When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But) Paperback – Sep 15 1999
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Geneen Roth estimates that she's gained and lost more than 1,000 pounds during her life. That makes her uniquely qualified to write this, her sixth book, which delivers exactly what its subtitle indicates: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But). It's sure to appeal to her considerable cult of readers who've bought her other feel-good, anti-diet books including the bestselling When Food Is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy and Why Weight?: A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating. It's for the estimated 25 million women in America alone who are on diets; for those who find that they're never happy because they delay gratification ("I'll be happy when I lose 10 pounds"), and those who punish themselves for eating one too many chocolate chip cookies.
Roth's advice is simple, but often beyond the realm of thinking of someone obsessed with calorie counting. She recommends that you eat at least one hot meal every day, as a slice of hot pizza will make you feel more full than a cold and cardboardy one will; that you should do one "exquisitely kind" thing for yourself every day, be it buying new underwear or taking a sledgehammer to your scale; and that you should "separate the desire to be thin from the desire to be cherished." She also gives straight diet advice that can't be found in publications along the lines of Cosmo: "Too much fat makes you fat. But too little makes you fat, too, because you usually make up for eating nonfat foods by eating twice as much. I suggest you allow yourself to eat enough fat to feel full. Part of the reason that many of us feel as if we could start eating at one end of our kitchens and chomp our way clear across the United States is that we never give ourselves permission to feel full without feeling guilty, to eat enough fat when it's not on a binge." Amen. --Erica Jorgensen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's fun, silly, often touching and it's largely true--a positive, happy rethinking in quick sound-bites of how to deal with the damage caused by society's obsession with women's weight. If you can follow the suggestions, it will definitely help. Of course, if you can follow the suggestions, you don't really need the help. -- The San Francisco Chronicle, Henry Jaglom
Recommended reading, '50 Ways' to feel comfortable with your body, There's a boatload of books trying to get women to offload their baggage about eating, overeating and dieting. But almost no one has tackled the subject in a more humorous and straightforward way than Geneen Roth in When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous and Happy When You Feel Anything But. Her latest book is based on her own experiences and 20 years of teaching workshops on ways to stop compulsive overeating. (One of her own diet disasters was a prunes and meatball diet.) Roth offers practical advice. She suggests women eat a hot meal daily; get rid of clothes that cut off their circulation; stare only at normal women's bodies, not the bodies of models or actresses; and steer clear of the sneaky weight magnets (eating broken cookies, cleaning kids' plates, nibbling a cake so it looks even). -- Nanci Hellmich, USA Today, Book Review, May 14, 1998 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mind you, this is NOT a disappointing book: Not at all. It contains good, very useful ideas, and it makes clear points. The basic, no-diet philosophy of Roth is valid & makes sense. And since this is a self-help book, it helps that the author uses examples, little stories, & catchy titles. From cover to cover, it can be read in a couple of hours, but I think it's better to read the ideas more slowly, savouring & trying to understand each one better.
"When you eat at the refrigerator..." is NOT a bad book: it's just that these things have been said before, & (in my opinion) much better, for example, by Susie Orbach. Maybe Orbach concetrates more on the theoretical part & Roth tackles the more practical, self-help part. I don't know. And maybe Roth has covered more theory in her other books. But this book, for me, was lacking in theoretical explanation of the ideas presented, & so most of these ideas seemed like little gimmicks to me. But, as a beginnning book, a book of ideas that can lead to other similar books, it's not bad.
But if it hadn't been a slender volume with a sense of humor, I would have resisted the messages it contains.
This book helped me begin to find answers to these questions:
Why can't I stick to a diet, since being thin is what I want most?
Why do I always come last in my family hierarchy of need (that, incidentally, I'm in control of, hello)?
Am I just doomed to remain fat because of my genes, or my unhappiness? Both?
What's the relationship between self-esteem and my weight?
What does being thin represent to me?
On the strength of this book, I attended a Roth seminar, and that experience is speeding me along, with insights and growth coming thick and fast.
So, if you're ready for something newer and deeper than the latest tips and tricks, or another set of rules, but not quite sold on your own ability to make *anything* work - give this a try. It might be just what you need now.
My one criticism, and maybe Ms. Roth will correct this in future printings, is the Table of Contents. This book is supposed to be 'a take along' to be read in bits and pieces as time allows and mood suggests. But when you want to find a nugget, the Table of Contents is a hindrance, not a help. I'm just a reader, not a book editor but below is an excerpt from the current layout and a recommended, improved Table of Contents:
4.Give Away Clothes that Cut Off Your
Circulation/22 5.Consider Howard Stern and
Live 'As If'/26 6. Learn to Recognize a
Fat-and-Ugly Attack/29 7. Emergency . . .
4.Give Away Clothes that Cut Off Your Circulation___22
5.Consider Howard Stern and Live 'As If'__________26
6.Learn to Recognize a Fat-and-Ugly Attack________29
Geneen Roth helped me realize my obsession over food and the number on the scale was not only unhealthy, it was unrealistic and detrimental to my mental well-being. Since finishing the book I have stopped "dieting" and started living a healthier life (nutritionally yes, but more importantly MENTALLY), and not only have I not gained a pound, I feel less restricted and happier with my relationship with food.
I think Geneen's books should be required reading in high school, and if I ever have a daughter I will make sure she reads it too.
Most recent customer reviews
Geneen Roth never disappoints. She writes with humor and wisdom. I appreciate all her work.Published 9 months ago by Courtney
I enjoyed this book 100%, I will read it again soon, and I will pass it on to my daughter to whom I've passed on my hatred of my body....shame on me. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2013 by Danielle M
I would highly recommend this book by Geneen. It is funny, enlightening and really makes you think about food and your relationship with food. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2004 by Amazon Customer
geneen roth does a fabulous job discussing our relationships between food and love, then giving you ways to change that relationship. it is NOT a diet book. Read morePublished on March 17 2003 by Amazon Customer
Thank you, Geneen.
Having read "Feeding the Hungry Heart" about 10 years ago, I can say that she has outdone herself. Read more
And it really isn't about following a set diet as that is not her approach. It's more about knowing when enough food is enough and thinking of other things beside food. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2000