I have to be pretty and likable to rely on others for safety either through love or friendship, I now know it is a road to suffering. The chapter about the author's Model Mugging class was a revelation. Thanks to Geneen, I also know that when I suddenly have a fat-and-ugly attack and a compelling desire to lose 40 pounds before Christmas, it means that readings of my pain and fear meters are too high. It means I need to dive into the pain and release it.
The book is full of drama--I was way too exited. It is disturbing--I cried a lot while reading it. It is sometimes painful and always touching. It offers a sober and sane approach. It stops that grand illusion.
The book is also a keeper. I will not give it away, even to my good friends. I would buy several more copies for them instead.