Geneen Roth estimates that she's gained and lost more than 1,000 pounds during her life. That makes her uniquely qualified to write this, her sixth book, which delivers exactly what its subtitle indicates: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But)
. It's sure to appeal to her considerable cult of readers who've bought her other feel-good, anti-diet books including the bestselling When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy
and Why Weight?: A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating
. It's for the estimated 25 million women in America alone who are on diets; for those who find that they're never happy because they delay gratification ("I'll be happy when I lose 10 pounds"), and those who punish themselves for eating one too many chocolate chip cookies.
Roth's advice is simple, but often beyond the realm of thinking of someone obsessed with calorie counting. She recommends that you eat at least one hot meal every day, as a slice of hot pizza will make you feel more full than a cold and cardboardy one will; that you should do one "exquisitely kind" thing for yourself every day, be it buying new underwear or taking a sledgehammer to your scale; and that you should "separate the desire to be thin from the desire to be cherished." She also gives straight diet advice that can't be found in publications along the lines of Cosmo: "Too much fat makes you fat. But too little makes you fat, too, because you usually make up for eating nonfat foods by eating twice as much. I suggest you allow yourself to eat enough fat to feel full. Part of the reason that many of us feel as if we could start eating at one end of our kitchens and chomp our way clear across the United States is that we never give ourselves permission to feel full without feeling guilty, to eat enough fat when it's not on a binge." Amen. --Erica Jorgensen
Recommended reading, '50 Ways' to feel comfortable with your body, There's a boatload of books trying to get women to offload their baggage about eating, overeating and dieting. But almost no one has tackled the subject in a more humorous and straightforward way than Geneen Roth in When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous and Happy When You Feel Anything But
. Her latest book is based on her own experiences and 20 years of teaching workshops on ways to stop compulsive overeating. (One of her own diet disasters was a prunes and meatball diet.) Roth offers practical advice. She suggests women eat a hot meal daily; get rid of clothes that cut off their circulation; stare only at normal women's bodies, not the bodies of models or actresses; and steer clear of the sneaky weight magnets (eating broken cookies, cleaning kids' plates, nibbling a cake so it looks even). -- Nanci Hellmich, USA Today, Book Review, May 14, 1998