Being Hot Fudge Sundaes

Here is another excerpt from Geneen Roth’s new book Women Food and God. I have ordered this book and am looking forward to its arrival. When I read the first paragraph of this section of her book entitled Being Hot Fudge Sundaes it reminded me of something I had written myself about being defined by numbers and yet how we are so much more than our physical bodies.

Being Hot Fudge Sundaes

“It’s never been true, not anywhere at anytime, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around, and when we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels.
We don’t want to eat hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to be hot fudge sundaes. We want to come home to ourselves. We want to know wonder and mystery and possibility, and if instead, we’ve given up on ourselves, if we’ve vacated our longings, if we’ve left possibility behind, we will feel an emptiness we can’t name. We will feel as if something is missing because something is missing—the connection to the source of all sweetness, all love, all power, all peace, all joy, all stillness. Since we had it once–we were born with and as it–it can’t help but haunt us. It’s as if our cells remember that home is a resplendent and jeweled palace but we’ve been living as beggars for so long that we are no longer certain if the palace was a dream. And if it was a dream, then at least we can eat the memory of it.
During the first few bites, and before we get dazed by overeating, everything we want is possible. Everything we’ve lost is here now. And so we settle for the concrete version of our lost selves in the form of food. And once food has become synonymous with goodness or love or fulfillment, you cannot help but choose it, no matter how high the stakes are. No matter if your doctor tells you that you won’t live another month at this weight. Because when you are lost, when you are homeless, when you’ve spent years separated from who you are, threats of failed hearts or joint pressure don’t move you. Dying does not frighten those who are already half-dead. The most challenging part of any system that addresses weight-related issues is that unless it also addresses the part of you that wants something you can’t name—the heart of your heart, not the size of your thighs–it won’t work. We don’t want to be thin because thinness is inherently life-affirming or lovable or healthy. If these were true, there would be no tribes in Africa in which women are fat and regal and long-living. There would be no history of matriarchies in which women’s fecundity and pulchritude were worshipped.

We want to be thin because thinness is the purported currency of happiness and peace and contentment. And although that currency is a lie—the tabloids are filled with skinny miserable celebrities—most systems of weight loss fail because they don’t live up to their promise: weight loss does not make people happy. Or peaceful. Or content. Being thin does not address the emptiness that has no shape or weight or name. Even a wildly successful diet is a colossal failure because inside the new body is the same sinking heart. Spiritual hunger can never be solved on the physical level.”

Women Food and God

Official Description of the book Women Food and God by Geneen Roth

“No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, how you eat tells all.

If you suffer about your relationship with food — you eat too much or too little, think about what you will eat constantly or try not to think about it at all — you can be free. Just look down at your plate. The answers are there. Don’t run. Look. Because when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we contact the part of ourselves that is fresh and alive. We touch the life we truly want and evoke divinity itself.

Since adolescence, Geneen Roth has gained and lost more than a thousand pounds. She has been dangerously overweight and dangerously underweight. She has been plagued by feelings of shame and self-hatred and she has felt euphoric after losing a quick few pounds on a fad diet. Then one day, on the verge of suicide, she did something radical: She dropped the struggle, ended the war, stopped trying to fix, deprive and shame herself. She began trusting her body and questioning her beliefs.
It worked. And losing weight was only the beginning.
She wrote about her discoveries in When Food Is Love, her first New York Times bestseller. She gave huge numbers of women their first insights into compulsive eating and she changed huge numbers of lives for the better.
Now, after more than three decades of studying, teaching and writing about what drives our compul-sions with food, Geneen adds a profound new dimension to her work in Women, Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God. But it doesn’t stop there. Geneen shows how going beyond both the food and feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul to the bright center of your own life.
With penetrating insight and irreverent humor, Roth traces food compulsions from subtle beginnings to unexpected ends. She teaches personal examination, showing readers how to use their relationship with food to discover the fulfillment they long for.
Your relationship with food, no matter how conflicted, is the doorway to freedom, says Roth. What you most want to get rid of is itself the doorway to what you want most: the demystification of weight loss and the luminous presence that so many of us call “God.”
Packed with revelations on every page, this book is a knock-your-socks-off ride to a deeply fulfilling relationship with food, your body…and almost everything else. Women, Food and God is, quite simply, a guide for life.”
Click here to watch a short video of author Geneen Roth talking about the book.