QUESTION: I saw the Rewire Eating Habits program you are offering and wondered how it compares to - or aligns with - Judson Brewer's Eat Right Now app.
Ah thanks! You know what’s great, is that through my putting my "REWIRE" program out there, I'm getting responses from people who want to know how what I offer compares to the diets and apps they know about or have heard of. So, on one hand, I get to learn about what is being offered out there, and it also helps me formulate how what I offer is distinctive!
So, I confess this was my first learning of the Eat Right Now app, and I just looked at it this morning (02/25/19), and from what I could see (without actually buying the app -which isn't cheap), I would say that ...... Well FIRST I'll address a few things I believe are SIMILAR - and then I will point out the DIFFERENCES - and how what I offer is UNIQUE.
So, in terms of the application of mindfulness, what I’m offering is probably extremely similar - at least in terms of how we are using mindful awareness to really hone in on the components of this issue - and, I made a few charts and graphs myself about the "rewiring" process, so we both share that kind of science. The awareness of how the thoughts & feelings create behavior is a big part of rewiring eating habits, needless to say, and it’s awfully nice & handy to have a well-designed app to support the process on a daily basis. So here I give a big bow to Mr. Brewer for a job well-done!
Now, in terms of the kind of mindfulness that is being applied, I , of course, have powerful advantage of the Unified Mindfulness System (developed by Shinzen Young), which has been used in Harvard Medical School brain studies. (And I designed & taught the mindfulness program for one of those studies.) Unified Mindfulness was also used for stress-reduction studies at Carnegie Mellon - and other studies at educational research institutions - with breakthrough results! Unified Mindfulness is a unique, rigorously-precise, scientifically-based, yet highly- flexible system that delves into all aspects of sensory experience unlike any other mindfulness system. So, I have the advantage of being an expert teacher of the Unified Mindfulness system and being able to maximize the benefits of that system. I can help people develop a new level of sensory clarity - along with the focus & acceptance that most mindfulness practices can promote.
The support community that appears to be offered in Brewer's program is also something that I’ve integrated into what I do – and something I think is absolutely essential - since research shows that social support is directly linked to success! (And to promote that even further, I’m offering a "2-for-1 BFF Special" price so that if someone does it with a friend, they only pay half – to encourage the best kind of social support.) But I also integrate a “secret” FB group (where one needs to be invited and it cannot be found through any searches)- so that participants have a safe place to share their experience - and they can dialogue and support each other as they go through the process. I am also setting it up so that it continues after the initial 6 week program ends!
And, if we're talking support, I believe the support that I'm offering - at least in this first 6-week program, is unparalleled. I am personally interacting with each participant during sessions, in live Q&A after sessions - and additional Live Office Hours where participants can talk with me directly. That amount of support is not something I will be able to do (for everyone) as future programs proceed, needless to say, but I do offer it in this initial 6 weeks because starting is the hardest part - and where support is most crucial. And I am committed to helping people really begin to feel this "New Normal." THUS, spaces are limited in our program to ensure this personalized support - that is unique.
Now, what I am not offering is an app (at least at this time, anyway.) And I have read different responses to apps - some people love them and swear by them -
and others really are trying to get away from their devices, so that having to check in with your device every time you eat or want to eat - can pose a problem. But I always do appreciate and applaud any creative ways of supporting people in this
process. [So, here, I insert applause and another bow for the what looks to be a good app.] And I also have empathy for those of us who would rather not have yet another reason to be chained to our smart phone.
Where I believe I'm offering something that is not available on any other platform, is work I’ve learned through Body-Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, and other movement and healing modalities to help shift the relationship to the body outside of the interaction with food. - And doing this does ultimately affect the relationship with food. Now, I'm not talking about exercising or becoming athletic - but ways for anyone, with any physicality, to start to enjoy the physical and emotional experience of being inside this body.
As you well know, every teacher teaches from a unique combination of their training and their personal experience, and since I’ve explored (to great depth) many movement, body, and energy modalities. When getting my MFA at the Yale School of Drama, I discovered the power of body language and how it can affect our thoughts & feelings - something I have often taught to the public at UCLArts & Healing. I feel it's something everyone should know and use to advantage. I’m wanting to incorporate that work into what I’m doing to help people “rewire” their eating habits, because then, the experience of the body is much more dynamic and fulfilling – and food is simply a living force that becomes part of the body.
I know I am ambitious in my goals, but, as a mindfulness teacher, I was repeatedly asked to offer support in this realm. So often I was told that what I was offering was something that people were not getting elsewhere - and that they wanted more! So, then I felt that I had almost an obligation to share it.
I also offer experience from years of working with people on this issue– with people presenting all sorts of specific and general challenges. I have always tried to creatively come up with some technique or strategy that would work in each case , and, in the process, I have come up with a LOT of fun, cool, clever strategies! As a great teacher once said, "If you can't be disciplined, be clever!"
Now, a strategy that works for you at 2pm might not work at 10pm – so I have found it to be about having a “tool box” of strategies so that you have OPTIONS and can pick what WORKS at any given moment. (Just like a hammer isn't that helpful for sanding, etc.)
Finding optimal moments within any compulsive behavior cycle in which to apply any strategy is key. It's like finding the weak link in the chain, but the chain here is the sequence of thought/feeling/behavior habit patterns that are unhealthy or unhelpful. When you an identify where these "optimal moments" are in your eating habit pattern, ANY amount of effort, intention or strategy is amplified by this "good timing."
So, that is how I would present what I'm offering in comparison: similar application of mindfulness - except I am lucky to be an expert in the uniquely effective Unified Mindfulness system, I'm not an app - but a live person, I offer more hands-on personalized support, more work with creating an intimate & loving relationship to the body, and I've got some fun, clever strategies that come from lots of personal experience, delivered with compassion & humor.
Sound good? I invite you to try it out for yourself. Thanks for the question!