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Charlene's Journal

Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care

My Perfect Weight
Posted on 04/13/2014 @ 3:38 PM

My perfect weight is exactly the weight I am right now. I have only recently begun to truly believe this and I experienced one of the widest pendulum swings of confusion before settling here.

What makes it perfect is not the reading on the scale, but rather the beautiful peacefulness of self-acceptance. My body is the only one of its kind…past, present and future. It is a unique culmination of my genes, metabolism, experiences, beliefs, and choices. It is the amazing physical form I get to live this life in, and I have never accepted it, appreciated it, and indeed, loved it more than I do on this very day. This totally defies our current cultural meme, because it is older and has a more wrinkles, carries a few more scars, and doesn’t ideally match the shape and mass defined by society as suitable.

But, through the Am I Hungry? community, I have become aware of the misconceptions and misinformation promoted by the media and some health professionals, and have learned how to experience freedom from them.

Being the perfect weight does not mean finding a certain number on a scale and fighting hard to stay there; and it doesn’t mean it will stay steady. Rather, being the perfect weight is exactly the weight we are right now. My weight has varied throughout my lifetime and I now know that it was perfect when I was younger; it was perfect when I started the Am I Hungry? program; it is perfect now; and it will be perfect wherever it settles or fluctuates, because it is the body in which I will practice mindful eating, mindful moving, and mindful living!

Emotional Stages of Saying Goodbye to Dieting
Posted on 04/07/2014 @ 1:07 AM

The mindful eating practices that I’ve learned through Am I Hungry? have been so healing for me. Through them curing continues to take place for the physical, emotional and spiritual damage that occurred while dieting. As with other healings that have occurred in my life, I’ve experienced a series of emotional stages throughout the process.

For example, at first, I felt confused, uncertain and found it somewhat hard to believe that I really could “eat what I love, and love what I eat” and support my health goals at the same time. Plus, the opposing media messages are so prevalent it took some time to sort through the falsehoods.

I was also mad that I’d been blatantly misinformed, not only by the media but by health professionals. I recognize that not all of them do so intentionally, and that they themselves are caught in the web of deception. But I must admit, I still feel twinges of anger and disappointment when I see and hear the lies continuing and know that so many people still believe them.

Then, I felt elated once I really started to understand the freedom, peace, and wholeness that is genuinely possible.

Now, I’ve settled into a place of continual gratitude. It is such a lovely place to dwell. Every single day I appreciate the abundance of life-supporting foods that are available to me, my miraculous physical senses (sight, smell, taste, etc.) that offer me the opportunity to enjoy every bite, the pure joy of movement, and the beauty of this natural path to optimal health.

I also feel determined. I’m committed to promoting Am I Hungry? and letting others know about the healing that is available to them, and supporting them in their journey to wholeness.

Entering a New and Wonderful Relationship
Posted on 04/01/2014 @ 1:28 AM

I never knew that my body had so much to “say.” I admit that it is because I never really listened…that is until I found the Am I Hungry? mindful eating program.

Learning to really listen to my body reminds me of the beginning of my relationship with my husband. We had a love-at-first-sight kind of experience, or to be more exact, it was “love at first date,” and I remember wondering if we’d get to know each other well. Over these past 25 years together, we’ve gotten to know one another so well that I can tell what he’s thinking just from a subtle facial expression or the timing of a pause in the conversation; and I can often sense his response even before he hears what I’m about to tell him. And he does the same with me. This predictability is far from boring; rather it creates a depth and richness to our marriage. I am so grateful to be able to experience such a genuine connection.

I’m starting to have a deeper connection with my body too. I’m beginning to be able to discern the difference between a craving and a true nourishment need. For example, when I first started giving myself permission to “eat what I want,” I wanted fettuccini alfredo. The desire for it was intense and sort of unsettling…I wanted it now and lots of it. So, we went to one of our favorite Italian restaurants three weekends in a row, and I ordered fettuccini alfredo each time. On the third visit, I ate only a small portion of it. I was done with my fettuccini alfredo craving. What I’ve learned is that cravings are loud, distracting and demanding.

My body’s messages for a specific nourishment need are different. They are calmer and more polite. For example, while in the produce section of the grocery store, I suddenly thought of parsley. I could almost smell and taste it. I had a gentle sense that eating parsley would be very satisfying so I bought some. Over the next few days I added it to a sausage, potato and pasta dish that I prepared, to my salads at lunchtime, and to my scrambled egg for breakfast. I was listening to my body’s subtle cues and it was a delicious way to give my body what it asked for. Yesterday, I had a similar polite message. My body respectfully recommended that I eat steak. I took it as an opportunity to invite my husband to enjoy dinner at a nearby steakhouse. While dining, I realized that I hadn’t eaten much protein over the past couple days. Although I hadn’t given it much thought, my body knew, and I enjoyed the meal very much.

This more intimate relationship with myself, my body and food is so rewarding, I think I’m ready for another life-long commitment.

Michelle May M.D.

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Charlene's Journal

My Perfect Weight

Emotional Stages of Saying Goodbye to Dieting

Entering a New and Wonderful Relationship

Perfectly Imperfect

Dieting Continued to Get Harder; Mindful Eating Continues to Become More Natural

100% Commitment, 100% Forgiveness

Stress, the Great Seducer

A Mindfully-Cooked Meal

How long does it take for mindful eating to become a habit?

I Love Taking My Power Back!

My Emotional Eating Experience

Creative Hopelessness

The Godfather Ate My Cake!

Our Relationship to Food is Not a Problem to Be Solved; It is a Process to be Lived

How Does Your “Little Voice” Speak to You?

Where Do I Want to Eat?

Sit. Feast on Your Life

What do you wish you’d known about dieting?

“The problem is that my behavior with food is irrational!"

The Gentle Politeness of Our Bodies

All Emotions Fit

Noticing the shift

Practicing Am I Hungry? Concepts in Other Areas of My Life

Coming to My Senses: My One-Year Anniversary with Am I Hungry?

A Note of Compassion to All Dieters, Including Myself

Follow Your Heart But Don’t Check Your Brain at the Door

Mindful Movement

Regret Over Guilt

Practicing Mindfulness

A Mindful Walk

Choosing Ease over Easy

Our 23rd Wedding Anniversary

Done with Dieting. Forever.

Fear of Hunger

Acceptance, compassion, and encouragement

Flying on autopilot

"Several “Hungry” Days Didn’t Stress Me Out!"

What Else Am I Bringing to the Table?

What do I want to eat?

Speed Bump with a Bonus

No Bad Foods, Really?

From Tunnel Vision to Total Vision

A Mindful Choice for Quality

From Redirection to Connection

Like Riding a Bike!

New Year's "Resolutions"

Merry Mindful Christmas

Curiosity is key

Fullness as an illusionary hug

Letting go of overeating and restrictive eating

Wait for it...

Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving

Hunger is the Best Seasoning

Old habits die hard

Happy Birthday to me!

Coming Home!

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