Yesterday fate entered my world. I wrote a post about my questioning the reasons behind my eating. Then I accidentally turned on Oprah and heard her answer that very question. And explain why she is never dieting again.
So I watched. And I took notes. And while the show gave me lots to think about, I am not at all sure I agree with what she said.
Oprah’s guest was Geneen Roth, author of Women, Food, and God. She says that having issues with weight is always about more than the food. “Your beliefs show up in your relationship with food…You’re basically eating because you’ve given up on something, some part of yourself.” She says we eat to soothe a feeling of uncomfortableness. So I was sort of intrigued, because this is a lot like what I was just wondering.
Then she got to the part of her book about God. And clarified that she is not talking about God in a religious sense, but rather moments of awe and wonder, the feeling one has in nature, or the sense that everything is possible. Oprah went on to expand that she learned the issue isn’t the food – it is the disconnection from that which is called God. This was all more than I could swallow, no pun intended. I just am not sure that all issues with weight are tied to this higher spiritual something. But on the other hand, maybe that is the whole point: I am missing the boat because I truly am missing the spiritual connection boat and … ta da. Hmm. I don’t think so, but maybe. Because my life clearly is not filled with awe and wonder and a sense of unlimited possibilities. Or at least I never think of it that way.
The show did ask some interesting questions for me. Do I turn to food to NOT feel something? (Some emotion or boredom that I am stuffing down with food?) Am I looking for something and it isn’t the food? But I was already asking questions. I could use some answers. And Roth’s and Oprah’s answers don’t seem to fit for me.
One thing Oprah said did truly strike a chord. She described a recent experience of emotion when, instead of reaching for a pound of potato chips she reached for a pound of lettuce. But as she and I both agree, overeating food is overeating food, regardless of what it is going in when we aren’t hungry. But Oprah had an ah-ha moment and can now connect back to her childhood to see why she ate that lettuce and I just don’t think my childhood is what drives me to eat.
I do have to think more about Roth’s point that conquering weight issues starts with learning to love one’s self. I know that is something I need to work on.
Basically, I left the show with no more knowledge than I had when I wrote my post yesterday. Just a mirroring of the same questions I was asking myself and am still asking. But it certainly did make me think about some stuff. And I am curious what others think who saw the show or who have read the book.
I leave you with Roth’s eating guidelines, because even without her detailing more about them, they make a lot of sense to me.
- Eat when you are hungry.
- Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
- Eat without distractions.
- Eat what your body wants.
- Eat until you are satisfied.
- Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
- Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.