Oprah Winfrey recently announced that she’s never dieting again. Her decision was apparently prompted by reading the book Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth. I tend to tune out Oprah when it relates to anything religious or self-esteem-y, so I was definitely surprised to find some powerful (even familiar) ideas at work here, and ones that are by no means restricted to the fairer sex. From a post on the topic over at That’s Fit:

Roth firmly believes that your relationship with weight is a disguise for your relationship with yourself.
“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.”

Her words reminded me of a passage from Who Will Deliver Us? that Drake highlighted a while ago, about the Gospel in relation to the “assimilation of negativity”:

“Assimilation of negativity” refers to a person’s willing, painful embrace of the sorrows of life, of himself and his flaws, in coexistence, almost union, with his confidence, aspirations, and joys. It is the opposite of splitting- the phenomenon of distancing our conscious self from unacceptable feelings and experiences to such an extent that a fissure opens between the conscious self and the unconscious self.

With reality knocking at the door, the age-old message persists – “Accentuate the Positive!!”, if you don’t, there is no way to survive. The message of the Gospel – of God unjustly crediting us as good – allows us to unsplit (break down the wall, let the shark back in the water) and deal with the real troubles that we have long cordoned off and do so without being crushed and devoured.

p.s. Confession: I shamelessly stole all of this and used it in a sermon recently.