Tag Archive | effective weight loss

MINDFUL EATING

If you are a compulsive eater, as I am, you know about mindless eating. Maybe you can’t not watch TV or be online while eating. Your hand and fork may be feeding you the next bite before you’ve quite swallowed the first, and you had no idea your hand did that. You might have no idea when you are full, and feel hungry when your body and mind are actually feeling something else (tired, sad, bored, mad and so on). How many times have you just caught the sight of something good — a beautiful dessert, or just a bag of M&Ms at the gas station — and found yourself not choosing to eat but just eating?

I’m teaching a class at the University of Vermont this semester titled MINDFUL EATING. Wonderful that the UVM Health Sciences Department is expanding its offerings to include mindfulness for health and wellbeing. And wonderful that college kids want to learn mindful eating!

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is being Here, Aware — aware inside ourselves of our body, breath, feelings & thoughts, and aware of our moment-by-moment perception of the outside world.  Here is always moving, like a river, so letting the mind ride on the flow of the breath is a lovely, basic mindfulness practice. And of course, we are distracted over and over again; in fact, the practice of mindfulness is the practice of waking up from distraction, beginning the practice again, ad infinitum. The key here is radical acceptance: whatever is here, it is what is Here right now, and it’s ok, just as it is. The other key is self-kindness and kindness toward whatever arises.

Happily, rich sources of learning about mindfulness abound.
Here are two faves:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc; http://www.tarabrach.com/audioarchives-guided-meditations.html

And what is mindful eating? Mindful eating asks us to expand the focus of our awareness to all the ways our bodymind is involved in eating: sight, smell, taste, hands, mouth, tongue, throat, stomach. We see the food, smell it, take our time appreciating it before we put it in our mouth. We are aware of how hungry we are, and we can tell when we’ve had enough. We chew slowly, staying connected to body and breath while refraining from engaging in distractions, including the distraction of thinking. We swallow and notice the feeling of the food traveling down to the stomach. We rest and listen to the tummy and its response to being fed. We allow the space and rhythm of breathing to be a part of the practice.

PRACTICE is the key thing. We don’t “get it right” (say hello to the Inner Perfectionist); we don’t “do it wrong (say hello to the Inner Critic). We practice, we have an experience, breath by breath, we are aware and we learn.

Here are two of my favorite sources about mindful eating: http://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/;   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmtNPGZYWOI

Interested in learning Mindful Eating? Come in for a lesson anytime — or connect with me online on video!

May you learn to be peaceful about eating and enjoy your food.

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Does hypnosis really work for weight loss?

Now that I offer clinical hypnotherapy as part of the Eating with Grace program, I get this question all the time. The short answer is YES.

There are 2 parts to the longer answer. One: Hypnosis really works for many people around many issues. Two: Hypnosis taps into the deepest part of the mind, into our deep intention for health, wellbeing, safety, and into the will to live and keep living.

Is hypnosis a QUICK FIX for weight loss?

THE BIG PICTURE

Emily, 56, divorced her husband of 30 years and gained 30 lb in a year. Frightened by it, she called, asking “Is hypnosis effective for weight loss?”.

We chatted on the phone for a bit, and she really did not want to get back into therapy — “I”m done with that!” — she just wanted to lose the weight.  I proposed she come in for just one session so we could assess her situation and needs.

WHY HAVE YOU GAINED THE WEIGHT?

Emily thought the answer to that question was quite straightforward: “Now that Jack was out of the house, I was free to eat cookies and watch TV as much as I wanted!”

So is the answer just a diet? And is hypnosis helpful to tap into powerful motivation to diet and exercise? Could be. Worth researching (everything you try is your own personal research, after all; and LEARNING is the best of all outcomes!).

We covered a lot of ground in that first meeting. The Eating with Grace program is holistic and integrative, ie,  you are a physical-emotional-intellectual-spiritual being. Certainly Emily had been taking in too many calories, and at the end of the day they went straight into pounds. Certainly Emily had some feelings about the divorce and about living alone in a too-big house, and cookies and cable TV were her comforts.

WHAT SLIPS UNDER THE RADAR

Emily hadn’t even considered that the divorce had an impact on her mind and spirit. Sometimes we’re really tired out — “a divorce takes a lot out of you…” as Emily mused. There’s no energy to listen to the boredom, the emptiness; it’s easier to just fill it with food. The need to get re-engaged with life slipped under the radar until there was some new energy for it.

HOW HYPNOSIS HELPS

Emily and I agreed to work together for 5 sessions. She was really ready to get going on some weight loss, and the hypnosis (and self-hypnosis she did on her own) helped her motivation, and gave her some tools for cravings and weak moments.

What surprised Emily was using hypnosis to help her listen more deeply to herself and her own needs and feelings (part of the reason she got divorced!). She really wanted to start a new life for herself; but, understandably, she had some anxieties, and was easily overwhelmed and unable to just take baby stepping out steps.

How can hypnosis help you in knowing and listening to yourself more deeply? Maybe losing weight is an outcome of this listening?

Take good care,
Anya
NOW OFFERING HYPNOSIS & COACHING FOR:
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      one-day-at-a-time doable weight loss
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