“When Food is Love” by Geneen Roth

Recommended to me by: a client.

Geneen Roth has written several books about overcoming compulsive eating by removing external rules around food and listening to one’s own body instead. She also talks about the source of compulsive eating – not an internal lack of control, but a survival strategy to overcome the lack of external control in childhood.

In this book, she talks about her own history with intimacy, and the connections between how we treat food, and how we treat emotional connections in our lives. She reveals the neglect and emotional and physical abuse of her childhood, and shares stories from her “Breaking Free” workshops as well.

If you deeply explore one area of life, you will find the answers to every area. What you learn as you break free from your obsession with food is what you need to learn about intimacy:

Commit yourself.
Tell the truth.
Trust yourself.
Pain ends and so does everything else.
Laugh easily.
Cry easily.
Have patience.
Be willing to be vulnerable.
When you notice that you are clinging to anything and it’s causing trouble, drop it.
Be willing to fail.
Don’t let fear stop you from leaping into the unknown, or from sitting in dark silence.
Remember that everything gets lost, stolen, ruined, worn out, or broken; bodies sag and wrinkle; everyone suffers; and everyone dies.
No act of love is ever wasted.

The book is full of vivid metaphors and urgent truths. It is a call to turn inside, face one’s demons with gentleness and compassion, and find freedom.

Available at Powell’s Books.

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