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Fed Up with Thinking about Food

By Michelle May, M.D.

woman with headacheSharon was fed up with thinking about food all the time. She had been overweight her entire life-and painfully recalls being beaten up once by kids after school because she was fat.

Sharon is honest about her situation: “I knew I was an emotional eater. I was constantly thinking about food-I even woke up thinking about food!” Diets hadn’t helped her with this problem. “Weight Watchers was a good diet but I had to focus on food constantly still,” Sharon says.

Sharon says she has spent thousands and thousands of dollars on diets and has tried everything. She decided that lap band surgery was her only option. She knew that people sometimes gained their weight back-her friend had-but she didn’t see any other options.

She made an appointment with her trusted family physician, Jennifer Morse, to discuss it. Sharon expressed her frustration and desire for lasting change. “I knew if I did not get my thoughts about food and the reasons I overeat in check, I would regain all of the weight; therefore, it was very important to change my mind before changing my body.”

Dr. Morse was empathetic as she has lost over 100 pounds herself. She wanted to share what she had learned with her patients so she became an Am I Hungry?® Facilitator. Sharon signed up for Dr. Morse’s first classes but confides that she was too busy to focus on what she was learning. She signed up again the next time the workshops were offered and that was the turning point.

“It just clicked! I eat like a thin person now!” She has effortlessly lost 32 pounds so far but says, “It’s not about the weight anymore. My fantasies about food are gone. Though I never believed it was possible, I am now eating to live, not living to eat.”

When asked about the changes she’s made as a result of participating in Dr. Morse’s Am I Hungry?® workshops, she says, “everything!” Here are just a few:

  • In the past, I would eat something just because it was in front of me-even a stale donut. Now I don’t bother with food I don’t love.
  • I want fruits and vegetables now. Before this, I never would have eaten an apple instead of cookies.
  • I can eat what I really want. If I’m hungry for Reese’s® Peanut Cups, I eat them.
  • When we go out to dinner, I am more focused on relationship and conversation, not just the food.
  • I notice that when I feel full I just stop eating. During one of the workshops, Dr. Morse used a balloon to help us get the concept of fullness. I realized that my stomach just wasn’t as big as I thought.
  • I’ve learned to pamper myself with something besides food. I bought new clothes for the first time in 15 years. I had forgotten what that feels like. I’m even treating myself to pedicures.

What about exercise? She says she enjoys being active, walking her dogs, and using a Treadclimber regularly at home. Now she’s thinking about joining Curves with a friend she met in the Am I Hungry?® workshop.

Sharon says she really benefitted from sharing her experiences with her classmates. “They have had similar issues so that was a big help.” The fact that her facilitator shared her insights from her own journey was another bonus.

Michelle May, M.D., the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Workshops and Facilitator Training Program, said, “Many of our facilitators have struggled with overeating or restrictive eating in the past and are passionate about this approach.

“I am so grateful for my doctor and these workshops. The book and workbook are fantastic! I recently shared Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with my niece who was tired of constantly thinking about food too.” A doctor at the office where Sharon works began offering a medical weight loss program (which Sharon describes as “shakes and bars”). “Everyone else jumped on board but I wasn’t the least bit interested because I’ve been down that path before. Of course, no one is doing it anymore. Quick fixes just don’t work.”

Instead Sharon says she plans to retake Dr. Morse’s eight week workshop once a year “as a refresher” to remind herself of all the major changes she’s made in the way she thinks about food…or rather, doesn’t think about food. (Read about another one of Dr. Morse’s Am I Hungry?® workshop participants and learn more about Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops.)

Read more Am I Hungry? Success Stories

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About the author

Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yo-yo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs and Training. She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: A Mindful Eating Program to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle , winner of seven publishing awards. She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Binge Eating, and Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Bariatric Surgery. Michelle shares her compelling message and constructive keynotes with audiences around the country, offers workplace wellness programs, and has trained and licensed hundreds of health professionals to facilitate Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Programs worldwide. She has been featured on Dr. Oz, the Discovery Health Channel, and Oprah Radio, and quoted in Diabetic Living, Fitness, Health, Huffington Post, Parents, Self, USA Weekend, US News & World Report, WebMD and many others. Her personal success story was published in Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul. Michelle cherishes her relationships with her husband, Owen and grown children, Tyler and Elyse. She regularly enjoys practicing yoga and hiking near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She and Owen, a professional chef, share a passion for gourmet and healthful cooking, wine tasting, photography, and traveling.

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