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Why Work With Me

How is my treatment model different from commercial weight management programs?


Noom, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem and others are great programs for anyone who wants to shed pounds and needs structure, accountability and reliable parameters. Those programs are designed for people who do well with behavior change models and who don’t have deeper underlying issues that may get in the way of lifelong weight loss success and inner peace.


Here’s where I come in: When a client works with me we dig a little deeper. The majority of my clients did not grow up in an emotionally safe environment nor did they have safe parenting: Nurturing mothers who had their back, made them feel heard and seen or loved them unconditionally, and protected them fiercely.

When a child learns that eating or snacking helps with comforting and self-soothing, the little one now subconsciously starts relying on this powerful pattern for emotional survival.


How can diets work when one doesn’t uncover decade-old survival rituals, which served them well to get through life? My job as a counselor is to gently encourage a client to let go of what feels familiar, and to have the courage to look at what was not given in childhood. The healing occurs when a client realizes that it is never too late to “mother” themselves well, and to create daily self-love and self-nurturing rituals, which will (over time) replace the powerful ritual of eating instead of feeling. So, I propose that diets can never work when emotional eating is not addressed.


What a client learns with me, he or she cannot unlearn. Once the inner self-love reservoir gets fuller and fuller, the need to self-soothe with food diminishes. My treatment model is designed to approach emotional eating (and reaching for food when not physically hungry) with gentle curiosity. Instead of keeping track of calories or steps, my clients journal about their “true” needs when the urge to snack or binge occurs. The more they gently explore what they are really in need of (i.e. coping with anxiety, stress, uncertainty, boredom), only then they have a chance to address the “core” need and self-soothe accordingly.


This can never be a quick fix. It takes patience, courage and trust in the process. A pattern, which has been running for 10, 20, 30 plus years can not magically be tricked with a false promise. Working with me means taking care of your inner child, giving her/him what she/he needed most when growing up.

Imagine having a little one living with you for the next few months… a precious child in need of love, care, emotional nurturing and protection. How would you talk to her/him? How would you help them with fear, worry or anxiety?


The same is true for your younger Self. It takes time to learn to be a good mother (parent) to yourself. If you are tired of yet another diet, of losing 20 pounds, only to regain them once “Life happens.”, come work with me. I have heard from so many clients that the weight came back on when they had a traumatic event happen in their life.


I invite you to take a different route and learn to be at peace with food and your body, to let go of counting calories again or worry about what not to eat. The solution lies deep within you. Allow me to be your guide towards a lighter, more balanced existence. You can be free of dieting and embrace the fact that we all need more nurturing instead of discipline.


Typical results: After approximately three to four months a “shift” occurs. Clients experience a greater sense of calm, inner peace and self-acceptance, and a reduction of punishing negative self-talk. The need to reach for food when they are not physically hungry greatly diminishes. The new healthy rituals have started taking the place of the familiar ritual of eating when feeling stressed, bored or lonely. The inner reservoir of self-compassion and self-nurturing gets fuller, and the need to take the “edge off” and numb with food weakens throughout the therapeutic process.


Instead of entering your data into an anonymous weight loss App, you will have a safe relationship with me, your counselor. You will learn mindfulness practices, you will discover that it is possible to become the person you needed the most. You will discover over time that self-compassion is an effective therapeutic tool for overcoming emotional eating. Kindness, self-forgiveness and patience will be the guiding principles for finding inner peace and befriending your body.


I will support you in becoming your own protector, cheerleader and best friend: A gentle warrior who protects her boundaries and speaks her truth - unapologetically, who stands in her own light with fierce determination to let go of what no longer serves her, and to add more joy and lightness to her life.

Let’s do this!

With love,

Petra


MINDFUL EATING INSTITUTE

Providing Santa Barbara with mindful weight loss management

petra@mindfuleatinginstitute.net

805-722-7400

Santa Barbara, CA, USA

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