Posted in Book Review

Mastering Mindfulness: A self-discovery journal and behavior change program to conquer weight loss and create a life of happiness

Rarely does a book on nutrition appear, that not only gets you excited about eating well and losing weight but also touches your heart.  Author and registered dietitian Gina B does an amazing job at crafting her book into something relatable to everyone. She reveals her vulnerability through personal struggles, sends a message of empowerment and all the while encourages a key ingredient for success, mindfulness.  

From the very beginning of the book, Gina B emphasizes the importance of awareness without judgment in our relationship with food. Like with any type of relationship it takes work, the same goes with food. She discusses the eating patterns and behaviors from childhood that have a great influence on us as adults. This was very eye opening for myself, reflecting on memories of eating at the dinner table and the comfort food I turn to today.  When it comes to judgment, she does a great job of explaining the negative dialogue we can maintain in our minds about being able to lose weight and scolding ourselves over dietary relapses. I appreciated the exercises she has at the end of most chapters that guide the reader into deeper reflection on our behavior without judgment. One exercise involved keeping a food journal and logging everything you put in your mouth for one week! Though it can be tedious, patience is worth the outcome.

Gina B also expresses some important points about the pitfalls of going on a diet. I’m sure many people have gone on a weeks long or even months long regime of calorie restriction or exclusion of certain food. She explains how in the long run these diets aren’t that effective and even describes the science behind it, in a way that any average joe can understand. Additionally, she emphasizes the benefits of listening to our body and what it needs. The main way we do that truly encompasses the purpose of her material, developing a habit of mindfulness.

Though mindfulness is beneficial and worth practicing in all aspects of life, Gina B explains how using it while enjoying a meal gives a great advantage.  She talks about limiting distractions during mealtime and truly enjoying the flavors and textures on your plate. In this way, we also tend to get full a lot quicker and prevent overeating. She stresses how mindfulness can transform the way we enjoy food and reinforces our awareness of what goes into our mouth.

The most endearing aspect that I enjoyed throughout the entire book is how she manages to capture the reader in such an intimate way. She has no issue with vulnerability, sharing the pain of a simultaneous break up while losing her business in private practice and how that fueled a better initiative for self-care. Toward the latter part of the book, she shares a letter written to herself during that very challenging time. It a was a love letter that started like this “Gina I know it’s been a while since we have talked, so I am trying to get reconnected.” I think anyone who reads her book can reconnect, not only with food but in other ways you might least expect.

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