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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Women, Food, and God. Book review by Libby Carstens; QCA Advocare Rep and Health Guru

Well..here goes..You want to hear something from a nutritional box observing, workout loving, make anything out of protein to substitute flour junkie? Let’s get to the point. This is scary to say. I’m a compulsive eater... Sometimes uncontrollable.  I want to know every way NOT to compulsively eat because...well don’t we tend to try to be so interested in things we want to fix about ourselves?

I feel like I’m the only one out there and we all try to hide things and be a perfect mom, wife, woman, friend that sometimes no one sees the real us. Then....I read this book. Actually audiobook because I drive A LOT and I can multitask. It’s called Women, Food and God.
WARNING!! If you are not a person of faith, I’m not going to talk about God or anyone else’s “higher power” and neither does the book. This is about food and the power it has over us for some reason. Yes, I believe we all need some sort of Higher Power and mine is God and praying or meditating or whatever you call it really does help.

This book has given 7 guidelines to eating that are SO simple. It’s becoming aware of yourself doing them and getting out of the habit that’s hard. Perhaps it’s CHOOSING to not do them.

If you ever have a goal to read a certain amount of books this one should be on the list for sure. She goes into how women view food and some staggering percentages about how the majority of women from a young age are ALWAYS “dieting” in some form or another. Whether we’re going on a vacation, getting married, going to be in a wedding, just had a baby, getting ready to have a baby, it’s almost short weather, it’s January 1st, or you just don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror anymore, we are just always trying to change the size of our thighs or other body part hoping we’ll like ourselves more. One story from the book I thought interesting was a women who goes to get liposuction on her thighs because she hates looking at them. After recovering from the procedure, guess what? She still hated them. It’s not the thighs, but the standard and our view of them.

Let’s see these guidelines....

1.  Eat when you’re hungry.

2.  Eat sitting down in a calm environment. (this does not include the car)

3.  Eat without distractions including radio, TV, newspaper, Kindle, iPad, computer, books, and intense or anxiety producing music.

4.  Eat what your body needs.

5.  Eat until you are satisfied. Not stuffed.

6.  Eat with the intention of being in full view of others.

7.  Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

When I first heard these I thought, “that’s easy”.

Then I immediately started being aware of when I eat, how I eat and WHY I eat when I’m not hungry.

It blew my mind. So obviously eat when you’re hungry.

Think about this- You Are Only Hungry For Two Reasons

1.  Your body needs nourishment.

2.  You are feeling empty and hungry for something else such as: love, social connection, balance and purpose.

Anyone reading this as a mom Number 2 is just funny. Calm... so 2 kids on your lap and another asking for a glass of juice is not calm or distracting? LOL The car is a big one as well. It’s so easy to mindlessly eat in the car and not realize you ate way too many almonds.

Distractions are big. Example- I always have the TV on or music on my phone. It’s easy to eat when the girls are at home, because there’s constant activity, but every Wednesday when they go to Dad’s house, its so quiet.

I became aware that I am used to noise so when they leave and I’m alone I like to “distract” my heart and mind with music. I ate more than when I consciously turned it off and really felt my feelings and gave myself permission to miss them and be bummed. I think we try to literally eat our feelings that we never know WHY we’re going to the refrigerator 10 min after we had a full meal. Our stomachs are full, but our feelings are being subdued with the wrong thing.

Deepak Chopak M.D. says “That the body you’re looking at now, is the product of your past experiences, and you’re looking at the past. If you want to know what your experiences were in the past, look at your body now.”

If you want to create a new body, create new experiences NOW. Not later.

I love thinking about this. How we view and see food now has to change, if we want change for ourselves.

 Eat what your body needs. In Women, Food and God, the author talks about we are restrictive about certain types of food that we deprive ourselves and then of course later binge. She says don’t limit anything. When you realize you can eat anything, it’s not a big deal to have a couple pieces of chocolate and be Ok with it!

Another thing Deepak Chopak M.D. says

about eating is on a scale from 1-10



2-3 You are hungry

4-5 You are satisfied

7-9 You are uncomfortably full

10 You are stuffed


Eat when you are hungry at a 2-3 and Stop when you’re a 4-5. Easier said than done.


Do you ever sneak food? I’m guilty. Example- You know that cake is sitting there so you just take a sliver at a time so if you eat tiny pieces throughout the day it won’t equal a whole piece. LOL

What we eat in private is still worn in public. That really gets to me as well to be fully accountable to myself.


Lastly, eat with pleasure, enjoyment and gusto. I think of Europeans when I hear this. Food is an incredible connector of people. Food is the center of every party, wedding and get together. So instead of feeling guilty or a failure for eating that truffle, bacon wrapped lil smokey or few potato chips that maybe your favorite food. Enjoy it, be thankful you can eat a little occasionally, and move on...We have so many other things to worry about than the size of our jeans. Nothing is sweeter than being confident with yourself and working to fit in a smaller size, but I don’t want to put that self-esteem issue onto my daughters to think they have to worry about every morsel they eat for the rest of their lives. Let’s start a new revolution of women who LOVE themselves and accepting of every body.

As for me, being aware has changed everything! I feel whole to give permission to feel my feelings and enjoy my meals:)

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