I just watched Oprah interview Geneen Roth about her new book, Women, Food, and God (written for men as well as women). Oprah experienced many breakthroughs reading the book and is recommending it to anyone who has ever struggled with weight. It seems that however Oprah goes, so goes the country! Now that the spotlight is healing eating issues and Geneen Roth’s philosophy, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you and to compare and contrast Skinny Thinking with the principles in Women, Food, and God.

There is a lot that I like about Geneen Roth’s approach, and it has clearly worked for many people. We’re all different and different strategies work for different people. I love her focus on kindness, understanding why you are turning to food when you are not hungry, and feeling your feelings (one of my kung fus). These are ideas that I included in my Skinny Thinking book as well.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must also confess that I spent over 20 years intermittently following Geneen’s principles and gaining weight every time I did. I thought that the weight would eventually come off, if I follow the program correctly. But even after several years at a stretch of listening to my body and letting it guide my eating, the numbers on my scale continued to go up not down.

I loved the idea of listening to my body and allowing its wisdom to guide my eating. The only problem was that it didn’t work for me. I did stop yo-yoing but I wasn’t comfortable being heavy, nor was I willing to accept being overweight for the rest of my life. I always hoped that I could find a better way for myself, one that allowed me to stay thin effortlessly and stop worrying about what I ate. The Skinny Thinking five steps were my answer.

Here are some ways that Skinny Thinking differs from Women, Food, and God (WFG):

» WFG advocates listening to your body and eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you are full. But a body that’s addicted to junk is not a very reliable guide for what, when, and how much to eat, in my experience.

» WFG advocates asking your body what it wants to eat. Every time I asked my body what it wanted to eat, it replied, “Chocolate please,” hence the weight gain. In my view, tuning into what you think your body wants to eat feeds right into the romanticization of food that is at the core of eating issues. Skinny Thinking teaches people how to stop thinking about and romanticizing food.

» WFG encourages readers to allow feelings to be present and feel them when they arise. This helpful advice because in doing so, you come to see that feelings aren’t so scary after all. When you realize that you can tolerate feelings it becomes easier to stop using food to avoid them. The only problem with using the strategy of feeling your feelings exclusively is that it takes time and is not always practical or convenient. In my own case, I found that I needed other tools when the craving crazies struck. The Skinny Thinking 18 Kung Fus were born out of this need. I’m not saying that you have to become adept at using 18 tools. But with more choices, you have the opportunity to test drive them and see which ones work best for you. Because we’re all different, certain Kung Fus will work for some people but not for others.

» WFG suggests that readers eat until they are satisfied. Many people, like me, don’t ever feel completely full and would gladly eat more at the end of every meal. Eating generally sounds like a good idea. Satisfaction is a concept, an idea created by the mind. Some people, like me, have talked themselves into the notion that a meal isn’t complete without bread or dessert. So what is it that’s not satisfied without bread: you or your mind? Skinny Thinking is about challenging our “sacred cow” ideas and satisfaction is one of them.

Author's Bio: 

Skinny Thinking grew out of Laura Katleman-Prue’s desire to heal the eating, weight, and body image issues that plagued her for 35 years. She discovered that the root of her problem was the way she thought about food. In fact, changing her diet was irrelevant, if she didn’t change her thinking habits. By teaching herself to go on a “thought diet” and transform her relationship with food, she experienced permanent healing. This healing motivated her to write Skinny Thinking and to lead Skinny Thinking Workshops in order to help others heal their eating issues as well.

Laura attended Pomona College and pursued graduate studies in Marketing at Boston College. In 1980, she founded the Boston Brownie Company Inc. with retail and wholesale distribution in 2,000 stores in 14 states along the eastern seaboard.

In 1992, Laura completed coursework at Lesley University in Counseling Psychology. That same year, she received a Certification in Transpersonal Psychology from the Theravision Institute. After an awakening in 2006, she has been teaching meditation and self-inquiry for the past four years. She began teaching Skinny Thinking Workshops and offering individual coaching in 2009.