Syd is a middle-aged, Jewish woman at a crossroads. Her daughter has just left for college, she’s been dieting away those last few pounds, she and the saleswoman at Nordstrom are on a first-name basis, and she’s feeling adrift spiritually. She’s author Ellen Frankel’s fictional Syd Arthur. Can you relate? Maybe so, says Ellen. “Working with women with eating disorders, everyone’s story is unique, but there is a shared history,” comments Ellen. “Many of us believe that life will be different once we reach that magic number, that ‘ideal’ weight.”
The novel begins with Syd and friend Jodie’s trek to the local college to hear from the latest diet guru. Instead they wind up meeting a different type of guru, who is lecturing on Buddhism. As Syd embarks on a quest to fill herself spiritually, she discovers important lessons, whether it is about the unnecessary consumer-driven nature of some spiritual practices (Syd’s meditation room costs a small fortune) to the enduring spirit of connections including family relationships and friendships.
While Syd Arthur has many important lessons for women with eating issues, one of the most important comes in the form of the character Barbara. Barbara has replaced Syd as a regular in weekly her mah jongg game, and her grating personality would be enough to annoy even if the rivalry wasn’t already there. “Barbara represents all those myths in our culture,” Ellen says. “She’ll try any product that offers weight loss, will consider a ‘preventive’ facelift. She’s the epitome of what consumers want. Syd can see a lot of herself in Barbara.” As Syd grows spiritually, her attitude towards Barbara undergoes a transformation. There’s no longer a need to be triggered by Barbara or to be competitive, and she is able to generously offer Barbara a lesson on how to allow sweetness into her restrictive life.
Ellen’s novel is a must-read, and this Sunday there’s also a chance to hear Ellen speak in her talk “Noshing Towards Nirvanna: An Exploration of Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul, and Freeing the Spirit.” Ellen will discuss why she wrote the book, which is loosely autobiographical, and provide insights into how to develop a more healthy relationship with food body and self. The workshop will allow women to connect with their inner voices and will challenge the sacrifices we in the name of losing weight.
Nutrition therapist Amy Tuttle, RD,LCSW, and yoga therapist Shirley Kessel, RYT will also conduct an introductory workshop. BodyMind-Fullness Women’s Workshop. Finding Your Way Back to Your Healthy Natural Weight(and to What Matters Most) will be held onSunday, October 16, from 2:00-4:00 p.m.at Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun, 1001 Paper Mill Road in Erdenheim, Pa. There is a small fee for the workshop.
Ellen’s talk will be on Sunday, October 16, 2011 4:00 pm at Beth Tikvah B’nai Jeshurun, and again at 7:15 pm in Center City at The Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 4th floor Philadelphia, PA 19103. There is no charge for the Ellen Frankel events, but we will be accepting donations and conducting raffles at each event to benefit A Chance to Heal, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing eating disorders and promoting positive body image.
Raffle prizes will include Ellen’s books and related mindfulness and no diet resources, as well as gift certificates for yoga studios, spas, and restaurants! Ellen will draw the raffle winners at the end of each event. To be eligible to win, you must RSVP and attend either the 4:00 or 7:15 pm event.
For more information please Phone: 484-580-9692 or Email: email@example.com
Syd Arthur is available through Amazon.