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I’m glad I asked! And the winner is…

By Michelle May, M.D.

We are in the final stretch of publishing my next book, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Students: A Mindful Eating Program to Fuel the Life You Crave. I’ve been really excited about this project because my 16 years in family medicine included working with many teens and young adults, and because of my own struggle with food, especially during my college years. (More on that in another post.)

In the process of writing this book, I’ve gathered a great deal of feedback from students, faculty members, and parents who have affirmed the need for a book like this (and the Mindful Eating course that will use this book as the text).

EWYL LWYE Students-COVER optionsOne of the fun parts of writing a book (as opposed to all of the not-so-fun parts!) is creating the cover design. I loved the cover for Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat and have stuck to that look with a theme of chocolate on the cover. For Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat for Students, our initial plan was to use chocolate chip cookies. We even had the cover design completed but I began having second thoughts. My own two kids, ages 21 and 24, thought that candy was far more accessible and common for students.

After searching for a great image that would work on white background (harder than it sounds), I posted two cover options on our Facebook page and asked our community to vote on their favorite: Cookies or Candy, keeping in mind the theme of my other three books.

We received over 70 votes, many with comments. Wow! What helpful feedback and incredible insight you provided! Many people liked the cookies and associated them with cookies from home, and as a comfort (or study) food. However, some didn’t like the look of these particular cookies for various reasons.

A lot of people agreed that candy is more popular with students. Many people also commented that it made sense to stick with candy since it’s on the cover of my other books.

And the winner is…candy!

Over two thirds of you preferred the candy cover option, making me really glad that I asked!

(Cookie fans: I may use chocolate chip cookies on my book for families someday! If I do, I’ll choose a different image though thanks to your feedback. Stay tuned.)

EWYL-LWYE-Students-cover option 2Interestingly, several people mentioned that they didn’t like that the candy bar had bites out of it. That didn’t particularly bother me but I could see their point so we found another image without the bites that appears to have been broken or cut in half. Knowing that you all had amazing insights, I posted these two candy cover options: Broken or Bitten. We had over 50 votes and comments–and even votes on your comments!

A number of people liked the bitten image because they felt it symbolizes that you really can eat what you love without restriction. As one person said, “I like the bitten because it shows that you can eat it in moderation and nothing’s off-limits.” That made sense to me too.

Nonetheless, the hands down winner was broken, not bitten, again making me really glad that I asked!

Many people said the broken candy bar looked really appetizing; a couple of people wanted to eat one now! (I cover triggers in chapter 4…) However, besides the “gross-factor” of the bitten candy bar, there were a couple of the comments that sum up why I agree that the broken (or cut) candy bar is the best option in the end:

Eat-What-You-Love-Love-What-You-Eat-for-StudentsBroken, I can save half for tomorrow…

The broken one looks like someone is ready to enjoy the candy bar, but isn’t necessarily just going to eat a full bar just because it’s there. It is being cut in half and mindfully considered before eating.

I learned a lot through this process, especially how each of us see things slightly differently. we bring our own experiences, associations, and preferences to the table. Not surprisingly, I could never find one image that everyone will agree on, but it has been really good food for thought! And like I said, I’m really glad I asked!


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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