Monday, June 07, 2010

It was Bound to Happen

THIS is the #1 bestselling non-fiction book in America:



The full title is Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything.

A blurb from Amazon.com:

"Your relationship with food, no matter how conflicted, is the doorway to freedom," says Roth. What you most want to get rid of is itself the doorway to what you want most: the demystification of weight loss and the luminous presence that so many of us call 'God.' "

Bullshit on unbuttered toast. Sooner or later, it was bound to happen: A huckster who would connect weight loss with God, or God with weight loss.


So who the hell is Geneen Roth, other than a mouthful of teeth that frequently uses the F-word? Nobody. She is not a degreed or registered dietician. She is not a psychiatrist or psychologist versed in eating disorders or "emotional" eating. She is not Dr. Phil in a female package. What she is is a predator who is skilled at fattening her bank account at the expense of very vulnerable women (and men, who are also reading this book).

The problem is, women (and men) already feel a deep shame and disgust about themselves when they are unable to lose weight. By bringing God into the equation, I believe the shame and disgust will skyrocket. Roth, through her book and seminars (more big bucks), is offering heaven on earth to very few women and men who will be able to achieve it.

Roth is playing a dangerous game with vulnerable people. She knows as well as anyone that, for any kind of a diet to work, and to keep the weight off, a person must make a life-long commitment and constantly be vigilant about what they eat. It take an iron will, as my friend Kim Ayres will attest.

Few are able to do it. With the dozens of self-help miracle diets out there, why is it that obesity continues to increase instead of decrease? Because dieting includes a lot more than watching what one eats—it includes exercise, a support system, a change in attitude and, most of all, getting a "handle" on one's emotions. The latter is a huge task in itself, especially without some kind of professional help or group setting.

So what do you get for your $13.20 US that promises "almost everything" in its weighty 211 pages? Nothing, as an Amazon reviewer says,

Really! This was the answer to weight loss forever?????? At least I can say that it is the worst book I've ever read. Now I have a hardcover of a book I'm ashamed to display in my bookcase.

I would suggest, madam, that you use its pages for either puppy potty training or lining the bottom of your birdcage. And that's me being kind.


[I have not read this book and have absolutely no intention of doing so. I trust my bullshitometer to spot a scammer when it hears one. After all, I didn't tend bar for four years for nothing.]
 

34 comments:

flying eagle woman said...

"So who the hell is Geneen Roth, other than a mouthful of teeth that frequently uses the F-word?"

I want to make this my quote on my work email but I just don't think it would float...AWESOME post, so glad I stopped by!

:-) SMILES

Sharon Longworth said...

Charlie,
The world sometimes feels full of strange and deluded people - and it would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Philip and I are very fond of a range of Chilean wines, which come under the label of Casillero del Diablo. http://www.chileanlegend.com/the-legend/ . So clearly we're a long way from making it to heaven with our diet....!

Robert the Skeptic said...

This is the thing that I eternally perplexes me... HOW do some people get the financial/promotional/publicity backing to push this kind of crap to best seller status?? Why does this woman have the doors to riches opened wide for her and they are shut for everyone else, particularly really great writers?

I see this in flimmaking as well and it frustrates me no end.

The last time it was "The Secret" and Oprah spend two consecutive programs hyping that bullshit. Nevertheless, the author had instant celebrity and the income that comes with it. See, "the Secret" worked for her!!

Whether it's films or publishing or music, the successful people seem to have some inside track, some back door where they are let in bypassing the competitive process the rest of us are subject to.

"Best Seller"... really. Reminds me of the old "payola" days.

Kim Ayres said...

Didn't you know, Eve was a size 0?

I've come across similar before, Charlie - "pray away the fat".

Makes me want to puke, and not in a bulimic way...

savannah said...

i don't care if rains or freezes, long as i have my plastic jesus sittin on the dashboard of my car...

if only amazon would use y'alls review, sugar! let's just hope the target audience all have free tickets to an all summer long all you can eat bbq real soon! xoxoxo

TechnoBabe said...

I count on you to give me the skinny (pun intended). Thanks for steering us away from this hyped up book.

Pat said...

I have come across people like that who seem to believe passionately in the bilge they spout and there does seem to be a lot of deluded people who lap it up.

Stinkypaw said...

I'll keep my fat rather than read that...

Ocean Girl said...

It happened, and I feel, it will happen again, and again.

hope said...

Robert the Skeptic beat me to it...HOW do these nuts get financial backing?

Hopefully she'll be left with a bunch of books...to eat. Wonder how that will work with her diet? :)

Robert the Skeptic said...

I read some of the reviews on the Amazon site, guess what all the "one star" bad reviews were mostly about: 1. not enough 'god" mentioned in the book, and 2. pissed the book isn't available for the Kindle yet! The book is basically a schill for her seminars and retreats.

Ricky Gervais called it like it is; I've watched fantastic this clip countless times:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXTq2_3LfXM

Lady_Amanda said...

Hey Charlie,

Sorry I haven't been around following your blog, but it looks like I dropped by at a good time. This book freaks me out. I struggle with obesity and if someone told me that God was taking away my food, I would throw holy water on them! I know I emotionally eat and I am watching that carefully. We often take about addiction in my anxiety group therapy session. And I always say mine is food. Another gentlemen that in my group said that I have it worse because he can just give up alcohol competely, but I have to continue to eat. And sometimes when I continue I can't stop. So you're right about the emotional eating. And it being a lifestyle change too. When I go in the grocery store, I have to have the mind of "will I eat the whole bag of potato chips if I buy them, better get the pretzels instead!" Thanks for this one "skinny" Charlie.

Hugs my blogging buddy,
Amanda

Library girl said...

WTF??

mapstew said...

Women, Food and God!

As Homer (Simpson) would say, "The cause of, and answer to, all of life's problems!" :¬)

Charlie said...

WC: I take it, then, that this isn't your cup of hemlock. Where'd ya get the little "B" on your pitcher?

SHAWNA: Very little I write is appropriate for the workplace. But smiles are always welcome.

SHARON: Your excuse is that the water isn't fit to drink—which it probably isn't. And Jesus drank a lot of wine for the same reason, but probably not Chilean. Maneshevitz, most likely.

ROBERT: I was going to mention The Secret, but then I would have gone on a tangent.

Sribner, like all the money-hungry publishers, know a best-selling scam when they see one. Legit writers, filmmakers, and musicians don't stand a chance against the "discerning" public's desire for trash.

KIM: I wasn't aware that fig leaves come in size 0. And of course, I have the same nauseous feeling you have.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Personally I think she is going to burn in hell for spelling her name that way.

Charlie said...

SAVANNAH: Can y'all say Amen and Hallejuah to that, brothers and sisters?

BABE: Anything I can do to help people, or sheep, from getting fleeced.

PAT: Bilge is a perfect word. Sharon mentioned deluded too, and I think there are more and more people grasping at any straw for "answers."

STINKY: I salute you. And you're not fat, but rather pleasingly plump. Remember Reubens paintings?

OG: I totally agree with you. P.T. Barnum was right on when he said there's a sucker born every minute.

Charlie said...

HOPE: Greedy publishers, like I told R the S. The same way the hate mongers get into print: Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc.

ROBERT: The Kindle assholes are taking their wrath out on legitimate authors too by one-starring their books. The writers have no control over Amazon/ Publisher quarrels, but they are the ones who suffer.

AMANDA: Yes, you are struggling, but you are also DOING something about what you rightly call an addiction. You are aware of the problem and NOT looking to "self-help" garbage that offers no concrete help.

A tip: Be suspicious of anyone who says they can give up alcohol completely. They are struggling as badly as you are, but they have a heavy tendency toward denial.

Charlie said...

LG: Short and to the point, aren't you. I merely call 'em as I see 'em.

MAP: LOL, what a great quote! You ought to knit that on the front of a sweater. Thanks for the laugh.

BARB: Is Geneen your real name? Your middle name? Your hubbie's name? Or do you just hate the way she spells it (duh)?

lisleman said...

Is this the same group that said earthquakes are being caused by too much cleavage? I was going to post something about the cleavage but forgot were I heard it.
Good thing they put Galileo under house arrest to protect us.

Meg said...

Wow. You can make money off of anything these days.

Meg said...

Oh. And I also love love love the new look of your blog.

Attila The Mom said...

Let's go get a double cheeseburger with a side of bacon in protest. LOL

Charlie said...

L-MAN: You are a clown, albeit a forgetful one. Cleavage may have something to do with earthquakes, but at the moment I am more enthralled by cleavage.

Even under house arrest, Galileo managed to get his scrolls to his publisher. But no scam artist he.

MEG: You're probably talented enough to come up with a bestselling money-making scam, but you need a helluva hook. The thing is you have a conscience, which makes it impossible to prey on deluded and desperate people.

I'm glad you like my new facelift.

MOM: Are you talking about a whole side of bacon fresh off the hoof? That's makin' a lot of bacon.

papa t said...

Thank you for posting this...I Showed it to two of my coworkers who always read this stuff.....they may get more spirtial but still no thinner

Unknown Mami said...

You are hilarious in your insight.

Madame DeFarge said...

Maybe won't be buying this one. I find these books infinitely depressing. if I ever buy one, please stop me.

Mama Zen said...

This sounds like a testament to the accuracy of your bullshitometer!

Charlie said...

PAPA: You have done your co-workers a great service: they can save the cost of the book for potato chips and gummy worms.

MAMI: Thank you. My outsight, however, is not very good; need new specs.

MADAME: Perish the thought that you should ever need such rubbish. And you can count on me to stop you.

MAMA Z: My BS-o-meter is a work of art: it even detects Mormons and JWs ringing the doorchime.

Jerry said...

You mean I can't pray my way into become a trim hunk? Well damn. I guess I need to go find another book.

Charlie said...

JERRY: Your hunkiness looks good on you. Plus, if you lost weight, you'd have to go to Walmart for a whole new wardrobe. Ever think of that, huh?

Mary Witzl said...

How sad that there are people who capitalize on this. Weight loss and obesity are very complex issues. People with eating disorders need a lot more than this sort of simplistic psycho-babble.

Erin said...

Charlie -- I hope you will not be offended if I admit that I am a fan of yours and Geneen's. I haven't read Women, Food & God, but I have read a couple of her other books and found them very insightful.

ain't for city gals said...

When I heard that Oprah endorsed this book that made up my mind NEVER to read it for sure...just read your last couple of posts..looking forward to reading more..