I've struggled with weight challenges since my early adolescence. In high school, college, and later in adult life I was able to loose anywhere between 20-40 lbs. in a few short months with very strict and regimented diet and exercise routine. However, those gains were never sustained. I had adopted some good eating habits, but would stray from the gym or eating healthy, and vise-versa. Late in 2018, as my meditation routine deepened and some life shifts offered opportunities for deeper introspection, I realized that I was not allowing mindfulness to flow into all spaces in my life, including eating and fitness. Between August, 2018 and April, 2019, I've lost close to 40lbs. and gained substantial amount of muscle. This time around, with the help of mindfulness meditation and a wonderful personal trainer, the shift is sustainable. I no longer rely solely on external factors for shifts in eating and fitness, but on internal indicators, such as being aware of habitual thoughts around and during the times that I eat. For example, I am able to slow down when I eat, and stop when I am full and I feel that my body has the energy it needs, and not over eat. I am also able to observe and not identify with negative thoughts I get when I workout. Allowing them to be present, without judgement, has allowed me to sustain my gym routine and not dread the negative self-talk and dialogue or compare myself to others.
I've an active member of the Center for Mindful Eating, and regularly participate in their professional development opportunities. I've also participated in training by Andrea Lieberstein and Ven. Jampa Sangmo at the Vajrapani Institute in Felton, CA. I am looking forward to continuing to deepen my knowledge in the area of mindful eating and fitness, and look forward to share the my experience and knowledge with others, especially with the clients of our partner Monterey Bay Moves and YogaSalinas.
For more information about mindful eating, I highly recommend the book The Joy of a Half o Cookie: Using Mindfulness to Loose Weight and End the Struggle with Food by Jean Kristeller, PhD. Additional information can also be found by visiting the Center for Mindful Eating's website.