Category Archives: In the Moment – Mindful Eating App

Time Out! Change scenes. Shake it up!!

Ahhhhh!

Ahhhhh!

I am noticing my breathing again.  Sounds in our beachfront room appear seemingly out of nowhere:  waves, birds, wind, voices floating in and out.

I am on vacation, and I feel like I’m checking back in with the world.  In my everyday life, habits and schedules seem to rule, and time just clicks by.  November, December, January . . . February already!

I have my tools for taking time out on a daily basis, but it is so hard to keep nagging thoughts from interfering!  At home, I sit and take a deep breath, and the washing machine stops suddenly, reminding me to switch the laundry.  I begin to read a magazine, and my phone lets me know another e-mail just arrived.  And then I remember I really should check my voicemail messages.

I’m not saying that relaxation at home is impossible.  It is necessary, because I spend a lot of time there.  Still it amazes me how much easier and more deeply I relax on vacation.  The change of scenery is key:  fewer work reminders and less compulsion to stay busy.

It makes sense that when I have trouble unwinding at home, I find it much easier to do so when I leave the house (or work).  A change of surroundings really helps!  I can consciously focus on the new things around me.  A walk outside is the best, because I really enjoy focusing on the natural environment.

Unfortunately, this is not the best time of year for me to enjoy walking outside – it’s cold in Wisconsin!  That’s OK though.  A trip to the grocery store or the mall works too.

You can use a change of scenery to help break momentum when eating starts to spin out of control.  If this is a frequent challenge, try just stopping and leaving your space.  I realize this isn’t always possible, but if it is, it can be a powerful tool.  Leaving creates a valuable delay, and new surroundings break the momentum.

Once a binging habit starts to play out, eating becomes mindless.  What is really needed is a jolt back to present time, a break in the pattern of the habit.  This is precisely why a change of scenery helps.  Habits play out effortlessly in familiar situations.

Shake it up – get out – and see what happens.  It may not work every time, but at least it will put you back in the driver’s seat of your decisions. This is one of the many tools that can help with in-the -moment eating challenges.

In the Moment – Mindful Eating, the phone app I created to help my clients and others bring more mindfulness to eating, is now upgraded (version 1.1.5) and works on all iPhones that are 4s and newer.  An Android version is available as well.

Updates for In the Moment App Now Available!

Check out some new content:

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I love this new bubble choice: “I want to stop!”

 

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If you choose “I want to stop!” this is some of the content you will see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just received approval from Apple for the updated version (1.1.1) of In the Moment – Mindful Eating.  

 If you already have the app on your iPhone, just go into your “updates” and you should see it waiting for you.  If you have never downloaded it – and maybe don’t even know about the app yet – just go to the App Store and search the name.  It is a great app for support of your New Year’s intentions.  That darned human side (ie. emotional side) does seem to get in the way of healthy changes, doesn’t it?

To read more about the app, visit the Facebook Page.

iPhone App Fix Coming Soon!

Attention iPhone users!  It seems that the latest iOS operating systems updates have caused a glitch for the app In the Moment – Mindful Eating.  It is likely that if your app works, you have not yet performed these updates.

We are working on it, and it should be fixed soon, and more!  There will be a couple of upgrades added at the same time.  Please be patient in the meantime, as anyone looking at the app for the first time will think the app doesn’t do much – because in its broken form it doesn’t!  Watch for updates here or on the Facebook Page.  It should be fixed by the first week of January.

Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating: Not the Usual List

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I don’t know about you, but I am tired of reading the re-runs of holiday eating tips this time of year.  Every time I see the teasers on the cover of every magazine in the grocery store rack, I can’t resist looking to see if anyone has come up with something different than “Bring a veggie tray to the party” or “Don’t go to a party hungry.”

Those who struggle with weight know that the biggest calorie gluts come during the times they feel defeated, hopeless, or simply tired of trying so hard.  “I give up!”  or “It doesn’t matter anymore; I’ve already blown it.”  Strategies for these times and these moods will save far more unnecessary calories than choking down endless carrot sticks and celery at a party while simultaneously exhausting willpower by resisting even the smallest bite of anything pleasurable.

Before the pent-up tension sets the same old pattern in motion again this year, or if you are one who just “punts” until January 1, try my tips instead.  They are not tips for a “perfect” eating plan, but they are tips for improved eating this season, improvements that can continue into the New Year and beyond.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope your feast includes delicious food as well as many happy moments with family and friends.

Life itself is the proper binge. – Julia Child

Kim’s Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating  

1.  Look at your holiday eating beliefs.

  • Are you going into the holidays believing you will gain weight? Do you believe you can’t control yourself?
  • What you believe is powerful! Thoughts can become actions. Try entering the season with a more curious attitude. (“I have had trouble in the past controlling myself around holiday baked treats. This year I will stay more mindful and observe what happens.”)

2.  Consider your stress level and simplify (not just food, but holiday expectations !).  Stress can – and often does – affect eating.

3.  Modify your plan and be “intelligently flexible”.

4.  When facing an eating decision, ask these questions:

  • What am I looking for right now (body nourishment, pleasure, something else)?
  • Does this feel kind?  Please treat yourself kindly.

5.  Do what you can to balance your brain chemistry for better self control.

  • Don’t go hungry.
  • Control blood sugar levels and mood by eating plenty of high fiber fruits and vegetables, along with a good portion of protein.
  • Eat concentrated sweets in moderation.
  • Get plenty of sleep, sunlight, laughter, exercise, friendship, and positive thinking to keep brain chemistry in a happy balance.

6.  Stay present: If you disappoint yourself, remember that you only have this moment to make changes. You cannot have a re-do, but in this moment you can do something more important – forgive yourself and change your long-term thinking.

7.  Try the app I developed to help people with the human side of eating challenges (In the Moment – Mindful Eating).  

Put the entire situation into perspective. How many days of “holiday” are there – really?  What will you do and how will you treat yourself on all of the many other days in between the few special events?

Cultivate “awe” for a more health-friendly attitude! (And Happy Birthday, Brent!)

Airport Arrival - More Fun Than the Departure

Brent, with wife Marina and sister Becky

Today at around 9am EST, my first-born turned 30. He lives in Seattle, but this momentous day will be spent near New York City, close to his birthplace, while on tour with Allen Stone; my son plays bass.

We toss around the word “awesome” these days like we used to use the word “wonderful.” Break the words apart, and clearly the number of times either is used far outnumbers the actual moments in our lives that are truly full of awe or wonder. A sunset can inspire genuine awe and wonder; these words lose their impact after being repeatedly used to describe things like a trip to the mall or a hot fudge sundae.

During my pre-bedtime reading ritual last night, I picked up a Sierra magazine that just arrived. The title of the cover article is “The Science of Awe.” As I flipped open the pages, I thought, ‘there may be something in here to incorporate into my app (In the Moment – Mindful Eating).’ In fact, there is plenty to consider in terms of more mindful eating, but as I read the writer’s descriptions of awe-inspiring moments, personal memories took over my thoughts . . . and I felt open, hopeful, and positive – all from simply remembering my “awe-filled” moments.

One moment in nature popped up: a trip to Ecuador, where I walked barefoot out onto the most expansive beach I have ever seen, at night when it was all lit by nothing more than the stars. Other times in the outdoors made the hairs on my skin stand up (a sign, the author asserts, of being awed) even as a mere memory. At the top of my awe list, however, are the births of my two children.

Thirty years ago today, shortly after giving birth to my son Brent, I was in a very small, dark hospital bathroom with a single small window when I felt a sensation of complete happiness, that everything in the universe was “right” and everything was connected. Clearly, this was not the result of my surroundings, a bathroom that was far from the most beautiful bathroom I have ever occupied! I felt unlimited gratitude and a completely open heart toward everything and everyone. While I do not consider myself a very “churchy” religious person, there was no denying this experience; it was clearly much bigger than me, like the beach in Ecuador I would walk on many years later.

The Sierra article uses research to explain what happens to a person at times like this. We behave differently. We treat people better, we are more generous, we are simply nicer to “hang with.” While the article did not specifically mention health or how we treat ourselves, I’m going out on a limb to say that I believe awe is worth cultivating because of the health benefits it offers.

We know that being more mindful is better for our eating and psychological well-being. Since awe, which cannot be felt in the absence of mindfulness, seems to inspire the kind of good feelings that are connected with better self-care, it doesn’t take much of a leap to conclude that being in nature, nurturing relationships, and creating other truly “awesome” moments will cause us to treat ourselves more kindly.

That’s what being healthy is all about: being kind to ourselves. I’m feeling grateful today, just thinking about what happened in my life 30 years ago. Happy Birthday, Brent. You are truly a gift that keeps giving!

It’s Here! (In the Moment – Mindful Eating App for Android Devices)

 

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Attention Android Users!  The app is now available for your mobile devices.  For  a limited time, you can download the app without a fee. Visit the Facebook page for the link and download instructions.

A Sneak Peek at a New App Addition!

A new version of “In the Moment – Mindful Eating” will be added soon.  Included will be a new “bubble” giving users an opportunity to choose to “just stop” – in the spirit of self-compassion of course!  This video, which is totally adorable, will be included.  Can’t we all laugh at this and see a little of ourselves in it?  Can anyone honestly say they have never been in Frog and Toad’s shoes before?

 

 

Media Coverage for “In the Moment – Mindful Eating” App

The Milwaukee Business Journal published a story about my phone app yesterday in their online edition.

More exciting app news:  the Android version is almost finished and will be available at Google Play soon!

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A Preview of My New iPhone App

It’s called In the Moment – Mindful Eating, and it’s available at the App Store.  Here’s a preview:

I apologize for my poor filming skills!  If you would like a clearer view of the examples above, just go to the App Store.  I am grateful for your feedback.

My iPhone App is In the App Store – Please Try It!

inTheMomentLogosFullColorI am happy to report that my 1-1/2 year journey to make my dream a reality has finally resulted in a phone app for iPhone that can be downloaded from the app store.  If you like my general approach – very human and forgiving, and very REAL – I think you will enjoy giving the app a whirl.  The name of the app is “In The Moment – Mindful Eating.

The final product accomplishes what I had hoped it would, and now I am ready to ask the really important question . . .  the question that matters most to me . . .

WILL IT HELP USERS WITH IN-THE-MOMENT FOOD CHOICES AND EMOTIONAL DILEMMAS?

I would be so grateful for your feedback.  You can rate the app, but I also encourage you to comment here with suggestions to make it better.  It will cost you $1.99 – worth every penny!