- The focus seemed to be still on weight loss (surprise!)
- The only two people they showed had conspicuous "before and after" pictures. I'd love to know what the percentage of folks who go to her workshops or read her books or "do the work" in the books actually experience weight loss. Have you failed if you don't lose weight? Are you "doing it wrong?" The implied promise seems to be long-lasting and serious weight loss.
- They kept talking about women who eat when they are not hungry. I bet many of these women ARE hungry when they eat or binge. Women tell me they skip breakfast, or eat a small lunch and are ravenous by the time they get home and eat in an out-of-control way. I wish they had at least brought up that restriction(dieting)+ stress = loss of control. It is the stress, hunger, emotions that makes the effort of restriction almost impossible in adults (and children) who have dieted. A vicious cycle. But, many women are indeed, very, very hungry.
- I am curious about Geneen Roth. In Pull Up a Chair, she talks about her strict vegetarian diet that she ended only a handful of years ago and her panic at gaining five pounds. I wonder again at the focus on weight. It's just something that stuck out while I was reading. This panic was at a time when she was already the Guru in the non-diet approach? When she already talked about self-love and worth and beauty etc, but still had that reaction? Is that OK? Am I overreacting? Does that take away from the potential power of her message? Is this her eating disorder and her experience in recovery?
- Oprah asked about eating if you can't diet, "then how do you do it?" A point that I think is valid with Geneen's work. Perhaps not enough concrete advice on how to learn to eat when you are hungry, or even learn to recognize sensations other than famished or stuffed. A great companion book would be Secrets to Feeding a Healthy Family (Ellyn Satter) which, though it says "family," spends a great deal of time explaining how to feed yourself first.
- Oprah talked about her binge on a pound of lettuce with lemon juice after an upsetting phone call. Oh, Oprah. That just made me sad. I'd be hungry, deprived and cravingly obsessed with real food if I ate lettuce with lemon juice, regardless of whether I had been beaten by my grandmother as a child or not.
This issue of eating to numb-out or deal with emotions and stress is not new. (Some studies suggest that "overweight" individuals do not partake in that particular coping mechanism more than their "normal" weight counterparts BTW.) While it's a piece of the puzzle for many, again the show (the book?) ignored physiology, hunger, hormones, feeding and dieting history and the complex interplay...
Did you watch it or read the book? What did you think?