Posted by: Lori Schmidt Lutze | January 6, 2010

eat, pray, love, whine

Elizabeth Gilbert has a new book out called Committed:  A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage.  Her last book was called Eat, Pray, Love.  Women all over the planet were absolutely crazy for Eat, Pray, Love.  Oprah was crazy for it, too . . . 

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: Book CoverCommitted by Elizabeth Gilbert: Book Cover

We listened to Eat, Pray, Love on tape and could only get through a little more than half of it.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph–as Joyce is fond of saying—-that Liz Gilbert ate, whined, prayed, whined, loved, and whined.  She’s a bigger whiner than Caillou . . .

Go to fullsize image

 . . . and that kid can whine!  How he’s lasted so long on PBS remains a mystery.  But back to whiney Liz Gilbert.  For those who haven’t read the bestselling book, Liz wrote about her recovery from a divorce and how she healed herself by traveling through Italy, India, and Indonesia. 

In Italy she ate.  Fair enough.  The food sounded really, really good.  And we really, really like food.  We fantasized about all that gorgeous food.  In India she prayed.   Joyce is a firm believer in prayer and finds it offers many important benefits to one’s health and well-being.  But about half way through India that poor Liz Gilbert was still whining about a past lover and, well, we just couldn’t take hearing about it anymore.  Talk about self-absorbed.  We never made it with her to Indonesia for the ‘real’ love part because we couldn’t get past all the whining about lost love.  And it scared us a little to watch Liz on Oprah and see lots of women–smart-looking women–say that Eat, Pray, Love had become their bible.  Holy shit, Dick Tracy.  That’s scary. 

Well, now Liz Gilbert is re-married–and she says she’s made peace with marriage.  She had to marry Hubby #2 at the border because otherwise he couldn’t have gotten into the country.  And she says she’s made peace with all of it.  Good for Liz.  We think she should have a baby now, too—she’s sort of against babies—but a baby could give her the full catasrophe and maybe she’d stop all her whining.

Anyway, Liz Gilbert recently shared her thoughts on EASE which we liked very much because they reminded us of Joyce.  And so we thought it would be good to kick off January by sharing Liz Gilbert’s non-whiney thoughts about EASE.  And how EASE is more important than whining.  Our comments are added in italics:

“We are the strivingest people who have ever lived.  We are ambitious, time-starved, competitive, distracted.  We move at full velocity (Joyce gives this a thumbs down), yet constantly fear we are not doing enough.  Though we live longer than any humans before us, our lives feel shorter, restless, breathless . . .

Dear ones, (we like when anyone calls us a dear one), EASE UP.  Pump the brakes.  Take a step back.  Seriously.  Take two steps back (we’re starting to like you, Liz).  Turn off all your electronics and surrender over all your aspirations and do absolutely nothing for a spell (this means wear loungewear).  I know, I know  —  we all need to save the world.  But trust me:  The world will still need saving tomorrow.  In the meantime, you’re going to have a stroke soon if you don’t calm the hell down (Joyce relishes the appropriate use of the word hell now and again). 

So go take a walk.  Or don’t.  Consider actually exhaling.  Find a body of water and float (Joyce does this daily).  Hit a tennis ball against a wall.  Tell your colleagues that you’re off meditating and then actually, secretly, nap.

My radical suggestion?  Cease participation (except at parties), if only for one day this year  —  if only to make sure that we don’t lose forever the rare and vanishing human talent of appreciating ease.”

So, for today especially, we wish you non-whining Joyce-ease!!



  1. Thank goodness someone else found “Eat,Pray,Love” as annoying as I did. UGH and double UGH! The section on Italy was so over romanticized and inaccurate I wanted to vomit. Thank you for having the courage to not hop on the fan bandwagon of a bad writer.

  2. funny … i didn’t think liz whined … i do think caillou is a big whiner …

  3. I have been practicing ease up since years. Of course the book is much practical.

    But sometimes, easing up just isn’t you should do. Like laugh and cry are opposits but you need both of them. Similarly, hectic life can’t survive without easing up and vice versa.

  4. This was kinda awesome. 😀 Thanks for making me grin this morning!

  5. The second half of the book is exponentially better but IKWYM and will back you up on
    Caillou. Love the blog!

  6. very good article, thank you for share

  7. Look at you on the wordpress homepage! Congrats! I liked Eat, Pray, and Love (loved the Italian and Italian language part) the first time I read it. (some guy wrote a spoof -Drink, Play, and F@#k-by Andrew Gottlieb-really funny)
    Later, I found out my boyfriends wife wanted a divorce from him after reading it (which turned out good for me). Upturning the lives of him and the two daughters ages 2 and 4. Now I HATE the misdirection that book offers and the fact that IDIOTS think ending a marriage will solve all THEIR problems. Instead of really trying to figure out themselves and investing time in solutions to keeping a family together. They read Liz and decide her way is better. JUST LEAVE. She never says why she left husband #1 so no one should compare their marriage to hers but I think they do and it’s sad. (whoops off soapbox)

    I’m glad you wrote this. Nice to hear. Good to see your blog in lights. 🙂

    For me there was good and bad in this book if you take what you read with security in yourself. And realize it may be a true story but it’s HER story not your own.

  8. I’m with you – abandoned the book early in the reading. About EASE – it’s an absolute YES!

  9. Totally agree. I also had to quit in Indonesia because I couldn’t take anymore of her nauseating attitude – she was complaining about being able to leave her life, her work, her responsibilities and trek all over the world eating and doing yoga? And writing about how she was living? Ugh.
    I felt the same way about Julie and Julia but DID finish that one – Julie Powell was a big whiner too.

  10. Tried to read that stupid EPL book three times — why? why?? — and found it just as you described. So godawful self-absorbed and idiotic. So she went to Italy? Big whup. Wherever you go, there you are.
    And then we had to hear about where she was …. through three freaking countries (not that i made it past italy…)
    So funny to hear another person’s take on it!

  11. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by ColleenLindsay: Thank God! I thought I was the only one who felt this way about Eat, Pray, Love:

  12. Geez, I had heard (many moons ago) that this was a good book. Saw it in a book store and couldn’t bring myself to buy it when I found out the entire experience was fabricated–she went to her publisher and got an advance before going away to do her eating, praying and loving. Not to mention whining. I much prefer ladies who can live real lives and communicate their genuine experiences. Doing so with a sense of humor helps. I suspect I’d like your mother and her circle of friends. Thanks for the laugh.

  13. ew, thanks for sparing me this book. i considered it, but sounds like i wouldn’t make it past the whining either, and no one else gets to whine but ME!

  14. great article.

    i must seek out this callilou guy, i recognize it from somewhere.


  15. the first half of a book should hook you – although, it is so common to lose readers before getting to the good stuff – short attention span

  16. First time reader here and definitely won’t be the last. Great article. Totally agree about the book. I didn’t make it much into India either. I did see Liz on and she was fantastic. Glad to see that my first impression (the book) wasn’t entirely what she’s about.

  17. Italy was probably the only appealing part of this book for me – because it’s my native home. It took me ages to get through India. Not only did she whine a lot, but all of the slow meditation stuff was putting me to sleep. Indonesia was a little better, but still left me bored in the end.
    Not a book that I would recommend to a friend that’s for sure.

  18. How funny and true! I too loved the Italy portion of that book and then lost all enthusiasm after. It’s all about the food, ladies!

  19. I laughed a lot reading the book and found the concept clever.I spen t a long, slow year in india in the early 70’s and her year seem boring to me and those odd people in Bali! It was an entertaining read but for some of the Oprah folks who have never ventured far, I guess it was a big breakthrough book.

    I like your comments about it!

  20. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! My sister-in-law was foisting this book on everyone and even my brother was so in love with this book! I was beginning to think there was a “cult of Oprah” and an off-shoot “cult of Gilbert” and this was the manifesto and bible of the cult!! It is always great to find out that I’m not the only one on the planet to dislike this book.

  21. Haha! Yes! Thank you! I thought the same thing when I tried reading it after I had multiple people I’m friends with recommend it to me and I couldn’t get through it! Glad to hear someone else feels the same way…I was worried I was suffering from some sort of “super bitch” syndrome.

  22. So glad I’m not alone…. I loved the title of her first book. That’s it.

    The rest was….. well, let’s just say that I finished the Italy portion, but going to India was exhausting! I just couldn’t handle it anymore, not even with my happy pills on hand 🙂

  23. What a breath of fresh air. For a long time I thought I must be deranged. Against the opinion of friends, I also found the whining irritating, the text self-absorbed and was left bored. I wish I had read “Drink, Play, F@#k: One Man’s Search for Anything Across Ireland, Las Vegas and Thailand” instead. Just happy to know I am not alone in feeling this way.

  24. How refreshing to find someone who shares my view of that book! I could not finish it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get a book advance to go travel and find ourselves before we’d even written the damn book. I definitely don’t get all the hype, and I didn’t really think it was too cool how she just walked out on her first husband. Ok I’m done whining now 🙂

  25. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR COMMENTS—-what a huge surprise to find my post on the WordPress homepage—-best Christmas present ever!! Your reactions to EPL crack me up. Now I’m wondering: who really liked her book? Anyway, no whining here—you’ve made my month!! xo

  26. If he’s divorcing you, he’s just not that in to you. Seriously though, I think I would pursue divorce if it meant I got to travel through Italy, India, and Indonesia. Am I right, ladies?

  27. thank

  28. I just recently heard about this book (Eat, Pray, Love), and by recently i mean a few days ago on Oprah – perhaps it was a repeat?. I obviously missed all the hype Oprah made when it first came out….oh well! Anyway, I was looking into reading it since I’m a little skeptical about marriage also and I just assumed it might make things a little clearer…plus I’d read anything in sight when I’m bored. Anyway, thanks for giving us ur opinion on the book, it does help. Now I know I’d be reading a lot of her whining lol

  29. Hi,

    At, we interview Blogger and get to know about their blogging life. So far, we have interviewed many bloggers for this series. Continuing the same, we would like to interview you as well.

    This would be an online interview, i.e. we will send you questionnaire via email.

    Somehow, I couldn’t locate your contact email id here.

    You may reply back via email to me with your consent, and we move ahead.

    Devang Vibhakar
    (Editor) –

  30. Bali – Indonesia is the most beautiful place in the world. truly pretty…
    Come and see it by yourself.
    Julia Robert has prove it 🙂

  31. Hi Lori – great post! I confess I liked the book although I know a lot of people who got stuck in the India section and I advised them to just skip straight to Indonesia! Not sure what that says about my personal level of patience and spirituality but I didn’t feel guilty about it!

  32. I aborted my reading efforts at about page 50. I would have jumped ship earlier, but there was so much hype I had to give it a chance to see what the fuss was about.

    I don’t get it. A dull twit who never had any real life challenges gets bored and leaves her stable life for one of travel and adventure. It was boring and, as a lot of people agree, whiny. I don’t need to write a 300 page essay on the secret to life is not wasting it on reading someone who is paid to eat, pray, and love.

  33. Just curious…. did she get a book advance as well prior to marrying this guy???

  34. Regarding her EASE commentary above, I went to just to check on this word that she used in the first sentence, and here is the result:

    strivingest- no dictionary results !!!

    I knew it! The word itself is so hard to pronounce AND I’d never heard it before…. and she’s supposed to be a writer/author? WTF?

  35. Great idea, thanks for this tip!

  36. Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

  37. The book literally gave me nausea and heartburn. I kept a packet of tums by my bedside table.
    Everything was over the top. I don’t know which was more melodramatic.. the whining or the page after page of nothing but Napolitano cheese pizzas and gelatos. The indigestion followed me through the caves of India, and by the time I got to Bali I was secretely hoping for Felipe to run the other way. This entire ‘journey’ just seemed too scripted.

  38. Eat, Pray, Love & Shit.A trashy book authored by an intellectual pinup of a white trash! Parading self centredness, self obsession, halucinatory and crappy behavior as ‘spiritual’ is just outrageous. Shitty piece of drek indeed! HUH

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