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Charlene's Journal

Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care

Stress, the Great Seducer
Posted on 02/17/2014 @ 12:25 PM

This week I observed how easily I can be convinced by a busy, demanding schedule that exercise can wait and that overeating is a good way to calm down. The reason that I can buy into these ideas so quickly is that they are true, at least on the surface. The satisfying feeling of checking off another item on my to-do list can convince me that it is more immediately gratifying than the lovely, open spacious feeling that my body experiences when I’ve practiced yoga. The restless, anxious feeling in my belly can plead its case that nothing will soothe it like a big plate of pasta, and I’m persuaded. These are very familiar experiences. They’ve happened again and again and again throughout my lifetime.

However, I also observed that there is something very different about these experiences now. I don’t deny these patterns of indulgences like I have in the past. Previously, it was simply too painful to experience the shame and hopelessness of giving in yet again. Now, I use the “Isn’t that interesting!” exercise that I learned in the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program. I take on the role of an observer and say, “Isn’t it interesting how quickly and easily I can pick up an old pattern when I’m feeling weary. That’s understandable. It has worked in the past. Pushing aside the things that really matter to me is a clear sign that I need some self-care.”

This is indeed a much more self-compassionate and enlightening strategy!

The insight obtained by using this technique granted me the mental space to look at my to-do list with a refreshed perspective yesterday. I searched for the items that could wait for just a little while, and I carved out some time to sit in my favorite meditation spot (the Self-Care Space I created based on another Am I Hungry? lesson), with a lit candle, and allowed my busy thoughts to unfurl and quiet in order to be able to once again hear the subtle wisdom of my body. Now, I can ask, “Am I Hungry?” and “What would be a pleasing way to move my body today?” and I’m able to listen for the inner response.

It is like returning home after a harried trip.

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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