Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Mindful New Year

Photo courtesy of WeddingPartyToasts.com
Have you ever made a New Year's resolution that you haven't kept?  Did your motivation slowly decline as the months went by?  Did you feel discouraged as you realized that yet again you set a goal for yourself that you were not going to meet?  Would you like to stop that cycle?  How many times has your resolution been something about eating better or losing weight?  Would you like to free yourself from that burden of resolutions and instead feel confidently motivated all year? I think I have an answer for you!

If you scour the internet right now, you'll see a whole host of articles and advertisements.  They are giving you ideas, suggestions and tips for breaking bad habits, eating better and offering quick-fix solutions that fit perfectly into our resolution cycle.  These headlines may sell magazines or drive traffic to a website but they won't really fix the problem. To eat healthy and really change our relationship with food, we need to work hard and do some real soul-searching.  This soul-searching can be hard and we need to develop tools to help us in our journey.

There is a growing movement among dietitians, psychologists and therapists that focuses on a "mindful" understanding of ourselves. I'd like to highlight some of the better resources out there to help you become a more mindful/intuitive eater and help you change the resolution mindset.

Intuitive Eating -- Originally a book written by Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA and Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD they now have a website with some great resources.  They have a great page that highlights the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating.  Their principles might seem unorthodox but I can tell you first hand, they work!  I find this method of eating very freeing and has helped me make peace with food.  If you are someone that has struggled with weight and food, this is a must read!!

Health At Every Size® (HAES®) -- This book is written by Linda Bacon, PhD.  She holds a doctorate in physiology and an advanced degree in psychology.  She has worked with eating disorders and with weight regulation and her book details how our war on obesity is failing.  As her site says, "Fat isn't the problem.  Dieting is the problem."  The common misconception for HAES® is that it's throwing in the towel when it comes to losing weight.  That is not the case.  HAES®, like Intuitive Eating is about honoring your health and emotional wellbeing and ignoring the pressure to be thin.

Am I Hungry -- This site is a center for mindful eating.  It is run by Michelle May, MD who is a physician  who has a personal history with yo-yo dieting.  The site has a ton of great resources and Dr. May as well has a variety of trainings for those interested in learning more about mindful eating practices.

This is Not a Diet, It's My Life -- This site/blog is a great resource for anyone insterested in following Kate's journey from being a yo-yo dieter to learning to accept her body and adopt a Health at Every Size approach to living.

I hope this blog inspires you to change.  You don't have to continue to fight with food.  There is peace.  Your weight is just the result of your behaviors and you can't change one without the other.  By treating the real issue (maybe how you cope with loneliness by using food or how you endlessly search for a diet because you have a negative body image) you find a life-long solution to the real problem.   Resolve to treat the real issue that is affecting all other aspects of your life.  Resolve to talk to your self with compassion.  Resolve to break the cycle for your kids.  Resolve to abolish the food police from your life.  Resolve to adopt a life of self care.  It will take hard work and the road will be hard but in the end, there is inner-peace and a new understanding of who we are.

If you find you need help with Intuitive Eating or you'd like to learn more, I'm here for you. To schedule an appointment please call (818) 851-1414 or email me so we can set something up.  I do face to face as well as Skype visits.

Here's to a happy, healthy and mindful New Year.