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Questions about our Support Community

By Michelle May, M.D.

Change-the-inside-firstWow! We are so grateful for the positive response to our new Mindful Eating Support Community!

We recognize that there are some great options for you to sift through so we would expect that you may have some questions about what might be the best fit for you.

We also invite you to share your own fears and doubts about whether Am I Hungry? Programs or the Mindful Eating Support Community is right for you. Please feel free to post them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer them.

(Don’t be concerned if your comment doesn’t show up right away. We have to approve them to prevent spam.)

 

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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.

22 Comments

  1. shelly allon says:

    what is the cost of coaching? i see that at all levels of your support program there is a 10% discount on coaching. but, i cannot ind the prices for coaching listed anywhere.

    in addition to the “earlybird” discount is there any other discount available for the support community? we are in a very bad financial situation, but i am very intrigued and interested in the program that you are offering. I am…yet again…fighting with my urge to once again start a diet- knowing that at least for the short run, i will stop eating too much and lose a bit of weight. I know, too well, that this is not a long term solution and it does not answer my need to finally live without food being my main focus in life (the food conversation NEVER leaves my mind!), but i am so tired of the overwhelming pull of food when i feel stressed that i am contemplating dieting again (despite the fact that i deeply do not believe in it) just to get a moments rest from the ongoing self criticism and feeling of being out of control around food.
    thanks for considering my request-
    shelly

    • Thanks for writing Shelly. I get the temptation to start another diet. I restarted one particular popular diet over and over – 17 times! (I’m persistent!) What is so clear to me now that I didn’t understand then, is that dieting and this pull that food has on you are two sides of the same coin. And both can be resolved with mindful eating.

      In terms of the cost, I would ask you to first think about what this problem has cost you so far. Seriously, add up the amount of money, time, and energy you have spent caught in this vicious cycle over your life time. You already seem to know that one more round of dieting isn’t going to fix all that this time either. (You might like this short article I wrote about this: https://amihungry.com/cheap-sunglasses/)

      I know that this Mindful Eating Support Community is an investment – and I also know its true value (trust me; it is worth waaaaay more than we are charging!). You can read more about Coaching and see the regular prices here: https://amihungry.com/learning-options/mindful-eating-coaching/. Yes, the Support Community get 10% off of those prices and Level 1 includes 2 sessions a month (plus a free 30 minute session upon enrollment). But since money is an issue, I would start with Level 2 for at least 2 or 3 months (long enough to spend some time using the Online Mindful Eating Program and the live Q&A calls). From there you can decide if you want to add in coaching or maybe even step down to Level 3 depending on how you are doing.

      If that is still outside of your budget, we still offer loads of free articles and blog posts on this website. It’s just that most people really need to go through the structure of the program with support first to learn how to apply it in their lives.

      I hope that helps Shelly!

  2. G says:

    New to this philosophy of eating. Starting the video series at home and I feel my biggest struggle is that I make WEIGHT the focus. I do need to lose about 40 pounds and so desperately want my relationship with food to change so I’m trying to show myself grace about my choices. I can give up counting calories, weighing and measuring, jumping on the scale every day and restrictive eating , but the ever present focus on weight still plagues me. Help!

    • Hi G! It sounds like you recognize that focusing on your weight is not particularly helpful. There are many reasons why that is true (too many to go into here), but I understand that thinking about your weight is a habit – a habit that is reinforced by the media, the medical profession, and family and friends.

      This habit of focusing on weight distracts us from focusing on the decisions we need to make moment by moment. Your weight may or may not change; but what will change is your ability to make mindful decisions about why, when, what, how, and how much you eat, and where you invest the energy you consume.

      When you have this new way of making decisions in place, you will create space in your life for other more important, fun, fulfilling, and satisfying things than obsessing about what you eat or what you weigh. When you focus on healing your relationship with food and investing your energy in living a vibrant life, you can trust your weight to take care of itself.

  3. marjorie says:

    I am 67 years old and have struggled with dieting/bingeing for 40 years. Is it too late for me?

    • I’m SO glad you asked Marjorie! It’s never too late to add a healthy relationship with food to your life!

      Years ago I was teaching an Am I Hungry? workshop at a senior center. About four workshops into the program, a 69 year-old participant slammed both hands down on the table, slide her chair back, and stood up. She said, “Why didn’t anyone teach me this forty years ago?! I have felt so free these last few weeks. All of the things I was afraid would happen haven’t. Why didn’t I know about this before?”

      I learned two things that day: 1) It is never too late to enjoy the freedom you will gain. (And what is the alternative? Spend the rest of your life wishing it was different?) and 2) No matter how old you are, what are you waiting for? If you don’t change something, nothing is going to change!

      I hope to have the opportunity to work with you!

  4. Linda Pearson says:

    I need to loose a significant amount of weight. I don’t understand how I can accomplish that if I do not restrict my eating. Can you explain. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your question Linda – this is a common one!

      Scientific research has already clearly proven that restrictive diets do not lead to sustainable weight loss. In fact, for most people, restrictive eating leads to overeating, weight gain, weight cycling, and disordered eating. That was my personal experience and the experience of the people we’ve helped.

      Many people (medical professionals included) confuse “the need to lose weight” with the need to eat a more balanced diet, decrease overeating by addressing why you eat, become more physically active on a consistent basis, reduce stress, practice better self-care, and so on. Am I Hungry? will help you with ALL of those things, and for some people, weight loss may be a side effect of making these permanent changes in your life.

      Restrictive eating leads to overeating. Mindful eating leads to awareness about why you make the choices you do. Am I Hungry? teaches you how to make different choices that will serve you better!

  5. Lula says:

    I need to lose weight fast because I have arthritis and I’m about 40 pounds over the weight that my joints could carry. I hate diets and I am a jo-jo life-long expert – which got me where I am. I really like your approach – especially because one of my motivations for eating is the opportunity to break the very rules that have ruined my relationship with food, and offered …nothing in return.
    But, of course, a focus on weight + being in a hurry do NOT go with your approach…. Ant ideas?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Lula! I love your question because it really strikes to the heart of the matter: We want what we want, and we want it now!

      The beauty of mindfulness is that we learn how to discover the gift in the present moment, which is after all, the only moment we actually have anyway. We learn how to make decisions that feel good RIGHT NOW – instead of putting off our lives until we lose 40 pounds.

      When we are focused on weight and in a hurry, we sabotage the very things we want the most. Because underneath the statements, “I need to lose weight for my joints or to be healthier or to look better,” what we really want is to live a big, vibrant life we love!

      Focusing on what you “should” weigh keeps you stuck. It is time to move forward and claim that life today!

  6. Julie says:

    Based on your prior answer to Shelly Allon, that most people need to go through the program to apply it to their own lives, can I learn the program on my own with your book and workbook? I don’t have much extra money at this point , but don’t want to continue doing the same things I am doing.

    • Absolutely Julie! And many, many people have! I get emails every day from people who were told to buy the book by the dietitian or doctor or friend and it has changed their life!

      I think that is a wonderful place to start! In addition, we have many fabulous Am I Hungry? Facilitators, Coaches, and Therapists around the world who offer programs in your communities and workplaces so you may want to look into that as well: http://amihungry.net/index.cfm?p=search_fac

      And we will continue to provide many free resources as we always have – our enewsletters, blogs, public Facebook page, inspirational posts on Twitter (@EatWhatYouLove), and handouts for healthcare professionals to name a few.

      We created this Support Community for those who needed more support and guidance through the process. If that is not an option for you right now, start with Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat and the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program Workbook and Awareness Journal (the Toolkit is the best deal! https://amihungry.com/marketplace/mindful-eating-toolkit/).

      And maybe ask a friend to join you and you can support one another! Best wishes for an eye-opening, life-changing journey Julie!

    • Julie says:

      I am ordering the toolkit tonight! I’m very excited to get going and learn to eat what I love and love what I eat!

  7. Avril Roberts says:

    If I am not on a diet, what will stop me eating biscuits with my coffee and some chocolate after my evening meal?

    • Nothing! And the great news is that you don’t have to!

      Having to give up the foods you love is one of the most damaging lies created by the multi-billion dollar diet industry. Think about the people you know who don’t struggle with food… Do they eat biscuits with their coffee or chocolate after their evening meal? Of course they do! Am I Hungry? teaches you how to do that too – without weighing it, measuring it, logging it, or feeling guilty about it!

      As I write this, I know it sounds to good to be true. If I wasn’t living it and hadn’t seen so many other people living it, I would find it hard to believe too. But it is. I don’t have multi-billions of dollars to advertise, but I know I am on this planet to tell you the truth and to change the way the world thinks about eating!

      P.S. And by the way, a diet eventually leads to overeating biscuits and chocolate anyway. Am I right?

  8. Suzy (Talkative & Tearful) from 2015 Oracle Retreat says:

    Hi, Michelle!
    I’m not on Facebook and don’t particularly want to join. Will that be necessary to be part of the larger community here for support, encouragement, and just plain ole friendship with other seekers ready to challenge the canon of weight loss and “healthy eating” we have been choking down (literally and figuratively) for years and years?

    Marjorie, you are never too old! I went to Michelle’s retreat for those of us who have developed the practice of binge eating as a coping skill (yeah, not a very good skill there!) at the age of 60 and I, too, am feeling freer from my former “lover” who would only visit in secret, usually with a bucket of fried chicken.

    I’m actually eating when hungry (after discovering what hunger felt like) as I was either bingeing or restricting (dieting) so never eating when actually hungry. What a concept!!

    Michelle, thanks again for recommending Dr. Lesley W. to me. What a wonderful difference it makes to go to a doc appointment and not be berated about weight gain or given a sheet of paper with a pyramid on it. Have you seen that the pyramid has been reconfigured (again)? All those extra copies in doctors’ offices are out-of-date suddenly. The day before they were part of the canon. The next day–oops–that pyramid is outdated and error-ridden. Well, I could have saved a lot of trees and told them that. Give up the pyramids, Dr. Guys and Dr. Gals. Get a life and some compassion along the way.

    OK–rant and ramble over. ORIGINAL QUESTION: Will FB be the most active community for Level 3 people or will the regular on-line community be sufficient for a rambler like I am.

    Thanks,
    Suzy

    • Hi Suzy! Great to hear from you again. You always crack me up!

      Great question! I don’t know yet… We are definitely including the Member Forum in the Support Community and I already know of several Level 3 members who have joined who have liked using the Member Forum in the past. We decided to add the secret Facebook Support Community because it is so convenient and user-friendly.

      I think it is safe to assume that you will be able to use either. However, even if you don’t use Facebook already, the secret Facebook group might be easy for you because you’d only need to join Facebook for that! Basically, you’d set up a simple profile – name and photo or image (no other information needed) and don’t make any “friends” outside of our group. No one would even know you were there – except us!

      I look forward to working with you again – and I am just blown away by how far you’ve come since that retreat!

  9. Phyllis Wagner says:

    I am confused as to what criteria a “Mindful” eater would use when grocery shopping, putting together meals and snacks, and all the other food decisions. Is it calories, nutritional information labels, this or that nutritional theories we are inundated with? How do I disconnect from all the noise and make food decisions that benefit me without referring to some kind of “rule”? There’s no denying that a process of evaluation is necessary. How does a “Mindful” eater evaluate foods and avoid the “good food”/”bad food” trap? Please help me get some clarity on this issue. Thanks.

    • I 100% agree Phyllis, “a process of evaluation is necessary”! However, the outdated process has been an outside-in approach: Read the label, check the calories (or fat or carbs or whatever else you are counting), the consume whatever serving size the package says, and then try not to think about what you really wanted to eat (or how much you really wanted to eat)!

      A process of evaluation is absolutely necessary, but mindful eating is an inside-out approach. The Mindful Eating Cycle will guide you through the six major decisions you make about eating:

      Why are you eating? (Fuel, nutrition, pleasure, all of the above?)
      When do you want to eat? (Hunger, stress, boredom, celebration, and so on?)
      What do you eat? (Balance, variety, moderation – NOT good vs. bad!)
      How do you eat? (With intention and attention?)
      How much do you eat? (How do you want to feel when you are done?)
      Where do you invest the energy you’ve consumed? (Fueling the big, vibrant life you crave!)

      So the short answer is that nutrition information is a tool, not a weapon to control your decisions. Am I Hungry? teaches numerous specific skills and strategies – NOT RULES – for making decisions that balance eating for nourishment with eating for enjoyment. (You’ll love Workshop 5!)

      I promise: You will be amazed at how simple and utterly possible (and sustainable!) it is to eat in a healthful, balanced way while enjoying the foods you love – guilt-free!

  10. Wendy says:

    I am considering the 2nd tier plan, but I am also considering just buying the on-line course. I know that is more initially than the ongoing cost of the plan, but it seems like it has almost all of the same things available, and has the audio uploads of the sessions as well, something I could really use. Does the second tier plan also include the audio uploads?

    • That is a great question Wendy. We have considered removing the Am I Hungry? Self-Paced Program with the Mindful Eating Support Community but for now, we recognize that some people will prefer that particular combination of tools. The Support Community does not include audios but it does include live calls and an active Facebook Community. The other big difference is the format of the workshops: Live recorded webinars in the Self-Paced program vs online interactive (a more contemporary, entertaining way to participate) in the Support Community .

      One option would be to do the Self-Paced Program first which would then qualify you for Level 3 of the Support Community if you decide you’d like the ongoing support.

      Does that help?

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