Mindful Eating and Fitness

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 hear from my students that this is very common story! 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 45lbs. 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 have completed the MB-EATS (Mindfulness-Based Awareness Eating Training) evidence-based curriculum training, and are qualified to teach the full course.  The training was lead and developed by Dr. Jean Kristeller. The training was co-lead by Andrea Lieberstein, author of the book: Well Nourished: Mindful Practices to Heal Your Relationship with Food, Feed Your Whole Self, and End Overeating   Dr. Kristeller is the co-founder and past-president of The Center for Mindful Eating.  Both Jean and Andrea are trained and use Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as the foundation for their work with mindful eating.   Dr. Kristeller is the author of: The Joy of Half a Cookie.


I am looking forward to continuing to deepen my knowledge in the area of nutrition, mindful eating and fitness, and look forward to share the my experience and knowledge with my students. 


The Principals of Mindful Eating as adopted by the Center for Mindful Eating:

  

Principles of Mindfulness


  • Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, non-judgmentally, in the present moment.
  • Mindfulness encompasses both internal processes and external environments.
  • Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in the present moment.
  • With  practice, mindfulness cultivates the possibility of freeing yourself of  reactive, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting.
  • Mindfulness promotes balance, choice, wisdom and acceptance of what is.


Mindful Eating is


  • Allowing  yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities  that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting  your own inner wisdom. 
  • Using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body.   
  • Acknowledging responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment.
  • Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating.


Someone Who Eats Mindfully


  • Acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food.
  • Accepts that their eating experiences are unique.
  • Is an individual who by choice, directs their attention to eating on a moment-by-moment basis.
  • Gains awareness of how they can make choices that support health and well being.
  • Becomes  aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural  practices and the impact of their food choices on those systems.


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