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Mindful Eating at Atlantic Health System

By Cristin Cooney

At Atlantic Health System, we believe in empowering our patients and employees to take charge of their health. The inclusion of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Program into our employee wellness programming resonates with our vision, and cultivates a healthy culture that supports mindful choices.

EWYLLWYE book on lapAs participants discover in the workshops, learning how to be present in the moment, pause, assess the situation, and then make a mindful decision empowers them to take charge of their eating. This positive, empowering approach is flexible enough to fit all lifestyles. The skills also translates to other aspects of their personal and work lives. As one participant said, “It isn’t just about food. This is about my whole life.”

We have had such great success and continued interest in the program! We are now offering ongoing support groups in addition to the 8-week workshops.

We invited Am I Hungry?® founder Dr. Michelle May to help us kick-off our program last fall. She delivered an engaging keynote for our community and a motivating lunch and learn session for our employees. Michelle speaking with lg powerpointHer presentations sent a powerful message that mindfulness inspires people to make healthier choices and promote balance and freedom in their lives.

Another part of our healthy culture is our strong Wellness Champion Network of employees. These champions act as wellness advocates in ways that meet the needs and culture of their unique departments. They serve as motivators and role models and engage their peers to adopt and sustain healthy lifestyles. Once a Wellness Champion experiences the power of the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program first-hand, they share their experiences with their co-workers and encourage them to participate. One Wellness Champion said, “Participation in Am I Hungry? has been life-changing. I no longer worry about or count my food. I have more energy and feel so free.”

The ripple effect of the Am I Hungry? program at Atlantic Health System has been exciting. It is truly an integral component of the overall wellness of our employees.

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About the author

Cristin Cooney is a Health Educator with Atlantic Health System Employee Wellness, and a licensed Am I Hungry?® Facilitator. The Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program is part of Atlantic Health System’s commitment to promoting sustainable healthy lifestyles. Cristin has been a Health Educator for 16 years, and holds a M.Ed. in Health Promotion. She is also a certified Health and Wellness Coach and is currently working on her M.S. in Nutrition. She believes in the power and effectiveness of mindfulness, and appreciates working for an organization that supports this approach to health. (Photo by Adam Casadevall, Morristowngreen.com)

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