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It’s Not About the Weight

By Michelle May, M.D.

woman in robe hugging scaleFollowing the birth of her third baby, Ginger found herself getting on her bathroom scale four times a day. Ginger had never really dieted before but had always been very health conscious and interested in nutrition. After the baby, she found herself “closet eating” and feeling guilty. She intuitively knew that her sudden obsession with her weight and food wasn’t healthy.

Ginger signed up for the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Workshop at her church and has become a huge fan. “I don’t weigh myself at all anymore. I don’t even want to know because I don’t want a number to control me. I feel great and my clothes fit-that’s all I need to know,” Ginger explains.

A Weight Lifted Off Her Shoulders

Like most people, Ginger had emotional connections to food. She was one of eight kids so food was a limited resource. “We all learned to eat when food was there; fudge at Christmas time was a really special treat.” She got conflicting messages too. “We were always told about ‘bad’ foods and ‘good’ foods but at the same time, food was given as a reward.”

Ginger also says she is a “fixer” and is in recovery for co-dependency. “From that, I learned that you have to get to the root issue: why do you eat?” Even now, she’s aware that some family members seem uncomfortable if she chooses not to eat when everyone else is. “They try to push food on me but I don’t feel the need to eat to please them.”

So many valuable lessons…

She loved participating in the Am I Hungry? workshops because she learns best when she’s using all of her senses. Her Facilitator, Dawn Rutledge really helped her shift toward instinctive eating. Ginger shared some of the things she learned:

•I love the freedom I have with food. I can eat ice cream at ten o’clock in the morning if I want-in front of my husband!
•I don’t elevate food anymore. If I’m hungry for salad instead of dessert, that’s what I eat.
•I don’t have to worry about when and what to eat because I can trust my body to tell me.
•I rarely overeat anymore. I don’t think I’ve been stuffed more than twice in the last year.
•I enjoy food more than ever now. I sit down to eat and make the time to smell, taste, and really appreciate my food.
•My first bite is my favorite because I know it’s never going to taste better than that!
•It has helped my break the cycle with my kids. I don’t make them clean their plate; I just say, “Is your tummy happy?”

Ginger tells everyone she knows to buy Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. “I don’t push it on them if they’re not ready. It’s just that I want everyone to experience the freedom I have!”


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.

One Comment

  1. Erin Nieto says:

    Thank you for illustrating so well the problematic relationship that most of us have to our weight, and for the push toward a paradigm shift. I am doing my part with my book “How Much Do You Weigh?”, due to be published at the end of the summer: howmuchdoyouweigh.tumblr.com

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