Monday, December 22

12x12: Women, Food, and God

Women, Food, and God
by Geneen Roth

I was really excited to read this book, because it concerns three things that are near and dear to my heart: women, food, and God! I think I hesitated to read it for a long time because it seemed kind of boring (I mean, look at this cover compared to the past few covers - not that I should be judging a book by its cover, of course).

What I Loved:

  • There were small parts of the book that I really liked - mostly concerning how I/we see food. It seems obvious, but paying attention to when my body says it's hungry and when my body says it's full has been really useful over the past few days.
  • The author also had a part about letting go of everything that has happened to you in the past, which I found useful. She said that everything that's happened has already done so, and that it's not useful or helpful to keep dwelling on the negative things that have happened to us.

What I Wasn't Crazy About:

  • I really, really hated this author's writing voice. She was patronizing and dismissive and better-than-thou - basically like Ina Garten telling you why you have problems with disordered eating. A bunch of chapters focused on some of her retreats with women who want to eat and live better, which all were like, "I think this retreat is stupid because you're full of shit," "Ohhh but do you overeat because of something sad that happened to you when you were a kid?" "OMG YES HOW DID YOU KNOW?" "Hehehehe psh it's nothing you are so typical." Yeah. Patronizing. It ends up being a book all about the author compared to being about women, food, or God.
  • I really don't think there was anything particular to women in this book. I feel like men could have the same kinds of disordered eating habits, and the author's techniques could be just as useful to men.
  • There was really nothing to do with God in this book at all. The author kind of tries to get around this by taking about meditation and getting to know yourself and your habits, but I really don't think she successfully convinced me, as a reader, that God and meditation/awareness are the same thing, inherently. It was mentioned for like, a paragraph, and then never mentioned again. She mentions the word "God" twice, and they're both fleeting. 
Would I Recommend This Book?
  • No. Basically, I just feel like this book was a letdown. It really didn't need to be about women, and it wasn't about God. It was about food, and there were good parts of the book. Ultimately, I felt like the book was mostly about the author bragging about her "technique" to deal with disordered eating. Maybe someone who is struggling more with disordered eating would benefit from reading the book more. I don't binge eat - my issue is under-eating when I'm upset or stressed, but I feel like I'm in a really good spot, mentally, emotionally, and physically, right now. But I'm pretty sure that this author's pretentious voice would annoy anyone.

To be honest, if this wasn't a book in my 12x12 project, I would have stopped reading after a few chapters. J has insisted I mention that this was a self-help book, and perhaps I disliked it so much because I don't need help. But I insist that it wasn't terrible because I didn't need help - it was just so hard to read because it was all about the author and about how great it is that she's helped so many people. And it is great that people have benefited from her book! I just wasn't one of them.

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