Why Focusing on Weight is Damaging - and 7 Tips on What to Do Instead

It's hard not to think about weight. It comes up everywhere, and it creeps in more and more all the time. For instance, due to my family history, I get a breast MRI every year. This year for the first time, they asked my weight when I pre-registered. But they couldn't tell me why, just that it was on the list of things to ask. Or when you're standing in the checkout line, you’ll see magazines with a weight focus. Or see posts on Facebook about how much weight people have lost. Or ads for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig - among many other things. So I get that it's hard to avoid. The problem is, this excessive focus is damaging. Why? Because what we focus on takes on extra importance. That doe

3 Ways Not to Feel Left Out When You Ditch Diets

I’m not a fan of diets, as regular readers will know. But I will admit they one benefit: giving you a sense of unity. After all, when you’re on a diet, you can be pretty confident someone else around you is, too. Or at the very least, you see images of pretty people on diets of all kinds. On TV… magazine covers… billboards… and social media. They’re everywhere. But when was the last time you saw images of happy women eating mindfully? My guess is not very often. And I’m betting if you tell friends that you’re eating mindfully, you get some blank looks. Or worse, they might feel like you’re attacking them. That you’re criticizing their efforts. They might get defensive and not even hear what

Honoring Mom with Food

Most women learn how to think about food from their moms. And for many of us, that also involves diets. And negative body image. I hear this all the time when I talk to people about mindful eating. Women whose mothers were diet-obsessed learned that this is expected behavior. I certainly got that from my mom. She was so careful with food. And she was hyper-focused on my own eating. But I also learned something else from her. Something not all women get. To enjoy the food you eat. Because she did enjoy it. She ate a very balanced diet, with lots of fruit and veggies, but honestly, I never got the sense it was due to a diet or specific “plan.” She just loved them. In fact, I remember when she

Before and After: Mindful Eating and Body Image

Today I’m holding a viewing of the movie Embrace, a documentary by body image activist Taryn Brumfitt. It’s about her before and after story. In her case, “before” was not liking her sculpted, model-ready body, and “after” is accepting and loving the softer version it became. And now she’s trying to help others accept their bodies as they are. It got me thinking about my before and after. The full version is in my book, but I thought it might be helpful to revisit in brief how my life has changed since discovering mindful eating. Including how I feel about my body. Before It amazes me that my before is now 18 years ago. Long enough for a baby to grow to voting age. And yet, I can still remem

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