When Oprah says something as profound as “I’m never dieting again,” people want to know what it was that may have solved her infamous yo-yo dieting issues. From quick fixes to lifestyle changes, Oprah has been consistently gaining and losing weight for years; a problem that many Americans share.
Yesterday’s episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” seemed to have affected her so deeply that it brought her to tears. Who was responsible for this epiphany? A woman named Geneen Roth, author of “Women Food and God.” Since this New York Times bestseller hit the market, it has been embraced by women across the globe.
Rather than focusing on dieting and cutting desires out of your life, it zeros in on something entirely different: Your relationship with yourself. After years of binge eating, self loathing, losing and gaining 1,000 pounds and on the verge of suicide, Roth firmly believes that your relationship with weight is a disguise for your relationship with yourself.
The show began with Roth disclosing her two most important breakthroughs:
1. Do not diet. Dieting leads to self hatred and self loathing — making you feel crazy about yourself.
2. Your relationship with food — rather than being the curse and rather than being the thing you want to get rid of — is itself the doorway to the life you most want.
“Your weight is your invitation to your best life,” Oprah echoed.
Roth continued to explain how your beliefs show up in your relationship with food. For example, if you’re eating when you’re bored or simply not hungry, you’re essentially using food to avoid feeling your deep, meaningful feelings. In other words, you’re allowing life to get the best of you; denying there is any goodness surrounding you except for the food that is there at the moment. You’re basically eating because you’ve given up on something — some part of yourself.
Oprah’s next question was one that many women in the audience were wondering, as well — “What does god have to do with women and food?”
Roth explained how we each have a longing in life. We’ve had moments of awe and wonder. And while many of us may not call that “god,” we do know that something is possible for every one of us besides our daily lives. We feel that this possibility exists.
“So you’re not talking about god in the religious sense?” Oprah asked.
“I’m talking about wonder, mystery and possibility,” Roth said. “What a mother feels … when her kid is born, miracles, or the feeling that you have in nature.”
Here’s where Oprah’s epiphany comes in: Your relationship with food and your relationship with whatever is going on in your life; the goodness that you feel and the alignment that you feel (when things are working out well for yourself) is in direct proportion to how close you are to what Roth calls god. Your disconnection from the center of yourself is the reason for all of your problems, including the problem with food.
Oprah continued to read an excerpt from “Women Food and God,” the book that changed her life: “We turn to food when we are not hungry because we are hungry for something we cannot name. A connection to what is beyond the concerns of daily life, something sacred. But replacing the hunger for a divine connection with Double Stuf Oreos is like giving a glass of sand to a person who’s dying of thirst.”
The more you recognize your inner problems, anxiety or discomfort, the better your relationship will be not only with food but of course with your soul. You’ll be happier, and the weight will fall off more naturally.
“You keep trying to feed yourself with that which cannot feed you,” Oprah said. “I turn to food because if I deal with whatever it is I have to deal with in the moment, I’m going to fall apart.”
Finally, Oprah left viewers with a burning question that she has clearly asked herself many times. “Look into the mirror, and look deep into your eyes,” she said. “Look beyond the flaws and the blemishes, look right through to your soul and ask yourself: What do you see? And can you begin to love that?”
Want to get started on rebuilding your relationship to food right now? Find out Dr. Oz’s best tips on making over your fridge.