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Charlene's Journal

Charlene is a journey of mindful health and self-care

Creative Hopelessness
Posted on 01/05/2014 @ 2:03 PM

It’s January, and like every year I’m bombarded with the typical New Year’s advertisements for weight loss strategies everywhere I go, and everywhere I look…even wherever I’m listening. But, unlike every year before, I am so grateful to have a completely different response to the endless barrage. In years past, I would sift through all the ads looking for the perfect diet for me. Maybe, just maybe, I would find the one that works. I’d listen, read, or investigate them…the premeasured, prepared meals; the food combination strategies; the counting of something (carbs, calories, points, grams, etc.); the low-this, or high-that plan; the miracle foods or juices; the what-time-of-day or how-many-times-a-day to eat strategies, and on and on. Exhausting, isn’t it? Yet, I was determined to be tireless in my search. I would not give up! Giving up the search meant giving up on me. So, I’d fan my faint glimmer of hope to motivate myself again and I’d continue to read, study, and experiment.

It reminds me of a term used by some psychologists, “creative hopelessness.” It is what they call the process of helping a client realize that the countless strategies they’ve been using are useless or counterproductive. It is helping them to pop that illusionary bubble in which they believe, “If I try harder this time,” or “If I really, really follow the rules,” things will be different. It also reminds me of the definition of insanity, you know, “doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.”

Speaking of insanity, that’s how I label the entire weight loss craze now. First, they have to make you feel like something is wrong with you currently (“you’re too fat”), so they can unveil the vision of your utopian future (“your thin beautiful body and the beautiful life that comes with it”), so they can then sell their “solution.” I believe some of them are well-meaning, and some of them are not.

The Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating program has changed my perspective completely. I can now see how creative and hopeless those strategies are. Instead of listening to all those ads, I can slip back into my own skin, regardless of its size, and listen to my own body. Furthermore I can love my body today, love myself today, love my life today, and love my journey to health which includes eating what I love and moving my body in ways that I love each and every day. Now, that’s what I call a richer life--one filled with creativity, and full of not only hope, but joy!

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!

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