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Self-Acceptance Step 1: Become Aware

By Michelle May, M.D.

My yoga teacher said, “Whatever you practice, you get good at. If your habit is to compare, judge, and criticize yourself, then you’ll get better and better at it. You will strengthen your habit.”

That really resonated with me. I had subjected myself to 25 years of yo-yo dieting fueled by rejection of my Self.

Wishing I were somehow different and focusing on numbers like calories and pounds only distracted me from living my life fully. Unfortunately, many of us have been convinced that this is the only way, and that we somehow deserve a life focused on what we eat and what we look like instead of living our lives. We waste a tremendous amount of energy beating ourselves up—energy that could otherwise be poured into building relationships, accomplishing other meaningful goals, or simply enjoying life.

I am so over that.

Along my personal and professional journey, I’ve learned that self-acceptance breeds self-care. While it may seem counterintuitive, I also discovered that self-acceptance is the starting line for change. Now I choose to practice loving my Self gently, compassionately, mindfully, and persistently.
Do you love the one you spend the most time with? Want to learn how?

Please join us on a six step journey to self-acceptance so you can create a new habit and truly “love the one you’re with!” Beginning today and ending on Valentine’s Day (how apropos), we will share the six steps on our blog, Facebook page, Twitter, and Pinterest! Please share the love by retweeting, sharing, and commenting!

Start by sharing your comments on our blog: http://amihungry.com/self-acceptance-become-aware/
Is your habit to compare, judge, and criticize yourself? Do you struggle with loving – or even accepting yourself as you are? Why?

Don’t Panic! Mindful Eating is a Long-Term Investment

By Michelle May, M.D.

I woke up early enough Sunday morning for my favorite form of multitasking: spending a lazy morning in bed, sipping coffee, reading the paper, and watching CBS Sunday Morning. In the opening segments, Senior Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger said, “The first week of 2016 was the worst ever start for U.S. Stocks with major indexes down over 6%.”

I don’t follow the stock market closely so my eyes glazed over and I shifted my attention back to my paper. She caught my attention again when I heard her ask, “What is a retirement saver to do?” That’s me!

Her advice? “Nothing!”

As I listened to her tips, I decided that her advice was also perfect for people who are learning to eat mindfully but are being bombarded with the New Year’s diet propaganda too. It is tempting to panic and veer off course for just one more diet. Don’t do it!

Taking this investment analogy further, when people lose sight of the fact that they are investing for the long haul, they tend sell low and buy high—a bad strategy that will actually put them behind. Likewise, if you panic and jump into the “lose weight” net that’s been cast this month (even if it feels safer and Ms. O says it will be OK this time), it’s a bad strategy. You may see temporary results, but the effects on your body, mind, heart, and spirit will put you back further than before!

Like investing in the stock market, mindful eating teaches you to surf the waves and ride the ups and downs. You learn that not every day will be perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. You become aware of your hunger rhythms and learn to trust yourself to respond to your body’s needs. You notice that your emotions will ebb and flow too, so it is counter productive to push them down with food.

Let me share some of Ms. Schlesinger other “investing” advice:

Remind yourself that you are in this for the long term.
Keep your emotions in check.
Stick to your game plan.
Stay put. You’ve been on that ride before.

Yes, patiently investing your resources to build a solid, long-term strategy for meeting your needs pays huge dividends!

If you are committed to investing in your well-being for the long-term, let us guide and support you. Check out our vibrant Mindful Eating Support Community.

What if We Aren't Craving More Food?

By Michelle May, M.D.

I recently learned about a beautiful word used in Spain, sobremesa, that literally translates to “over the table.” Sobremesa refers to the time after a meal when family, friends, and even business associates linger and savor conversation and one another’s company over the table while their meal digests.

Not surprisingly, in a culture of fast food, Snapchat, and 140 character tweets, sobremesa has no direct English translation. Too often we are distracted from our food, our body’s signals, and even the people we are eating with. We then rush to the next activity, which we will also likely do mindlessly. It’s no wonder that we can clean our plates and feel stuffed but unsatisfied, leaving us longing for more.

What if the “more” we are craving isn’t more food, but more connection, more sobremesa? How would it feel to sometimes give ourselves permission to slow down, linger, and connect for a while after our hunger is satisfied? Could this gap between eating and the next activity leave space for connection, curiosity, or simply being?

As I was learning about sobremesa, I came across another Spanish phrase that resonated with me, panza llena, corazón contento, which means “full belly, happy heart.” What I know through my personal and professional experience is that food eaten in haste, in secrecy, or in tandem with two or three other activities, often leads to an uncomfortable fullness and an unhappy heart.

Food enjoyed mindfully is far more likely to lead to contented fullness, leaving space for a happy heart that can only come from our connection to the food, the people, and the abundance available during this season and year around.

This is a picture of my patio, one of my favorite places in my home here in Arizona, especially during our cooler weather. It occurred to me that I love this space because when I plan to eat on the patio, I am intentionally making space for the sobremesa. And while it is not realistic or even necessary all the time, I hope that you too will create space during and after your meals to connect with yourself and those you love.

Share your thoughts and stories about connecting over meals on our blog!

Michelle May M.D.

Michelle May is a physician and recovered yoyo dieter. She founded Am I Hungry?® to provide an alternative to restrictive and ineffective dieting.

Click Here To Read
Charlene's Journal

Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care with Am I Hungry?

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Alyx's Journal

Alyx struggles with her weight and is relearning to eat instinctively with Am I Hungry?

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Lexie's Journal

Lexie learned how to trust her body again with Am I Hungry?

News Archive

Self-Acceptance Step 1: Become Aware

Don’t Panic! Mindful Eating is a Long-Term Investment

What if We Aren't Craving More Food?

Am I Hungry? Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly All-Inclusive Mindful Eating Workshop and Retreat

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Eat Mindfully? By Michelle May, M.D.

The Awareness Journal: A Fly on the Wall

Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Emotional and Binge Eating Retreat and Therapist Training

Freshman 15

Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating for Emotional and Binge Eating Retreat and Therapist Training

Got Cravings? Three Words to Eliminate From Your Vocabulary

How to Turn Mindful Eating Into a Diet

Get Off of the Tightrope and Onto the Path!

Latest Am I Hungry? Newsletter Published Today!

Mindful Eating for Binge Eating AND for Diabetes

The June Am I Hungry Program Update has been published

Cheap Sunglasses

Am I Hungry? Virtual Coach app

Be Your Valentine

How Thoughts Become Habits

Overeating Trigger #1: STRESS

It's NOT Funny!

This website will be down for maintenance

A Love Letter to Myself

What to Do When You Overdo It

How Mindful Eating Becomes Mindful Living

Different Shades of Grey

Four Critical Lessons for Mindful Eating

Bariatric Surgery: It's STILL Not About the Food!

Stop! Don't Pull that Trigger!

Dining with Myself...Uh Oh!

How Does Mindfulness Help Diabetes Self-Management?

Your Picture of Health

Rewrite Those Ridiculous Holiday Eating Tips

Thankful for Food...The Great Connector

Boot the Bully from Your Brain

The Italian Treadmill: Do What You Love, Love What You Do

Sensuous Eating: Eat with Beginner's Mind

Do You EatSpeak?

Emotional Eating: Reading the Clues to Your Feelings and Needs

Dr. May on Dr. Oz Exploring the Power of the Mind-Body Connection

Cure for Chocoholics: Eat Fearlessly!

Habits Recreate the Past again and again

Can Mindful Eating Really Lead to Weight Loss (and does it matter)?

Foodie's Guide to Mindful Holiday Eating

Playing a Game of Chance

Duck Your Cravings

Eat, Learn, Live

Going Bananas: Weird thoughts about food caused by dieting

Check Your Fuel Gauge Before You Fill Up

Regret and Her Horrible Twin, Guilt

How to Enjoy a Cruise - Without Going Overboard

Eating 2010: Rollercoaster or GPS?

Recipes: Overeating and Instinctive Eating

The Trick to Managing the Treats

Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat - Interview with Dr. May

TOP 10 THINGS YOU’LL PROBABLY NEVER HEAR AN INSTINCTIVE EATER SAY

Would You Allow Someone to Buy You Off with Food?

TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCTS: Tuning In to Your Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit

THE END OF YO-YO DIETING

WHAT IS AM I HUNGRY? ANYWAY? (PLEASE DON'T ASSUME YOU KNOW!)

What Moves You? Discover the Inspiration to Change

DON'T LET A DECREASE IN YOUR BOTTOM LINE INCREASE YOUR WAISTLINE

PICTURE THIS: POSITIVE VISUALIZATION TO CREATE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS

WORK IN PROGRESS

WINE TASTING AS A METAPHOR FOR MINDFUL EATING

THE FOOD LOVERS GUIDE TO TRAVEL, MEETINGS, AND DINING OUT

What You Resist Persists

Reclaim Your Time and Energy: Five Ways to Get Your Life Back

WHEN YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO, YOU'LL NEVER EXERCISE A DAY IN YOUR LIFE!

7 STEPS TO MEANINGFUL, MAGNETIC NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

LEAVE THE STUFFING FOR THE TURKEY:TRY MINDFUL EATING INSTEAD

EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WEIGHT MANAGEMENT I CAN LEARN FROM A CHILD

HUNGER IS THE BEST SEASONING

PAINT-BY-NUMBER OR MASTERPIECE

Weighty Conversations

Myth #8 - You HAVE to Eat Breakfast

Don’t Eat After 7 and Six Other Weight Management Myths

Resolutions or Results

7 Strategies for Holiday Eating Without Weight Gain

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