FreshStart: Entering The Final Stretch, And Eating With Reverence

Dear Freshstarters: How goes it? Please report in the comments section below. (What is FreshStart? Please click here and read from the oldest post to the newest.)

Deep in the mists of the distant past, we began our FreshStart efforts on April 18, which means that we're about to enter the final month of our three-month deal. Not that it's ever really over, of course. The whole point of making "SMART" changes is that they're supposed to be sustainable. No free passes starting July 18! But I already feel as if I've learned a great deal under Coach Beth's kind and expert tutelage, and the central lesson I've learned is that the health journey is an unending process of tweaking and calibrating and experimenting, with 1,000 different possible routes toward the overarching goal of living healthier. Anybody else feeling that way?

I'm also thrilled to report that for me, this stuff is definitely working. My body is starting to look decidedly more summer-ready, my energy is revved up, my appetite is down, and I've been staying away from the scale but I'm seeing the kind of subtle streamlining that Beth said to expect. On a literary note, I've just finished reading "Women, Food and God" by Geneen Roth, mainly because I was deeply curious about why it became such a major bestseller. I still have no answer to that question. If you're at all familiar with the "intuitive eating" movement — the idea that we should not "diet," but listen to our bodies and eat mindfully when hungry — it treads familiar ground. (An interesting local therapist and writer, Jean Fain, is an active proponent and has written a book called "The Self-Compassion Diet.") But I did take away a few golden nuggets, and my favorite was the idea that we should try to eat with reverence for our selves and our bodies. What a positive way to eat.

The book ends with Geneen Roth's eating guidelines:
1. Eat when you're hungry
2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.

3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
4. Eat what your body wants.
5. Eat until you are satisfied.
6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

Comments, anybody? Does this, would this, work for you?

This program aired on June 15, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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