Eat, repent, repeat

by Dr. Ellen Cullman, FLT Columnist

Now that the holidays are over, a new season is upon us – the diet season. Just like summer, fall, winter and spring cycle through the year, so does the habit of on-again-off-again dieting.  Michele May, M.D. cleverly refers to this cycle as the “Eat, Repent, Repeat Cycle.” It is a combination of dieting then overeating, regaining the weight lost and feeling guilty and back again to dieting. If you see yourself in the “Eat, Repent, Repeat Cycle,” you are not alone.

“Tis the season” for dieting and along with it is the season for marketers to sell you their gift of the perfect diet. All diets pander claims such as lose weight fast and keep it off, lose weight permanently, or safe and all natural. People do lose weight and feel better for a while but few can maintain a restrictive diet regimen for the long haul. If they do, the next trick is weight maintenance, something people are generally on their own to figure out. So it becomes a pattern of dieting, overeating, repenting, and then dieting again.

How is mindful eating different? A metaphor I often use is potty training a child. Here the parent coaches the child in using his mind to sense a full bladder and then to go to the bathroom.  It is a process that takes place over time. In coaching mindful eating it is a similar process only the coach is helping the client to use their mind to sense levels of hunger and fullness and then to meet their hunger needs according to their mind-body sensations and available food. Both skills, going to the potty and mindful eating, are difficult in the beginning but over time become second nature. As with any new skill, both the child and the future mindful eater need personal motivation and practice to learn the skill.

Do you see yourself stuck in the “eat-repent-repeat cycle”?  Learning to mindfully eat provides a different cycle for you to follow. That cycle is sensing hunger, eating to satisfaction and then living your life until you are hungry again. Are you ready to drop your quest for easy solutions? You bring the motivation and I, The Mindful Eating Coach, will provide the training.

Dr. Cullman welcomes your questions for an upcoming column. The Winter Mindful Eating Workshop begins January 24th and meets at 975 Commerce Dr. in Perrysburg. Call 419-494-7699 or email for information about individual sessions, workshops, presentations, seminars and personalized retreats.