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Is food a source of joy or pain?

By Michelle May, M.D.

In our food-abundant, diet and weight obsessed culture, eating is source of conflict, confusion, and guilt for many people.

While we may not be able to change the environment we live in, we can change the way we see it, and therefore, the way we live in it. Yet so many people feel powerless about food. They have experienced the pain of yo-yo dieting and blame themselves.

What I want you to know is that it is not your fault and it doesn’t have to be like that anymore!

If you are ready to explore a different way to relate to food – one that doesn’t require weighing, measuring, counting, restriction, and deprivation – please listen to this complimentary webinar, “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle.”

free-mindful-eating-webinarThis free webinar is only 90 minutes so it’s jam-packed and juicy! Here’s what you can expect:

  • We explore the patterns of instinctive eating, overeating, and restrictive eating using the Mindful Eating Cycle model.
  • You’ll gain an understanding of how you developed these patterns and how to change them (if you want).
  • I provide you with a brief overview of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program to help you decide if it might be a good fit for you.
  • I answer questions about your most troublesome eating challenges.

Request the recording by completing this form:


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.


  1. A N says:

    How can one overcome cravings when you are at work, bored, chained to your desk and it’s only mid-day? Munching on a snack is the most interesting option. I don’t have the option to go for a walk or journal etc.

  2. P. H. says:

    Some years ago, I focused on mindful eating during meal breaks at a meditation retreat independent of the program content and retreat leaders. It was a real breakthrough for me. I did not, however, stick with it.

    When I learned I had high cholesterol, my Dr. suggested that I drop 15 pounds and we’d re-check in a year. I don’t smoke or have any other risk factors for heart disease. I dropped 17 pounds following a restrictive South Beach plan, never making it to “phase 3” which was adding healthy grains and starches back into one’s eating. I continued to avoid sugar. My numbers were in the healthy range!

    Over the next few years, I got a little tired of the restrictive eating, began consuming grains, starches, natural sugars and an occasional “sweet treat” and started to gain weight back. My “bad” cholesterol numbers shot back up. My ratio stayed in the normal range.

    I re-committed to the South Beach plan again. Like before, I didn’t worry about saturated fat and so ate lean protein and cheeses and lots of veggies. I was, though, Super restrictive – pretending that I was allergic to sugar, i.e., not only no cookies, cake, desserts of any kind, but also no fruits, fruit juices, starches at all. I told people I was allergic to wheat and corn – just made it easier. Committed to moderate healthy movement/exercise also, and I dropped to my lowest weight as an adult. Actually felt great. My numbers went back down to the normal range. I told myself I wasn’t ever going to gain the weight back. I was done dieting and now I was just going to maintain.

    I added healthy grains, whole fruit and now I’m back up 7 pounds. My “good” cholesterol numbers are great and my “bad” cholesterol numbers are the highest ever. So my ratio is actually in the normal range. I learned about mindful / intuitive eating from a colleague while finishing my certification as a Wellcoaches Health and Wellness Coach last year. I’ve begun to practice some of the mindfulness during meals. I KNOW that what you say about dieting is correct. I’m yearning for the peace I found at that meditation retreat AND I want my “bad” cholesterol numbers in the normal range. I feel crazy because it seems like the key to my numbers is the total absence of sugar and starch in my diet. That’s nothing less than restrictive. How do I achieve both?

    P.S. My other-half is a chef as well 🙂 and he’s been valiantly keeping up with my yo-yo eating. I’m concerned now that I’ve “infected him” with a restrictive mindset as he’s begun to get his weight into a healthier range.

    Thank you so much!

  3. Dawn Williams says:

    My question is how does a person like me that has lost a LOT of weight (180+ lbs) and kept most of it off for almost 10 years through measuring, counting calories and lots of exercise now stop the eat-repent-repeat cycle without going backwards.

    Note: I have done a TON of mental work these past 10 years and I still find myself struggling most weeks to have peace with food.

  4. Carrie says:

    I have a question in regards to a book that I read a few months ago called The Alternate Day Diet, it’s a book about fasting every other day. In the book, the author recommends doing a 500 calorie a day fast every other day and then eating regularly from hunger on the other days. In the back half of her book, she brings up Michelle May and Eat What You Love, Love What You eat and says that on the regular days you should be eating intuitively. How do YOU feel about combining fasting with intuitive eating, is this a good idea or not?

  5. Carrie says:

    I am in a horrible cycle where I just want to eat and binge ALL OF THE TIME. I can’t even remember the last time I was actually able to wait for hunger? When I have been able to wait for hunger, I feel compelled to eat every bite of food on my plate until I’m stuffed, do you think there’s any hope in overcoming this, if so, how? The drive to constantly eat is so strong, even without physical hunger, it’s like a drug!

  6. Carrie says:

    I have so many questions. I have several hundred “diet” books at home, I keep getting them hoping that they’ll save me from myself and my overeating. I have not been able to ever commit to letting the idea of dieting go and following through with any one thing. How can I stop the diet mentality and commit to eating intuitively? Part of the struggle I have with thinking about dieting all the time comes from needing to lose over 200 pounds, I feel desperate and just don’t know what to do??? I actually saw an obesity specialist at the hospital and he told me I have two options, this is really what he said, he said, I can either have weight loss surgery of start eating only from hunger and start walking several times a week. Well for me, surgery is NOT an option for many reasons so that leaves eating intuitively, is there any way to make the process smoother?

  7. Thanks for posting your questions for me to address during the webinar. We’ve also received questions by email but it will be much easier to answer them if they are posted here – plus, I can post written replies if we don’t have time to get to them all during the webinar. Thanks again!

  8. Victoria says:

    Learning what a normal portion is:

    I have been overeating for so long that I no longer feel satiety when I have eaten enough. How can I get in touch with my “full” button again?

    What to do about food cravings?

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