Category Archives: BASICS of Mindful Eating

Eat for Life – Mindful Eating Course starting in January

The holidays are beginning to wind down and now is the time you might start to wonder in a slightly agitated voice “how could I have eaten so much over the holidays?” or “why can’t fit into these pants anymore (did they shrink)?”   If that resonates with you or if you’re just looking to get the new year off to a good start with eating better and treating your body better,  Eat for Life might be just what you’re looking for. 

 Eat for Life is a 10 week class I developed which teaches you the skills of mindful and intuitive eating. The class is available in person (in Columbia, MO) and online (so you can take it anywhere in the world).  The online course is done from the luxury of your own home and you follow along with each week’s assignments on your own time schedule.  There is never a time you have to be “online” for a group discussion.   Plus, you’ll get little inspirational emails from me twice a week to keep you on task! 

This non-diet approach to eating uses a non-judgmental and compassionate approach to re-learning how to use your internal physical cues to guide what, when, how, and why you eat.  In other words, this is NOT an approach that shames you into losing weight fast like some reality TV shows you might have watched.  While that might work for some, it is not the recommended technique for long lasting change. 

 By the way, I’ve done some research on this program and the results indicate the class participants do learn to listen to their bodies messages about how to eat, they have a better appreciation for their bodies (which usually lends itself to treating it better), they engage in less binge eating, and they are more mindful (which is key in helping you change).    

 Here are the dates, times, and cost for the online class.  Let me know if you need any additional information or want to enroll.   If you are interested in the in-person class (in Columbia, MO) or are a faculty, staff, or retiree of the University of Missouri, please contact me for your cost information.   You get the class cheaper because it’s part of your benefit package.

 DATES FOR THE WINTER 2013 ONLINE CLASS:

Orientation – week of January 18                                                                                        10 Week Class – week of January 25 – week of April 5 (except spring break)Cost: $180 for members of the community (anywhere around the world)

Registration form must be received by January 14.   My email is RossyL@umsystem.edu

 

 

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Mindful Eating during the Holidays!

Here’s a great Huffington Post blog piece by Michelle May, M.D. called A Recipe for Overeating that I thought was excellent.  I hope you enjoy it.  It is perfect for the holidays when it seems like we are surrounded by food.

After that, if you want to laugh along with me and Paul Pepper, watch the video of my recent KBIA interview.  I talk about the healthy benefits of relaxing and breathing before you eat.  While Paul managed to get me to agree with him when he said “if you’re relaxed you can eat more without gaining weight,” I’m not sure that’s true. However, I do know that if you eat when you’re relaxed, you will metabolize your food more easily and, if you’re stressed, you will store more fat.     Breathe! Relax! Then eat!

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Breathe, Belly Check, and Smile!

We are on the countdown to the beginning of the holiday season—Thanksgiving is upon us!!!  We will soon be faced with tables of food—things like turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, potatoes and gravy, the obligatory green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cheesecake (my favorite!!) and many more.  I’m salivating just thinking about it.  Oh the joy of Thanksgiving!

Of course, then there is that sinking feeling about the holidays approaching.  You know the ones.  The thoughts of days packed with even more events and activities than normal, the family gatherings with family you’re not that crazy about, the demands to be at parties and participate in things we might not be so happy about, (or conversely) NOT having invitations to be at parties or have family to gather with, spending too much money, and eating and drinking too much because food is EVERYWHERE.    

What’s a girl (or guy) to do? Continue reading

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Eat for Life – 10 week program to help you savor your food and respect your body – Register Now!

I’m happy to announce that registration is open for my successful non-diet weight management approach to eating for health and enjoyment.  This ten week class starts in September so you need to register soon.  If you live in Columbia or Kansas City, you might enjoy taking the in-person class being held on the University of Missouri campus.  Otherwise, you can take the Eat for Life class from the comfort of your own home, coffee shop, or office—wherever you have a computer.  The online version of the class uses the same materials as the in-person class and includes video and audio recordings to help you understand and practice the philosophy of mindful and intuitive eating.  Go to the “classes” link above to listen to the informational and testimonial videos and read more about the class.  For more information and to enroll, please contact me, Dr. Rossy, at RossyL@umsystem.edu

 

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The Basics of Mindful Eating (Interview With Dr. Rossy)

I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed about mindful eating and thought you might enjoy reading the article at Slimkicker. Learn how I discovered mindful eating, how you do it, how you benefit from it, how to socialize and eat mindfully at the same time, how to incorporate mindfulness into your workday and more.

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Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the moment last…

 So I couldn’t help thinking about the Simon and Garfunkel song when I read about the latest research coming out in the Journal of Consumer Research.  The research demonstrates the need to “slow down” if you want to get more pleasure out of your life, particularly during activities such as eating. 

As you know, we are all in such a big hurry these days. In fact, I would say the tyranny of busyness effects most people and never in a positive manner. People say to me all the time that they are so busy rushing from one activity to the next they either don’t have time to eat or they eat on the run, in the car, at their computer working, or during some other activity.   This way of eating strips all of the pleasure from it. By the way, it strips the pleasure out of most other things as well.

In the study by Jeff Golak, Justin Kruger, and George Loewenstein, test subjects picked the time they would wait in between eating six Hershey’s Kisses (from 10 seconds to 200 seconds) or the time was assigned to them of 200 seconds in between Kisses.

When given a choice, people spent 93 seconds in between each Kiss, which was more than twice as fast as the assigned group.  The people who ate the candies more quickly said that their pleasure dropped steeply from the first Kiss to the last. For the more leisurely group, enjoyment dropped only slightly.

Take home message:  The first bite is always the best (if you’re present for it) and the rest can be really good too if you slow down to enjoy it.  Do it slow!  And enjoy!

Note: I am aware the lyrics of the song by Simon and Garfunkel are “Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last” but moment worked better for the story.  Forgive me, Simon and Garfunkel.

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Sustainable Eating: Better for your Health, your Environment, and your World

I’ve mentioned the benefits of local eating in previous posts, such as by gardening and by frequenting the Farmer’s Market. Now I want to explain how seasonal eating relates to this idea, and why we should consider the sustainable alternative to the industrial food industry.

Eating sustainably includes eating locally because it’s a great way to support individual communities.  It connects communities to the source of their food, provides local farmers with financial support, and eliminates the need to truck in food from all over the country, or even from all over the world! This is where seasonal eating comes into play. Continue reading

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The “Eater’s Agreement” by Marc David

If you’ve needed an affirmation about eating, here it is.  The Eater’s Agreement (from the book, Nourshing Wisdom) goes like this:

“I recognize that at its deepest level, eating is an affirmative of life.  Each time I eat I agree somewhere to continue life on earth.  I acknowledge that this choice to eat is a fundamental act of love and nourishment, a true celebration of my existence as a human being.”

Try saying  that at McDonald’s and keeping a straight face.  Ha!

Seriously, though, I am inspired by the wisdom of this quote and think that it is important to remember that feeding ourselves is an act of love and commitment to ourselves as human beings.  While we might not always be as loving as we’d like to be, it’s always helpful to remember that what we eat is who we are at a very fundamental level.  What are you choosing to be today?

I recommend both of Marc David’s books, Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet.

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New Year’s Resolution — I will NOT diet!

Yes, that’s right.  I would suggest that you make a New Year’s Resolution NOT to diet ever again.  Diets don’t work because they don’t help you develop a way of eating that is sustainable and enjoyable.  The diet might work to help you lose weight while you’re doing it (although frankly I never was able to stay on one more than a day or two).  Then, when you stop the diet, you go back to eating the way you did to begin with and you gain the weight back.  Right?  Be honest with yourself.  If you are contemplating dieting at all on the cusp of this New Year, ask yourself if it ever really worked before.  If it had, you wouldn’t be contemplating doing another one because you would have already reached your weight goal. 

To read an interview by the authors of The Diet Survivor’s Handbook go to the following website.   They also suggest that self-care is best accomplished by honoring your internal cues for physical hunger, moving the body, meditating, getting good rest, and NOT dieting!  These are all suggestions that I applaud with vigor.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jean-fain-licsw-msw/new-years-resolution_b_1167354.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

If you want another New Year’s Resolution, how about deciding not to weigh yourself anymore?  I have rarely weighed myself since 2008 when I moved houses and threw out the scale.  Sometimes I’ll let the nurse weigh me on a visit to the doctor, but not always.  And, I never want to know the number.  Now this might sound a bit neurotic, but I’m much happier not knowing the number.  I was NEVER happy with the number, so what’s the point.  If I want to be unhappy, get on the scale.  If I want to be happy, don’t get on the scale. 

As the New Year approaches, I believe that we should all engage more in the activities that bring us joy and happiness and a feeling of “yes” inside and engage less in the activities that drain us, create a sense of burden, and make us unhappy.   My plan is to go on a weekend retreat over the New Year holiday and journal about those things.  Perhaps you might give it a little thought as well.  2012 can be a year in which you create the life you want to live instead of letting it live you.

Happy New Year!!!

NOTE:  If your doctor has prescribed a particular diet for you, this is different than “dieting.”  You should always work in conjunction with the recommendations of your primary care physician.

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Take the “craving” challenge!!

This is an addendum to an earlier post I wrote entitled “Riding the Urge.”  In the post I described Alan Marlatt’s metaphor of “urge surfing” as a way of staying present with the intensity of craving without needing to act on it.  He actually suggested that you picture the urge as an ocean wave and imagine yourself surfing, using the breath as a surfboard to ride the wave.  You can breath deeply as you feel the urge rising and falling, like a wave.  Imagine yourself riding the wave of the urge through its peak and its decline.  

I suggested that you pay attention to the cravings and urges you have for food as well as the urges and cravings you have for other things–shopping, gossiping,  arguing, drinking, watching TV, etc.  If you can pay attention to how you are being pulled into various activities or behaviors before you act on them, you have greater choices in life. 

This week in the Eat for Life class we were talking about how to cope with our emotions without using food.  Because, let’s face it, one of the reason why we have “urges” and “cravings” for some guilty pleasure or “fix” is often because we are trying to suppress or avoid an unpleasant emotion or situation.

 So, here’s the challenge!! (and it is the one I gave my class).   At least once this week, determine with all your might, that you will not give into at least one craving (whether it is for food, shopping, or whatever).    Determine ahead of time (like now) what regular craving you have that you will not give in to –at least once.  When that craving arises, check the time then go ahead and re-engage in whatever you were doing.  In the background, notice when the craving ends and how long did it take?  Maybe the craving ends and maybe it doesn’t.  It is all useful information.  Sometimes cravings pass and sometimes they are still there but you notice that you don’t have to act on them.   Both of these experiences are quite helpful to know for yourself. 

I’ll give you an example.  I don’t usually have what I call “cravings” for food anymore.  When I want food, I eat it and I eat it from a calm and centered place so that I don’t “act out” around food and it is not a problem.  However, I do have “urges” and “cravings” around shopping.  I am particularly attracted to sales (never want to pass up a bargain) and boots (there are two pairs in particular that I am currently lusting after).   I say this to point out that we ALL have cravings and food is just one particular area that we can get caught.  

I think we are not very skilled in this culture to take care of our emotional needs.  We have been so used to using food (or shopping) that it is what we naturally turn to.  Take some time this week to find more healthy, skillful ways of nurturing yourself.  Examples that quickly come to mind include taking a walk, calling a friend, reading a book or interesting magazine, playing or listening to music, meditating, doing yoga, coloring or painting, cooking for fun, getting a pedicure or massage.  In addition, give yourself some time to fully allow your feelings, particularly if they are difficult.  Imagine holding them like you would hold a small child.  Bring compassion to yourself and the challenges that you face from day to day.  By befriending yourself through nourishing activities and with time to experience your emotions you might find the “urges” and “cravings” to fix with food come less often.

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