Monday, June 21, 2010

Roth: Women, Food, and God, 2

Prologue, page 4, Geneen is speaking to the participants during a retreat lunch:
"Now, take some time and notice what you put on your plate. Notice if you were hungry when you chose the food. If you weren't physically hungry, was there another kind of hunger present?

And looking at your plates, decide what you want to eat first and take a few bites. Notice how the food feels in your mouth. If it tastes like you thought it would taste. If it does what you thought it would do."

Page 4 and 5, participant asks what's wrong with wanting comfort from food:
Geneen - "Not a thing. Food is good and comfort is good. Except that when you are not hungry and you want comfort, food is only a temporary palliative; why not address the discomfort directly?"

Last week while at the grocery store, I managed to steer clear of the bakery section but then came upon a big basket of moon-pies positioned next to something else I needed. I don't think I've ever had a moon-pie: two cakey-cookies with marshmallow-type substance in between and all covered in chocolate. And on sale. I caved for just one.

Upon returning the the van, I opened up the moon pie and took a bite while starting the ignition. I was disappointed. It didn't taste the way I thought it would taste. It felt crumbly and dry in my mouth, kind of flavorless. "No wonder it was on sale. Why do people make a big deal about these things?"

And I
threw it away ate the rest of it.

I don't know why I did. There was no nutritional value in it. I don't remember if I was hungry for food. Sometimes it's habits and surroundings and going through the motions without thinking.

Or going through the motions to try to keep from thinking.

Or feeling.


  1. This has been me hundreds of times over and was me this past weekend eating a small piece of cake that was kind of dry and not very good.

    I like Geneen's writings and they are the first thing I flip through my Good Housekeeping magazine to read within minutes of it coming through my door.

    Thanks for sharing this little bit. I truly think that getting our relationships with food in order and learning why we do what we do is the key to winning in this battle. Many people can diet well, (I am not one of them...LOL) but take away the calorie counters and they don't know how to handle themselves. They just feed their problems with fruits and veggies instead of cake an ice cream.

    Wow, I've said a lot. I'm thinking you hit a nerve. These are definitely still issues for me. Thanks again for sharing!!!

  2. Good post! I think we finish our food because we've been told since childhood to always finish our food. Taking one bite and throwing the rest away goes against how we've been programmed to eat. Today, however, it makes economical sense to throw a piece of cookie away after its taste had disappointed us. Because finishing it is definitely costly.

  3. I have done that too. Bought that food that I should have, could have, easily passed by. Eaten the whole thing despite thinking it really was not that good at all. Many times I have eaten something while in my mind I was saying "I am so going to regret this."

  4. OH Gina, Gina, many times have I done this? Many, many, MANY times! You see, I'm all about second chances, so if the first bite doesn't do it for me, maybe the second bite will be better. Or the third, or the fourth. I always hope that somehow, someway it will start to taste the way I want it to. Alas, it doesn't ever happen that way and then I wonder why I wasted my time. And why can't I learn these lessons BEFORE I eat the whole thing????

    I have a hard time throwing food away, but then I have to remind myself that I am not a human garbage can. It's hard to let it go sometimes, but I'm getting better at it.

  5. Just another learning experience Gina.... as for your first part of the post.. it took me years to get to that paying attention to eating.. mindful eating & tasting it & knowing when I am & am not hungry & stopping when I am full. Slowing down helps! :-)

    As for the moon pie... me, if it is not worth the calories, I don't eat it. I know, easier said than done BUT I just don't want to eat some treat type thing if it is not totally wonderful & worth it!

    Keep working at it Gina. You can do this!

  6. I have to catch on your wonderful blog! June Show, swallowed in ballet till Saturday.

    I have become convinced that there is another piece to this that has to do with brain wiring/reward circuits. Why would you eat a treat that's not a treat? Because at some point it was, and you're still looking for the high that your brain tells you was associated with that thing. I find myself walking a funny dance between intuitive eating and being aware that certain foods have such a pull for me that I can't keep them in the house. I have been known to eat a package of fake pinwheel cookies (cheaper and not as good as the real thing) eating two of them carefully to extract what enjoyment I can, and throwing the rest away. It hit roughly the same spot but without the high reward I would have gotten from the real thing. Plus I didn't mind throwing the cheaper ones away. Goofy, I know.

    Thanks for posting this interesting series.

  7. There are a lot of reasons why we eat besides hunger. It's good to take the time to analyze them and figure out why you are eating certain things.

  8. I have done that too - more times than I can count. I think it's really important to find out the "whys" behind our behaviour. I admire you for doing that.

  9. I've done that myself. :)

    I bought this book and am currently reading it as well. She has some very good insights. Thanks for mentioning it on your blog.