Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Women Food and God by Geneen Roth

I just read this book by Geneen Roth. It describes eating disorders, and in particular MY eating disorder, perfectly. I felt like she was quoting my brain at times. She says, "Every single person has a shtick with food." I was glad to know it wasn't just me. I also related to when she said, "Overeating was my way to punish and shame myself; each time I gained weight, each time I failed at a diet, I proved to myself that my deepest fear was true: I was pathetic and doomed and I didn't deserve to live." She goes on to say, "Dieting was like praying. It was a plaintive cry to whoever was listening: I know I'm fat. I know I'm ugly. I know I'm undisciplined, but see how hard I try. See how violently I restrict myself, deprive myself, punish myself. Surely there must be a reward for those who know how horrible they are."

But I really can't recommend this book. Geneen is definitely not LDS. She uses terrible language throughout her book that made me cringe. Partly because it was uncalled for and partly because I've been taught not to use that kind of language. Also, her view on God is not the same as mine.

Geneen Roth's view on God reminded me of something President Hinckley said in 2001. He quoted William Earnest Hemingway's poem "Invictus." (I thank whatever Gods may be for my unconquerable soul... I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul." Geneen Roth's view is exactly this. But President Hinckley goes on to quote another poem that is a response to "Invictus" by Orson F. Whitney. This poem takes into account the atonement. It is what I have used to help me through my struggles with food and obsession.... It says:

Art thou in truth? Then what of him
Who bought thee with his blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood?

Free will is thine -- free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto him
To whom all souls belong.

Bend to the dust that head "unbowed,"
Small part of life's great whole!
And see in him, and him alone,
The Captain of thy soul.

That's my testimony. That the atonement, love and focus on my Savior will help me to overcome my obsession with food. The surgery has helped. But it's not enough. I'm still struggling. I'm still learning. And I probably will always have to have this trial. But Heavenly Father loves and knows me. He has helped me (through angels here on earth too) to overcome my compulsion with food. I'm grateful to Him. I am grateful to the many "angels" who have supported me through this difficult, unhealthy time I have been in. God lives! The atonement happened! It happened to save us all, but also to save me from my dangerous attraction to food in my life!

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