For me, starting a diet was always a mixture of hope—that this diet would be the magic bullet—and worry that I wouldn’t be able to stick with it. If you have ever dieted, you may also be exceedingly familiar with this yo-yo effect of being “on the diet” or “off the diet.”
Clearly, in order for real change to happen, the changes we make need to be sustainable, which of course diets are not. Instead Am I Hungry? programs provide a comprehensive road map for real, lasting change in how you relate to food. And to jump start your understanding of how eating may have been your way of coping with the stress in your life, consider joining Dr. Michelle May and me for the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating for Emotional Eating and Binge Eating Retreat. Together, retreat participants learn new tools and practice skills that have been clinically validated to stop emotional and binge eating. Michelle and I will guide you to learn, practice, and integrate the tools and skills as a process.
The fact that learning and implementing mindful eating is a process may not be something that past dieters are ready to hear at first. Dieting trains us to expect quick results (even if they are not lasting!). But unlike dieting, which gets harder and harder over time, mindful eating becomes more natural and feels better with practice. That’s why we are committed to helping participants move through the stages of learning to eat mindfully.
To make mindful eating sustainable, adopt the idea that eating mindfully is a practice, not a quick fix. The mindfulness skills we learn together at the retreats help participants set an expectation to extend their practice beyond the retreat.
So how will you keep your mindful eating practice going? Set your intention to follow through using manageable steps (more about these in my next post), giving you the best opportunity for it to become natural!
Here are some ways to deepen your mindful eating practice after participating in Am I Hungry? retreats, workshops, webinars, or coaching.
- Commit to a daily practice. Start your day by reading an article or book about mindful eating to stimulate curiosity and awareness.
- Focus on key Am I Hungry? concepts with motivational companion cards and the Mindful Eating Virtual Coach app for iPhone or Android.
- Find community with like-minded others. The new Mindful Eating Support Community offers support, guidance, and practice using your new skills.
- Attend an Am I Hungry? retreat (or attend again!). This intensive immersion experience away from the distractions of daily life allow you to focus on yourself.
- Work with others by joining a live or online Am I Hungry? mindful eating workshop. Haven’t worked in a group? Challenge yourself to receive the benefits of giving and receiving with others.
- Sign-up for a free mindful eating coaching session to see if coaching is right for you.
You may still begin with a mixture of hope and worry—that is understandable—but you have to start somewhere! And through this process, you will discover an entirely new way to manage your eating that doesn’t result in the frustrating and disappointing yo-yo effect!