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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything » User review

Light on content--but with some redeeming qualities and an interesting approach.

  • Jun 18, 2010
  • by
I have battled with my weight for all but the earliest of my 57 years on the planet--a painful lifelong cycle of dieting, losing and gaining (often, gaining back more than I lost--The American Way).

I'd heard about Geneen Roth's books for years, but I'd never read one because I thought they were only for binge eaters. I have plenty of issues around food, but binge eating has rarely been one of them. However, recently, I had the opportunity to read Women, Food and God. I was happy to find that the book DID speak to me, and was not just about binge eating.

In the end, though, I am conflicted about the book. One of the key ways I rate a book about dieting/weight loss is--did it tell me anything new? After 40 years of reading about weight loss, there isn't much I haven't already heard, but Geneen DID approach it from a somewhat different perspective than I'd heard before. Her approach was much more internal (psychological, emotional, spiritual) than it was external, and I liked that. However, when I was 30 pages from the end of the book, I realized that she hadn't outlined any guidelines that would allow me to put what I'd read into action. I was shocked to find that the set of rules was on the very last page, and that it consisted of only half a page of text.

It seemed to me that Ms. Roth made the assumption that everyone who was ever going to read one of her books had already read the earlier ones, so this one didn't need to say all that much (and it doesn't). It reads like a personal journal from one of the retreats that she holds to help people work through their food issues. Large chunks of the book are copied verbatim from letters she got from retreat participants. It felt...well, LAZY. Like she just did it for the paycheck.

Many reviewers complained that God got the short shrift in this book (it is, after all, called Women Food and GOD). While I understand why people are upset, I think some people only have one concept of God and since Geneen didn't talk about God in the way they were expecting, they feel shorted. She does talk about spirituality, about the spirit that is our uniqueness, but she talks very little about God as you would hear your priest or minister speak of Him (Her?) in church. Personally, I think the God part of the title was more a marketing ploy than a true expectation to include God in the content of the book.

It was also VERY obvious that Ms. Roth has been through many years of therapy, since there is a generous sprinkling of psychobabble throughout. Parts of the book also reminded me of The Secret. A positive is that the book is a very quick read--and that is with me focusing entirely on the book and marking passages with a highlighter as I read, etc.

Had I not gained a new perspective...had I not taken away anything new from the book...I would have likely given it 1 or 2 stars, because it just feels so lacking in content or authentic intention. Had there actually been more content and tangible direction around the guidelines, I may have even given it 4 or 5 stars. That said, I did enjoy hearing about how the retreats are led and what kinds of exercises they do, but it would have been more helpful if those exercises were set out in the book.

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July 27, 2011
Great review Sheri-and I can only imagine the disappointment of finding she did not give in detail how to take in action what she was writing about in the first place. It does sound like "lazy" writing!! Thank you for sharing...
July 11, 2011
The first part of weight loss is disposal of white sugar in every form. Next, find substitutes for snacks like seeds, nuts, berries and other healthful fruits. Substitute whole milk with 1% fat milk. Don't eat after 8PM. Exercise regularly and make serious changes in food consumption while in a junk food establishment.

Alternates to junk food are: (1) a simple hamburger in place of the triple burger with cheese (2) salads instead of french fries (3)  water or diet soda in place of sugary soda o a fishburger in place of a hamburger (4)  yoplait yogurt in place of cookies and cakes (5)  diet syrup in place of real maple syrup with tons of sugar (6)  an egg on a roll in place of an egg with cheese on a roll (7)  coffee with low fat milk minus the sugar I could go on and on infinitum.

In addition, I add herbs to all foods.  i.e.
Cinnamon is a good additive to oatmeal in place of sugar.
I add ginger, sage, oregano and other herbs to sandwiches
and soups.
July 27, 2011
Great advice--I just wish I could learn to "hate" sugar - the hardest thing to adapt to in any diet!!
July 27, 2011
Stevia, anise and cinnamon are good sugar substitutes in cooking.
September 24, 2010
Nice review, Sheri. This is like when I picked up a book about cooking that I thought would have recipes, but ended up being anecdotal stuff. Bleeeeh :P
July 17, 2010
Thanks for the review, Sheri! i liked the way you broke this one down even though I don't think I'll have the time to pick it up soon. Thanks!
More Women Food and God: An Unexpec... reviews
review by . August 04, 2010
The United States has become the poster nation for overweight people, and, quite possibly going hand in hand, we have also increasingly become a nation of obsessions and addictions. The reasons, I suspect, are varied and many, arguably from living in a society that has lost sense of its values, to living in a society bombarded with convenience everything, including poor quality foods with a long list of chemical additives and preservatives, many of which studies have shown can lead to increased …
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
When will this gynocentric nonsense ever end? Can't we all just get along and work together to become a better world?
About the reviewer
Sheri ()
Ranked #71
I have been a customer reviewer on Amazon.com for well over a decade and an Amazon Vine reviewer since the program began. I enjoy writing product reviews that will help customers make a buying decision. … more
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About this book


"Geneen Roth has written an extraordinary book - at once beautiful, moving, funny and searing. Most important, she gives us a practical way to use our bodies - along with some of the most difficult parts of our emotional lives - as gracious and transformative portals to our soul."

--Rick Foster, co-author of Happiness & Wealth and How We Choose to Be Happy

"Women Food and God is daring, dazzling, funny, comforting, wise and profoundly spiritual. It maps the journey from the darkness of obsession to the pure sense of being in prose so insightful and astonishing it left me breathless. Geneen Roth is an international treasure, and her new book is a gift to us all."

-- Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. author of Five Wishes and Conscious Loving

"Geneen Roth does it again! Women Food and God is absolutely mesmerizing. And loaded with insights which can change your life."

--Chistiane Northrup, MD, ob/gyn physician and author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause

“This is a hugely important work, a life-changer, one that will free untold women from the tyranny of fear and hopelessness around their bodied. Beautifully written, a joy to read, rich in both revelation and great humor.”

--Anne Lamott, author of Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith


Principles --
About God --
Ending the war --
Never underestimate the inclination to bolt --
It's not about the weight but it's not not about the ...
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ISBN-10: 1416543074
ISBN-13: 978-1416543077
Author: Geneen Roth
Genre: Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Scribner
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