Have you struggled with overeating, binge eating, emotional eating or mindless eating that has led to weight gain over time?
Do you think that your body is feeling the effects of excess weight gain as evidenced by bloodwork or things you’ve noticed like heavy breathing or difficulty moving your body?
At Mind Body Health, we are all about finding BALANCE. We want to help you get to where your body and mind are functioning at its best. When that’s happening, your weight will naturally get to where it’s supposed to be.
At Mind Body Health, we understand the following:
- We understand that BMI is NOT an accurate measure of your health.
- We understand that you are more than your weight.
- We know that you are complete and whole as a person and that the answers to your health are within you. We will help you discover the answers for yourself.
- We understand that everyone is made up of very different genetics and that no singular diet plan or physical activity plan is going to work for everyone.
- We understand that making changes are hard and we are here to help you.
- We understand that getting healthy goes well beyond what you’re eating.
- We understand that many of you probably know just as much about nutrition and physical activity as we do. We’re not here to tell you what you already know. We’re here to help you think about the things that people don’t tend to think about when they’re trying to reach a healthy weight. This is the missing piece of the puzzle.
Stop the yo-yo dieting and get healthy, whole and complete as a person so that you can get to the weight your body was meant to be at.
In our treatment together, we will work on the following:
1) Understanding the function of food in your life. If you are an emotional eater, binge eater, or overeater, lets understand what food is doing for you. Is it providing an escape from stress, anxiety, or loneliness? Food isn’t the answer, but let’s figure out together what your emotional needs are and how to get your needs met in a way that doesn’t involve food.
2) Practicing self-care. The act of getting to a healthy weight begins with taking good care of yourself. You MUST learn to prioritize yourself before everything and anyone else. If you are not taking care of your physical and mental health well-being, you’re not going to be the best version of yourself for other people and you won’t be able to fully attend to the things in life that really matter. Self-care involves choosing foods that you love to eat that make your body and mind feel good. Self-care is choosing to move your body in a way that feels enjoyable to you. Self-care is showing yourself you are deserving of taking the time needed to treat your mind and body well.
3) Getting uncomfortable. In order to create the time and space in your life to take good care of your physical and mental health well-being, you might need to get uncomfortable and draw some boundaries by saying “no” to people, events, work, etc. This is not selfish behavior. This is important behavior. If you’re healthy, everyone else is benefiting. We understand that your mind may be convincing at times in preventing you from taking action for fear of failure or judgement. Some clients will say they don’t want to go to a yoga class or they don’t want to join a gym because they think everyone will stare at them or judge them. Even if they know that everyone is focused more on themselves, they don’t want to face the discomfort of not knowing how they’ll feel trying something new. We understand that moving in the direction of health and wellness is an act of vulnerability and courage and we will be your unwavering source of support every step of the way no matter how small that step might be. Starting is the hardest part. It can be uncomfortable, but leaning into that discomfort opens up many doors and it is the ultimate act of self care.
4) Being mindful. Mindfulness is a BIG part of the work that we will do together. Mindfulness is a fancy word for being “aware.” Pay attention to whether you actually like the food you’re eating or whether you’re eating it because it’s in front of you or because it’s the quickest, most convenient option available. When thinking about whether you like a food, think about it beyond what it tastes like. How does it makes you feel after you eat it? What types of food and how much food is your body happy and satisfied with? Pay attention, be aware, and listen to the feedback your body and mind give you. Mindfulness will also take the form of really being in tune with the taste, texture, and flavors of your food. To do this, we’ll have you experiment with turning off the TV and putting away the cell phones, books and magazines so you can be fully focused on your experience with the food in front of you.
5) Having fun with cooking & preparing food. Weight management doesn’t have to be boring. It’s obvious that the food industry doesn’t prioritize your health over their bottom line. They know food science and what keeps people coming back for more. Even though today we some “healthier” options like Chipotle or Sweet Green, sometimes the portion sizes and sodium or sugar content is higher than what it could be if we made these “favorites” at home. Love the chipotle burrito bowl? Make your own at home, playing some fun music and it’ll guaranteed be better for your body (p.s. might I suggest the Chips & Salsa playlist on Spotify?) 🙂 We are social creatures and much of socializing surrounds eating food. That’s okay. But, let’s find balance. When you’re not socializing around food, can you be eating some enjoyable homemade food? YES! Feeling like you’re not sure where to start? Let us help you with figuring out the best way to get started!
6) Focusing on ADDING versus SUBTRACTING. Shift your mentality from dieting and cutting out food and instead think about how to ADD in the fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains. The deprivation mentality of dieting is short-lived and can have detrimental rebound effects. Instead, what we want to do is create long-term lifestyle changes. Taking things away from you feels worse than thinking about how to add in things to your life that help you move in the direction you want to be moving in. This slight mental shift has helped many of our clients.
7) Paying attention to food labels. Don’t get caught up in the calorie counts, please! But check out the labels. Can you understand the list of ingredients or does it sound like a foreign language? Is there a TON of added sugar? Your body might be able to enjoy and handle a certain amount of food that has ingredients that sound like a foreign language or tons of sugar. But, realistically if most of the food in your home is like this, or the majority of your diet consists of this type of food, your body is going to give you some negative feedback. Listen to that feedback. Make changes accordingly. Perhaps you have a medical condition like Type II Diabetes, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In this case, you might want to look at particular nutrition information such as added sugar grams or protein grams. Our dietitians can help you figure out what to pay attention to on your food labels so that you can begin healing your mind and body. Our goal is not to get you obsessive about these numbers or food labels, but MINDFUL. In increasing your awareness of what is going into your food, you’ll be able to figure out what your body is responding well to and not so well to.
8) Listening to hunger/fullness. When we were born and as young infants, we consumed food based on hunger and fullness cues. We cried when we were hungry and we stopped eating food when we were full. In our work together, we will work towards reconnecting with these hunger and fullness cues. You’ll learn to listen to the feedback your body is giving you regarding when to eat and what to eat. If you grew up with the “clean your plate” mentality, you’ll practice leaving food on your plate sometimes. You’ll also learn to not deprive your body when it is asking you for food.
9) Working on self acceptance and stopping the comparisons. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Trying to achieve a certain “look” can be psychologically and physically damaging. Everyone’s genetics are quite different and so everyone’s bodies will respond differently to different food and exercise regiments. You have to figure out what your particular body needs and you can only do that when you focus within and stop comparing. Learn to love and respect yourself from within, give your body the foods that help it heal from within, and move your body in a way that keeps the insides of your body healthy, and you’ll learn to love the way you look no matter what that the outside looks like.
10) Addressing your well-being outside of exercise and food. Weight management goes well beyond food, exercise, and the number on the scale. Often weight gain is a symptom of something else – often an emotional struggle or feeling unfulfilled in life in some way (your work or relationships, for example). This is often the REAL target of intervention and we have to tools to help you with this.