Friday, April 15, 2011

Guest post by Reena Jacobs

Last week, I mentioned to Mama Kitty that I was reading a book called Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. I even went as far to say that I might share it with #twitloss. You can do it as a guest post, she suggested, and offered her Friday.
I thought about it for awhile—I hate making commitments—but then agreed. I did want to share what I’d learned. After all, it was a decent read, and if any of you are like me, you hate dieting. In fact, I’m so bad at keeping to diets that the longest I’ve lasted on one was probably about 48 hours.

Quick side trip.

On the way to church this week, I stopped by Subway for a six inch tuna melt on 9 grain oat—add provolone cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuces, extra mayo, and honey mustard. Not too bad of a dinner—reasonable calories, low fat meat, and a few antioxidants. Yum! I was even hungry at the time.

I hopped in the car with my meal and was on my way. Ten minutes into the drive, my sandwhich was gone, and I was full. Funny thing though, I didn’t enjoy it like I’d thought I would. In fact, I’d hardly tasted it.

So what does this have to do with Women Food and God?

My relationship with food… my encounter with my sub and driving—was exactly what Ms. Roth speaks out against.

In her book, she doesn’t offer a get thin quick scheme or a miracle diet plan. Her method is simple—awareness. What are you feeling, both emotionally and physically? When you reach to finish that 16 oz bag of potatoe chips, even though you just ate 75% of it 15 minutes ago, what is your body saying to you? Is it even hungry? :) Chances are, no. Then why do you want more? This is not a rhetorical question. Seriously. Why do you want to finish the bag? What does the bag represent to you?

For me it offers pleasure. I anticipate the saltiness. I look forward to licking the greasy crumbs from my fingertips. I imagine the goodness in every bite.

The truth of the matter is I’m in love with a fantasy. Unlike many people, I don’t really like potato chips. I just like the idea of eating them. After the bag’s gone, I’m sorely disappointed with the effects.

You see, potato chips sit in my stomach like a pot of fermenting mush. If I eat more than a serving or two, there’s a good chance I’ll be seeing that mush a second time, coming up the way it went down.

So why would I torture myself? The answer: because I’m great at ignoring what my body tells me, has told me in the past. I don’t like being uncomfortable, yet I’ve been known to eat until my belly aches. I hate what over-indulging in carbs does to my bowels but think nothing of devouring half a cake over the course of an evening.

Women Food and God is about getting back in touch with your body… recognizing, understanding, and listening to the clues your body tells you.

Back to my trip to church. There was nothing wrong with the tuna melt in itself. The problem was how I went about consuming it—without any care. Driving down the road while dodging cats intent on committing suicide did not allow the focus I needed to really appreciate my sub sandwich, much less listen to my body. I don't know when I became full. I just know when I was finished, I'd already reached the point of fullness.

For one who enjoys eating as much as I do, it would have made sense to take the time to enjoy the meal and savor every wholesome bite. Not scarf it down without even tasting it. I can’t possibly go into everything I’ve learned in the book with one blog post (even if I didn’t follow the guidelines on my way to church). Other than recommending this book, I will encourage my fellow twitloss buddies to take time to smell the cheeseburger. Experience the texture of those fries. And above all, listen to your body before you take that first bite, and the next, and the next. Understand your emotions, what’s happening psychologically, and what drives you to eat beyond what your body needs. Your transformation into awareness might not happen overnight. One thing for sure, it doesn't hurt to start practicing now.

While you’re doing that, keep this in mind: Losing weight shouldn’t be about deprivation. What you eat and how you eat should be about love for yourself and the body you inhabit. Women Food and God talks about a life changing way of eating... a guilt-free one which makes sense, feels good, and puts away the idea of starvation.

Thanks for having me, Mama Kitty.


Mama Kitty on April 15, 2011 at 8:59 AM said...

I'm going to have to get this book! Thanks for guesting today Reena! xoxo

Trish on April 15, 2011 at 2:42 PM said...

Wow Reena, I don't think I have ever looked at eating like that. Maybe if I did things would be so much easier for me. Thank you for writing this and I might just check out the book.

Reena Jacobs on April 16, 2011 at 7:47 AM said...

Her advice in the book makes so much sense. It's been a couple weeks now since I've read the book, and I admit, it's hard trying to change my mind set.

Very seldom am I hungry, but I almost always want to eat. Like now, I have half my mind on this comment and the other half in the kitchen taking inventory of the food.

The book spends a lot of time not just being aware of when your body needs food, but why mentally you want food when your body doesn't. I'd be awesome to go to one of the retreats she mentions in the book.

Reena Jacobs on April 16, 2011 at 7:48 AM said...

Forgot to subscribe.


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