Office Manager, Wife, Mother and Am I Hungry? Participant
“There is something for everyone
to learn in this class. It is the best maintenance tool I could possibly have.”
She Made a Healthy Choice by Investing in Herself
After attending her first session of the Am I Hungry?® workshop, Jeri Bushong was hooked. “It was very energizing. I couldn’t wait to get home and start reading my homework. It just made so much sense,” she said.
“In the first class we learned it’s not just about what we eat -- no food is off limits – it’s about why we eat,” Jeri said. “It is about being mindful. It’s about learning to make healthy choices and to eat because you’re hungry, not because you’re bored or tired.”
“Am I Hungry?” combines an innovative, non-diet approach to weight loss with interaction, motivation and group support. Eight weekly workshops cover topics such as how to handle head hunger, strategies for intuitive eating and getting more pleasure from less food.
Her primary care physician, Jennifer Morse, M.D., facilitates the workshops and initially invited Jeri to attend. “She is inspiring,” Jeri said. “I saw Dr. Morse lose weight -- and keep it off -- and she was fired up about the program. She was an excellent instructor. She was always organized and kept us on track.”
“The concept of mindful eating starts with questioning the need to eat,” Jeri explained. “I learned to think first and ask myself, ‘How badly do I want this?’ Then I’ll wait 10 minutes and ask the question again. I make sure I really want it, eat until I’m satisfied, and then stop. Before, I’d too often eat beyond the point of being satisfied,” she said.
“Another point that really stuck with me is to not let myself get too hungry,” Jeri said. “Before, I’d get so hungry I’d develop a headache or lose my concentration, then overeat or eat the wrong things. Now, I pay more attention to the signs of true hunger.”
Jeri also discovered how much better she feels when she moves more. “I had gotten away from exercise and the class reinstilled the need to get up and move,” she said. “I started walking again and joined a yoga class.”
Jeri is also more mindful of where she eats, as well as what she eats. “I learned that most people have problem spots in their home or car or office,” Jeri said. “For me, those spots are in front of the television, my desk at work and standing at the kitchen counter. Now, I only eat at the table.”
Jeri said some of the lessons she learned surprised her. “I’m a pretty independent person, and it was hard for me to accept that I can’t go it alone and be successful,” she said. “I need support to get to my goal; I need accountability and structure.”
To help her meet her goal, Jeri joined an organized weight-management group that meets weekly. She said the two programs share similar philosophies and complement each other; both promote permanent, healthy lifestyle choices.
Making healthy choices paid off for Jeri. “I feel better physically and mentally,” she said. Feeling good led to other changes. “I changed my hairstyle, changed my glasses – I wanted to shake things up a bit!”
Jeri says she is no longer a mindless eater. “I don’t make good decisions all the time, but I make good decisions most of the time. For instance, I’ll take the extra 15 minutes at lunch to sit and eat a salad instead of going to a drive-though window for a burger.”
Jeri considers taking the Am I Hungry? workshop a great investment. “There is something for everyone to learn in this class,” she said. “I learned to make healthy choices and better decisions. It is the best maintenance tool I could possibly have.”
Am I Hungry? is a registered trademark of Michelle L. May.
MidMichigan Health, we see weight loss differently. It’s not just about
achieving a particular weight or body shape, but about improving your health,
resolving weight-related medical conditions, and giving you the energy to do
the things you love. Our comprehensive Weight Management Program offers
patients the motivation, support and resources that they need to succeed.
more about the Am I Hungry?® program or other weight
management programs and services available through MidMichigan Health visit www.midmichigan.org/weightloss.