Dieting gives us purpose. It keeps us on the straight and narrow path toward unveiling the beautiful, skinny person that lives inside of us.
Binges and overeating reinforce just how undisciplined, apathetic and hopeless we really are. Dieting is our consistent way of getting it right.
We worship the god of love, light and peace through restriction and deprivation. By dieting, we prove how punitive parts of us can be, how long other parts can live in deprivation, how tough we are. Through diets, we show our strength and find validation of our goodness.
Life will be perfect when our skinny jeans fit, when the weight that limits our capacity to find love or the perfect job, and that separates our heart, soul and mind falls off our body. We think skinny people have perfect lives and reach out and take what they want — because of their weight!
Absurd, isn’t it? The story continues…
Restrictive eating is how we obtain perfection by diminishing fat bellies, thighs and hips, banning cellulite, and creating a steadier state of mind. We pack away nagging thoughts and feelings we can’t tolerate and put a pretty bow on top.
Diets fix us and stop the emotional parts of us that are married to being less than, undesirable, unredeemable—like shame, guilt, and abandonment. Diets fill the empty space and our dissatisfaction with our selves and life fades away.
It doesn’t work that way.
Diets numb us to reality. The part of you that restricts hides the truth. The part that binges conceals your true nature. The part that overeats covers your soul.
Compulsive eating is a bright red Exit sign when life isn’t what you signed up for. Restricting is a refusal to play that game any longer. You pulse between fullness and emptiness as a control mechanism to mask the parts of that hold unhappiness.
What will you hold onto, what is your purpose, who are you if you don’t diet and obsess all day about how your flabbiness defines you, rice cakes acknowledge your strength, and salads sans dressing demonstrate your fortitude?
You hold onto the present moment—without judgment. You listen to your breath. You feel your heart beating. You acknowledge you are alive and worthy to be who you are! You discover your purpose is not to punish yourself but to celebrate all the different parts of you, to bring more beauty into the world simply by being you, joyful you. You discover your Self—where Compassion, Clarity, and Connection reside.
Your relationship with food is a powerful coping strategy in dealing with a painful past. There are parts of you that hold tight to that story. There are better strategies now to cope. You can integrate them and heal yourself.
I get it, I do understand. It’s easier to continue punishing yourself, to push down and cover up the parts of you that hold the painful feelings with food instead of patiently listening to them. So they can let go of old beliefs that no longer are needed to protect you. Your obsession with body and food appears to give you purpose, quiets the ugly roar of life, and occupies you so you don’t have time to really face the music. It robs you of pleasure, joy, and the abundance of bliss that is your birthright.
The truth leaves you vulnerable. That’s scary.
Standing in your truth, your vulnerable parts stop stuffing down your essence with cookies and ice cream. You do the Courageous work of being present and open-hearted to get in touch with the parts of you that hold old stories that no longer define or support you.
Diets are an illusion. The rhythm of restriction and binging is not real.
Ultimately, it’s not about the number on the scale or the shape or size of your body. It’s about finding Connection, of satisfying your deep internal desire to belong, and of glimpses of the light of your truest essence— to the full revelation of the cadence of your core. The pulsation within the heart of who you really are.
It’s about believing in your own authentic voice. And quieting the voices that no longer serve.
A part of me is fat: Make Peace with Food with Yoga, Mindfulness and Healing Inner Dialogue
“There’s a part of me that’s fat. It’s not all of me!” It’s freeing to know your weight, body shape, and eating habits are not targets for moral judgment. Rather, your desires to shift and change are invitations to befriend the parts of you that use food to soothe emotions, overeat compulsively, fixate on binges, restrict calories, and over exercise. It’s a chance to see these as behaviors your parts exhibit to help you as you move through life.
Gain access to what gets in your way. Reconnect to that which does support you in your decisions around food. Release the meaning parts placed on negative events that established their role. Creating a healing inner dialogue with your parts:
- Reduces conflict / increases clarity about food choices
- Resolves inner criticism, judgment, and self-loathing
- Erases moral judgment about what you choose to eat
- Allows you to eat foods you love without bingeing or the after-guilt
- Offers a different taste perspective to successfully integrate food without shame or guilt
Shift compulsion to choice! Take ownership of your choices versus reaching to an external fix. Make eating a conscious choice! Explore impulses, urges, and old behaviors around food! Renew your relationship with food by clearing out old habits, patterns and beliefs!
Mindfully explore, play, pause, and begin to feel at home in your body with yoga. Interactive discussion, supported group sharing, and IFS* informed meditations, activities and journaling support paying attention to all the parts of you intertwined in your relationship with food. Connect to the inner healing of Self to regain an energetic balance in your system.
Participation in this day together includes activities that heal and integrate our unconscious and limiting patterns into our entire being. We heal our injuries, our wounds, our negative beliefs and the shame we often feel inside. We can truly feel freedom from these and regain our original purpose and energy.
*No yoga experience needed. Please bring a yoga mat if you have one.
Together, we set out on an exploration toward your relationship with food, body image, emotions and ultimately, to become Self-led. You’ll be invited to delve into the practice of yoga and “mindful awareness” for a deeper understanding of how to heal not only your relationship with food but with yourself and all the parts of you that make food and behavior decisions on your behalf.
Fall session October 15th (last day to register October 12th). Lunch will be our own from 12:30-2:30pm.
SAVE THE DATES! Next workshops are Winter / Spring 2017.
Call me with questions – 617-678-0607 – or pre-register now (space limited)
About Yoga for Mindful Eating ~ Nourish from Within
During this workshop that’s offered a few times a year, you’ll explore impulses, urges, emotional eating, and old behaviors around food in a way that you can relate to them. Through a deep, insightful journey, a clearer understanding of why parts of you display emotions and behaviors as they do will guide you to begin to clear out old habits, patterns and beliefs, and renew your relationship with food.
There will be your physical time to play and pause and move and get to know and feel at home in your body in a group yoga practice. You’ll practice mindfully exploring your body, a place you often avoid. You’ll engage in interactive discussion, safe and guided group sharing circle, IFS-informed* meditation, activities and journaling that support paying attention to all the parts of you that are intertwined in your relationship with food.
During the workshop, you’ll:
- Discover, listen to, and tune into your body through yoga poses.
- Extend Curiosity, healing and Connection to the whole of you – your Self (spirit), mind, and body.
- Discover and Connect to the energetic balance in your body and thoughts, feelings, and sensations you experience.
- Delight in your renewed and sustainable relationship with food.
- Mindful eating home practices to take with you.
Be in the company of others who feel just as you do!
Wear comfortable clothing suitable for movement and sitting; bring a journal or paper and pen. All yoga equipment provided.
*IFS stands for Internal Family Systems, a model that offers extraordinary, transformative healing so each person can repair the old wounds that today affect their life in unhealthy ways. As restoration occurs, participants find they can trust in their Self-energy more, thereby they can make informed decisions based on their own authentic truth.
Testimonials from Previous Series
At 44 and never physically active, I found I could do gentle yoga. Because I could do it from the first session, I wanted to keep coming back. It helped me feel mindful, focused and present. The series taught me what emotional eating is and how it affects how I see and feel about myself. Yoga can be a source of support and healing. I found the group atmosphere very supportive as everyone there was in a similar place physically and emotionally so that made me much more comfortable.
Diana, you are a perfect teacher for this type of class and that’s a big part of why I continued to come and why I’m planning to return because I feel freer and comfortable being who I really am. That will affect how I spend my time and who I have in my life.
I am not defined only by my beliefs, fears, or my past. I found ways of unpacking and releasing aspects of myself and my life that until now have been untrue and restricting and shaping how I think and live. Now I can begin to replace them with the way I really want and need to live as me.
Diana, it was a very meaningful evening. So many pieces of real authenticity, and truth telling. Thank you for providing this venue for us.
The Mindful Eating Guidelines were fabulous. I have posted them on my fridge to incorporate into our family. The practice of noticing and paying attention to hunger and fullness was phenomenal! I have never done that before which is quite shocking and it is such an easy thing to do. Your style and framework made a lot of sense to a beginner like me.
Diana, thank you for teaching me a new way of listening to and trusting myself. Gratefully, Amy.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity of practice and spirit. Your support and that of the others helped me make some important shifts that have been life affirming even if a little hard. I appreciate the article you shared and in kind want to share how it affected me. When I just read it, and thought about my heart with care and compassion, I drifted into a short, sweet meditation where I imagined that my gentle full breaths were causing my lungs to caress my heart from behind so it could shine brighter from the front. How lovely!
Over the past couple of months of the series, my attitude towards food has been so, so healthy, I’ve become calmer, more in touch with my spiritual side and way more into yoga – all such amazing blessings! I went into Part 2 thinking, well, it would be great if I stop eating peanut butter out of the jar! And I have, but I feel like I’ve gotten so much more than that, and I just wanted to thank you for all your guidance and inspiration – you are amazing.
This group, guided by our lovely facilitator/teacher/friend has provided the compassionate environment I needed to begin to face some burdens that I have caused suffering for almost 40 years. For that I am forever grateful. This is a very powerful group of individuals and I and honored that each of you all trusted enough to continue to share your experiences, it has given me comfort in knowing that I am not alone and strength take a deep and hard look at my entire being and how I fit into this crazy life.
I was in your Yoga for Mindful Eating class last year. I recently had my A1C (editor note: a marker of blood sugar control over the last 3 months) checked and it went from 7.6 two months ago to 6.4 and I am off insulin. I have not lost weight but just taking better care and walking more. Just thought I’d share.
“Mindfully eating student”
I love the Yoga for Mindful Eating series. The yoga practice, meditation and discussion have been enormously revealing and healing for me. It is wonderful to see it bringing up so much for me and the other women in the group — it is powerful stuff. The opportunities for reflection and journaling at home help carry the spirit of the time we are together into my daily life. I highly recommend this series to anyone who eats!
The Yoga for Mindful Eating class was one of the most powerful and life-changing experiences I have ever experienced. Diana taught me the importance of loving my own body and allowing my emotions to be expressed in ways that do not relate to food. I continue to use the meditations and other resources I gathered in this class as I continue my life-long journey of self-acceptance and peace. Diana is incredibly patient, kind, non-judgmental, thoughtful, and wise. I can’t recommend this class enough!!
This program was totally amazing. It wasn’t about fat, skinny, at times both or neither or in-between, but about health and life, and seeing beyond what we thought were our limitations. Our minds were the limiting factors, not our bodies, but I say that without judgment, just understanding how things are — and were.
“I loved the other participants, lectures, and yoga postures—every second of it. It was so life changing. I appreciate the classes more than you know. At first, I was hesitant to take this course because I thought it might be about recipes, menus and nutritional advice like other weight management courses. Wow! How wrong I was!
Before Yoga for Mindful Eating, I was always on the newest ‘diet.’ I exercised according to the latest media outcry that changed relentlessly. Still, I was always trying to lose that last 10 pounds. I would lose it only to regain it, and it was a constant cycle for several years. I was so tired of it! If you’re still trying to lose the same 10 lbs for that long, there is something else going on. I learned this from your class. At the end of the series, I realized my worth each day isn’t measured by any scale, and I believe it.
“I listen to my body now, and nourish it when it’s hungry with what it craves. No more rules or restrictions or guilt. If it’s a beautiful afternoon and my kids want an ice cream and I’m hungry and crave one too, we’re all going to get ice cream and enjoy that beautiful moment in time together. I’m not going to feel guilty about it or order the sugar-free, low-fat, low-calorie kind loaded with chemicals that doesn’t taste the same, and then steal bites from my kids’ cones (because they have the real thing). I’m going to order what I want and love every bite and eat until I’m comfortable. End of story. If it fills me up and I’m still full at dinnertime, maybe I’ll just have tea at dinner that night.
“It’s that simple. Why would I eat if I’m not hungry? But, that’s the hardest part. Am I eating because it’s ‘dinnertime’ and I ‘should’ eat dinner?’ Who says? The greatest authority we have is our body, I am learning to listen to mine. The hard part is asking if I’m not eating for hunger, then why am I eating. You have to be ready to go there. It’s hard, but so liberating and freeing and worth it if you do.
“Another great lesson learned from the Mindful Eating series was answering the question ‘Is my constant dieting an excuse for really living my life?’ If I wasn’t so consumed with the latest diet plans, routines, goals and — in essence — living for tomorrow (when I have the ‘ideal’ body), what would I do with my time? How would I live my life? Yikes! This is scary stuff! Again, you have to be ready to go there. But for me, it opened up a world of possibility to figure it all out. If I didn’t have to worry about my weight, not only what would I do, but what could I do? If I didn’t eat at ‘dinnertime’ tonight because I had that dreamy ice cream cone with my kids this afternoon and Ijust wasn’t hungry yet, what would I do with that time instead? Hmmmmm…it’s exciting, too.
“I also discovered a lot from my classmates. We all had different issues with food, and I learned much from them as we shared and struggled with our own issues and grew together. When one of us was triumphant, I felt like we all were. There is a camaraderie that develops in the class which is really beautiful.
“This was far more than a class on having a healthier relationship with food. It has changed my life. I can’t ever go back! (And for those who care only about weight, though I don’t weigh myself anymore, I can now wear my ‘skinny’ clothes which I couldn’t before this series. Though they are a bit snug yet, I know I’ve lost weight to be able to wear them at all. But rather as the be-all, end-all goal, now to be able to wear my skinny clothes is just an ‘added bonus.’) I can’t thank you enough.
As a two-time participant in Yoga for Mindful Eating, I like the second series even better than the first. I enjoyed the attention to structure and setting ground rules up front was effective in creating adhesion within the group. I have continued to have many ‘ah-ha’ moments in this class. The combination of the teachings, the yoga and the meditations seem to really ‘turn the light on’ for me. It’s a class I look forward to each week and am hoping that they’ll be another one in the fall that I can participate in again. It’s a wonderful, enlightening experience.
I thank you again for your guidance and endless resources. I don’t think I told you this, but I have a piece of paper on my fridge with a quote from something you once said during yoga, ‘Don’t give up on yourself. You are your own best asset.’ Thank you for this life lesson and so many more.
The Yoga for Mindful Eating series has been a fabulous process… I’m amazed I’ve never considered this…timing is everything! So great to shift from restrictions & the old tape of not good enough’s to mindfully loving myself… and witnessing my patterns, barriers & triggers in relation to food & exercise
Oh, you’re great! I’m pouring over the material you recommended as I sit overlooking the beautiful ocean. I’m on this assignment and excited. Thank you for holding this space for me to shift my relationship with food and my body!