By Susan Zilberman
Happy Chanukah! It’s time to rejoice, yet how many of us spend time worrying about how much we eat, obsessing about our diet, and feeling guilt instead of pleasure about the food we eat?
Eat/repent/repeat—Does this feel like an endless cycle to you?
Overeating can be the result of restricting (dieting) or other triggers. When we eat more than our body needs, we may experience physical discomfort, digestive problems, weight gain, and guilt. So we repent, begin our diet again, and repeat this cycle over and over.
Diets are a temporary fix for symptoms, and diets temporarily change behaviors, however, there is no evidence that diets move the majority of people who follow them toward healthier, happier, more vibrant lives.
As a certified Mind Body Eating Coach, I coach my clients in a mindful eating program that helps them break the eat/repent/repeat cycle. Mindful Eating helps us to manage modern challenges with food, weight, and body image. We use mindfulness to pay attention and become aware of what is happening inside of us — in our body, mind, and heart — and outside of us — in our environment. We view this awareness without criticism or judgment.
In our judgment-free setting, we acquire tools and techniques to recognize and repair problematic eating behaviors. We learn to:
- Recognize cues of hunger and fullness
- Manage environmental triggers and emotional cues for overeating
- Let go of restrictive dieting
- Resolve our relationship with food, activity, and self-care
- Fully participate in our best life, the one that is in alignment with what we value most
Coaches problem-solve with our clients, not for them. Our goal is to help people care for themselves mindfully during the program and after they have completed it. The client becomes their own expert, learning to identify obstacles and ineffective patterns and resolve them.
One-on-one coaching helps in the transformation of overeating, binge eating, compulsive eating, and chronic dieting behaviors into a healthy relationship with food. Group sessions are helpful in providing a supportive setting with other people who struggle with similar issues around food, weight, and body image.
With Mindful Eating, we can learn to listen to our internal wisdom, let go of external rules, and enjoy a peaceful relationship with food.
I invite you to explore Mindful Eating with me, and stay tuned for further articles.
Susan Zilberman is a certified Mind Body Eating Coach who studied and earned certification at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and the Am I Hungry? Coaching Program. To contact her, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 917-566-6015 or visit MBECoach.com.