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When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But) [Paperback]

Geneen Roth
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 15 1999
Geneen Roth's pioneering books were among the first to link overeating and compulsive dieting with deeply personal issues that go far beyond weight and body image. Now, in this fun, practical book, she helps readers radically shift their relationships with food and find more life-affirming ways to care for themselves. With an exhilarating combination of intelligence and wicked good humor, she offers bite-sized pieces of invaluable wisdom.

Frequently Bought Together

When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair: 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But) + Why Weight? A Workbook for Ending Compulsive Eating + Breaking Free from Emotional Eating
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.27

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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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I've gained and lost over a thousand pounds in my life. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but nothing new May 3 2002
My dissertation at university is on eating disorders, so I've been reading quite widely on the subject. Geneen Roth's books had been recommended to me for ages, so I decided I should start with this one: maybe it was the wrong choice as an introduction to her work, maybe not. I guess I'll find out after reading the rest of her books.
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I picked this book up because its title made me laugh - such an outrageous idea. It's quick, easy, scannable, and full of nuggets that helped me begin to approach my problems with dieting and self-care with love and humor. Helped me see that bashing myself, trying to FORCE myself to follow a diet (Atkins, Weight Watchers, whatever) wasn't working for a very good reason. Several excellent reasons. And it sparked a journey of gentle self-inquiry that's proven quite fruitful.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book - just one very small criticism April 5 2002
By A Customer
Geneen Roth is right on target, AGAIN. If you've never read Ms. Roth's books, then this is a great introduction to her philosophy. If you're familiar with her work, then you'll quickly discover that this IS a moveable feast - the portable Roth.
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
7.Emergency Interventions_____________________34
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Ah-Ha moment Jan. 8 2009
This book is a MUST for ALL women, whether you have a weight problem or not. It's a quick read, and full of little gems and quotes I still use even though I read the book over 6 months ago.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Insight We've All Been Waiting For Aug. 5 2001
I just finished reading it and I can't believe it has taken me so long to hear about it. This was the best book ever written on this subject. I feel wonderful and can't imagine how I made it so long without this most basic information. I finally have permission to be who I am and not feel depressed because I don't look like a fashion model. I can't wait to read another of Geneen's books. God bless you for making me feel like a human being again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that really makes sense April 5 2001
By Claire
I just finished burning my "chart" of inches and weight I've kept for the past year and a half. Then I dumped all my protein drinks down the garbage disposal. I feel great. I feel like I have arrived at where I kept thinking I was going. Geneen Roth has written the best book ever on dealing with food. Anyone who has ever had any food issue at all should read this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book
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 more
Published 20 months ago by Danielle M
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Enlightening Book on Food ...
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 more
Published on Jan. 27 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars a woman's must have
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 more
Published on March 17 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One little book: one million lightbulbs
Thank you, Geneen.
Having read "Feeding the Hungry Heart" about 10 years ago, I can say that she has outdone herself. Read more
Published on March 1 2001 by Julia Munro
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Dieting That I Have Ever Read
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 more
Published on Oct. 25 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
This book should be required reading for anyone who has gotten trapped in the diet cycle. Geneen shares her wisdom from her own personal experiences in a very simple and... Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Great praise
Thanks to my social worker for recommending this book. with her soft voice Geneen helps with guidelines to eating for true hunger not emotional hunger. Read more
Published on July 27 2000 by Audree Hall
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