Monday, March 15, 2010

No Right Way

I was perusing Geneen Roth's book last night, "When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair," and chapter 21 struck a chord with me. While Roth does serve up most of her life lessons in the form of food related issues, I particularly like this chapter because she touches on so much more.

She reminds us that there is no singular, right way to approach a diet, or anything else in life for that matter. What works for one person may not work for another and, most importantly, what worked for you previously may not work for you now. It is important to honor each road you've traveled, the efforts you've made and your successes as well as your failures, and then to LET EACH OF THEM GO when they no longer serve you well or help you grow.

Please note that she does NOT tell us to dwell on past experiences and berate ourselves when we feel we could have done better. Yet that's what most of us do isn't it?

Roth tells us to stay current with our life choices and to ask ourselves the following five questions, about the food we eat, the company we keep and the work we do, on a regular basis:

1. Does it lead you toward a fuller life or does it confine you?

2. Does it bring you closer to your heart or farther away?

3. Does it open you or close you?

4. Does it allow you to trust yourself more or does it make you frightened of yourself?

5. Does it enlarge your life or does it make your life smaller?

Are your answers to these questions consistently on the side of feeling closed, scared and constricted? It’s important to recognize this because you can't change something until you realize something is wrong in the first place. And then remember that paths are meant to take us from one place to another; they are not meant to be traveled forever. So when something, or even someone, no longer serves your life in a positive manner it may be time to consider letting it, or them, go.

Did anyone else read this yet? What were your reactions or thoughts?

I try to avoid giving hard and fast advice here about how to lose weight, get in shape or improve your health because I fully recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach does not, and has never, been effective. My hope is that the recipes, essays, discussions and support from one another will help encourage you to keep choosing paths that bring you harmony, happiness and health.


  1. I LOVE THIS post. And I love Geneen Roth. She gets it. She knows that food is a spiritual issue, just like everything else. And that we each have to find our own path, each day. But it helps to have people to walk with.
    Thanks, Erin.

  2. Has anybody read Alicia Silverstone's new book, the kind diet? Saw it on Oprah..wondering if it's any good.

  3. I saw that too G and I want to get it. I have been making things from Vegetarian Times Low-Fat and Fast cookbook recently and I really like it so far. It's a small paperback cookbook so it might be a good place to start G since it's not overwhelming.

  4. I read the book cover to cover in like 3 days (which is saying a lot for me, considering my generally insane schedule), and I loved that chapter. I have had to cut off 2 friends in my life for those reasons she listed - I simply cannot have people in my life that are supposed to be there to support me and love me, and yet end up being an emotional energy SUCK.

    It got me thinking that if I have the clarity to see how negatively some people affect me, and have the courage to stand up for myself and cut them off, why can't I look at food the same way and make the same choices for myself?

  5. yes kelly, yes. excellent point about having the clarity to see how others are harming you but so much harder to see how we do it to ourselves with food.

    also, in massage school we would refer to those people that sucked our mojo dry as "energy vampires." important not to knowingly surround ourselves with people/friends who are energy vampires i think.

  6. great post, Erin!! i must read this book!