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Four of your eating challenges

By Michelle May, M.D.

A few weeks ago, I asked you about your experiences with emotional eating and we received over 150 replies! I wanted to share some of the common challenges you wrote about…

1. When you are under stress, you reach for food.

It’s helpful to remember that using food to feel better is a way that you’ve learned to take care of yourself. And it works! Temporarily.

However, whatever the trigger was is still there when you’re done eating, so it becomes a vicious cycle.

The challenge is that you can’t resolve a problem that you’ve spent years practicing! What I mean is that most of us have “invisible walls” that keep us stuck following the same patterns over and over.

It is only when we get new insights, wisdom, and guidance from those who have been there before, that we can gain a fresh perspective and a new approach to transforming our old habits.

2. You are worried about dealing with all the food and triggers for emotional eating during the holidays.

We live in an abundant food environment–never more true than during the holidays! If you are a person who often eats in response to the presence of delicious foods (whether you are hungry or not), the holidays can feel like a mine field of opportunities to eat special foods that aren’t around at other times (we call that food scarcity).

Add to that all the emotional connections you might have to holiday foods–traditions, celebrations, memories (both good and bad), busyness, travel, stressful family dynamics–and you have a set-up for overeating.

All of this is compounded by the little voice in the back of your head that whispers, “Well, you are going to start that diet on January 1st, so you might as well enjoy it now while you can!”

3. You’ve read my book (or another book about mindful or intuitive eating) and the concepts made sense, but you are having difficulty consistently applying what you’ve read.

I have a small stack of “self-improvement” books in my bedside table myself, so I completely understand!

However, using the Mindful Eating Cycle to address the challenges you face day to day is very different from simply reading about it. It can feel like a bunch of concepts until you truly experience them in action.

4. You are worried that your issues with food are too difficult to address with mindful eating.

To be clear, unlike many of the articles you’ll find online about mindful eating, Am I Hungry? programs are not simply about savoring food.

In fact, it is not even about “eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full.”

We use mindfulness to explore your entire “decision making” process with food. (I put “decision-making” in quotes because without mindfulness, you are not even making conscious decisions—you are repeating old cycles.)

Our mindful eating processes help you learn how to recognize your triggers for mindless and emotional eating AND find replacements that work better.

There are solutions to the issues that keep you stuck!

I understand why it may be difficult to fathom how powerful this process is for healing your relationship with food. If you are like most people I’ve had the privilege of working with over the last 19 years, you have tried diets, programs, “healthy lifestyle plans,” or may have finally given up.

I’m no miracle worker, but what I know is that our Mindful Eating Cycle process works! You will learn an entirely new way of relating to food that doesn’t involve any counting, measuring, logging, or punitive exercise.

I’ve watched thousands of people discover peace and even joy with food so far and I believe that you can be next!

Why you? Why now?

Please know that as I read each of your emails I could relate to the challenges you shared, both because I had my own struggle with food and body image, and because I have worked with many others with similar challenges. You are not alone!

I wish I could have responded to every email personally. That is one of the reasons I started our Mindful Eating Support Community! It is a wonderful and effective way for me to help people who are struggling with common issues and who can benefit from the support and learning that takes place when we take this journey together.

It might not be for everyone, but if you are ready, here’s what the Mindful Eating Support Community was designed to help you do:

  • Break free of the bondage of chronic dieting, weight cycling, and/or overeating.
  • Make connections with other people working to resolve these issues too.
  • Learn new ways to think, feel, and act around food.
  • Free up your energy to focus on building the vibrant life you crave. life.

If you haven’t yet explored our Mindful Eating Support Community, I hope you’ll give yourself the opportunity to see if this community might be for you too! But hurry! Registration is only open for 2 more days!

P.S. Don’t forget the BONUS!

This fall, as a special bonus, our Level 1 and 2 community members will “do” the program together! (Level 3 is for people who are already well on their way and just need a place to stay connected with others who are using mindful eating instead of diets.)

Each week, you’ll participate in a short online workshop (only 18 to 23 minutes!) whenever it’s convenient for you.

Then, once a week, we will all meet online for a live Q&A to discuss what you are learning and how to apply it in your daily life.

I am really excited about the prospect of working with you to learn and practice mindful eating throughout the challenging holiday season!

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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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