We had a great support group meeting today and the topic was "Understanding the Desire to Eat" presented by Katie Mckenna, a specialist in both nutrition and psychology - her visits are always incredibly enlightening.
Our nutritionist also shared a new resource that looks interesting that I will most likely check out - the paste is from the bariatric section of thier website. I am of the belief that one can never have too many resources to help us long the way on this journey.
Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program
for Bariatric Surgery
The Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program for Bariatric Surgery helps resolve the mindless habits and emotional eating issues that lead to problems after bariatric surgery. It includes TWO books (both paperback)*:
- Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program for Bariatric Surgery Companion Workbook and Journal *
Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle
The award-winning book Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat is the foundation of this program; the Bariatric Surgery Companion Workbook and Awareness Journal shows you how to apply this life-changing approach after you've had bariatric surgery. (This program is appropriate for people who have had or are considering gastric bypass, the band, or the sleeve.)
Each of the eight workshops in the Bariatric Surgery Companion Workbook and Awareness Journal helps you apply what you’ve read in Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat to your daily life and explore issues that are unique to people who have had bariatric surgery. Each of the eight workshops also has a special section called "Adjust" to guide you through the necessary skills to adjust to your "new normal." (See Dr. May's article below: It's STILL Not About the Food.)
Download the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program for Bariatric Surgery Companion Workbook and Journal table of contents and an excerpt from Workshop 8 listing the key concepts here.
*Available only as a set because the Bariatric Surgery Workbook and Awareness Journal is a companion to Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle. It is not intended to be used alone. If you have already purchased Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat from us, you may email Orders@AmIHungry.com with your name so we can look it up (or you can email us a copy of your receipt). We are sorry for the inconvenience but it is very important that you use both books together!
Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program for Bariatric Surgery (set of two books) $39.90
Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Workshops for Bariatric Surgery - Webinar
Participate in this workshop from the convenience and privacy of your own home!
Facilitator: Jeff Butts (Read Jeff's personal story here)
Dates: Wednesdays, March 6, 2013 - April 24, 2013
Time: 5:00 - 6:30 pm PST/6:00 - 7:30pm MST/7:00 - 8:30pm CST/8:00 - 9:30pm EST
Email training@AmIHungry.com to receive advanced notification of future webinar dates.
Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Workshops for Bariatric Surgery - Facilitator Training
Do you work with bariatric surgery patients? Now available: Facilitator Training to offer Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Workshops for Bariatric Surgery in your bariatric center, office, or community! Please download the Facilitator Training information packet and contact us at 480 704-7811 or Training@AmIHungry.com to learn more.
About the Author Michelle May, M.D.
Michelle May, M.D. is a recovered yoyo dieter and the founder of the Am I Hungry?® Mindful Eating Workshops and Facilitator Training Program (www.AmIHungry.com). She is the award-winning author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle that guides readers to eat fearlessly and mindfully. Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat received seven publishing awards including best book in the categories of health, best self-help, best nutrition, and mind-body-spirit and was named one of the Top 10 Diet Books in 2010 by Time.com (though Michelle insists that it is a how-not-to-diet book!). She is also the author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat with Diabetes.
Margaret Furtado, M.S., R.D. served as a consultant on this project:
Margaret Furtado, M.S., R.D. has specialized in bariatric surgery at bariatric surgery centers of excellence for over a decade, including Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and The Johns Hopkins Center for Bariatric Surgery. She is currently a Bariatric Nutrition Specialist at The University of Maryland Medical Center, in Baltimore, Maryland. Margaret has co-authored 3 patient-centered books on bariatric surgery and nutrition, including her newly-revised Recipes for Life After Weight Loss Surgery and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery. She was one of the authors of the 2008 bariatric nutrition guidelines published by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Margaret speaks internationally on bariatric surgery and nutrition.
Bariatric Surgery: It's STILL Not About the Food!
Michelle May, M.D. writes about why mindful eating is so helpful for bariatric surgery patients:
Bariatric Surgery is Only a Tool
While bariatric surgery may be controversial, even bariatric surgeons agree that bariatric surgery is a tool, not a quick fix. This is a critical point because a tool can do nothing on its own; it requires skillful management by a knowledgeable user to work effectively. Therefore results following bariatric surgery depend on learning to use that tool optimally to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Adjusting to a New Normal
When people ask my opinion about bariatric surgery, I have to admit that it's a tough question because many people who decide to try surgery believe that they've tried everything else. Most have never even heard of intuitive or mindful eating.
Some believe or hope that having bariatric surgery will solve all of their problems—but nothing could be further from the truth. For example, if you’re an “emotional eater,” the situations and emotions that triggered eating in the past are unlikely to disappear simply because you’ve chosen to have bariatric surgery. As one patient said, “They didn’t operate on my brain!”
Some discover that they “miss” their friend—food—leaving them with a feeling of loss. As one person told me, "I've cut out my coping skill!"
Others believe that after surgery they won’t need to think about their eating anymore. In fact, it is just the opposite. You need to become very thoughtful about eating in order to use this tool optimally. If you’re not mindful about your eating, this “tool” can cause you to experience uncomfortable, even serious consequences—and you’ll be far less likely to get the results you hoped for.
Bottom line: It breaks my heart to see people invest so much yet continue to struggle in their relationship with food.
Bariatric Surgery and Mindful Eating
Since 1999, tens of thousands of people have used the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program and/or read Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, to resolve their difficult eating issues. There are often people in our workshops who have had also bariatric surgery. They explain that surgery did not fix their real problem and/or that they need additional skills to cope with their "new normal."
Mindfulness is beneficial because it teaches us to focus our attention and awareness on what is happening right now, which in turn, helps us disengage from habitual, unsatisfying, and unskillful habits and behaviors.
Specifically, mindful eating skills help resolve the mindless habits and emotional eating issues that lead to problems after bariatric surgery:
- Eating too quickly
- Taking large bites
- Not chewing thoroughly
- Eating while distracted leading to overconsumption
- Not savoring food and therefore having difficulty feeling satisfied with small volumes of food
- Eating too much, leading to vomiting and/or distention of the pouch
- Grazing throughout the day
- Eating "slider" foods and high-calorie soft foods and liquids, often in response to emotional triggers
- Not consuming enough protein or nutrient-rich foods
- Feeling deprived or left-out in social situations
- Struggling to establish consistent physical activity
- Transfer addictions
- And many other issues...
Further, most people who make the difficult decision to have bariatric surgery want to improve their health and energy so they can live the vibrant life they crave. Yet without the additional tool of mindful eating, bariatric surgery can feel like a permanent diet that continues to consume your life. One of the most meaningful changes that happens when you learn to eat mindfully (whether you've had surgery or not!) is that it allows you to think about eating when you need to and free up your energy and attention to focus on living in between.
Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program for Bariatric Surgery
For all these reasons we felt that it was time to create a mindful eating program especially for people who have had (or who are considering) bariatric surgery. We have a brand new Bariatric Surgery Workbook and Awareness Journal and will also begin offering additional workshop training for Am I Hungry? Facilitators who work with bariatric surgery patients.
Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating Program for Bariatric Surgery (set of two books) $39.90
(For a sneak peek, download a pdf of the key concepts covered in this Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program for Bariatric Surgery.)
I am personally very excited about bringing the life-changing concepts of intuitive and mindful eating to the many people who, despite having surgery, still find themselves stuck in an eat-repent-repeat cycle. After all, even after bariatric surgery, it still isn't really about the food.
Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!
Michelle May, M.D.