Pandemic Pounds: A Mindful Solution
Petra Beumer, owner of the Mindful Eating Institute in Santa Barbara, is also in the digital detox camp, but also knows that there are many in the South Coast community looking at themselves in the mirror and aren’t happy with the pandemic pounds they’ve added over the past 14 months.
According to the American Psychological Association, 61% of U.S. adults have reported undesired weight changes since the outset of the pandemic. The APA also reported that 40 percent of those surveyed gained an average of 29 pounds, while 10 percent added in excess of 50 pounds.
Beumer says it isn’t really about the weight, it’s about self-compassion and your intent on making sustainable changes to your lifestyle — but that only comes from a place of love and kindness, not penalizing yourself.
“Your emotions play a significant part in your physical appearance,” Beumer said.
To aid the community in attaining self-love, Beumer is kicking off a new program, Shed the Physical and Emotional Weight of the Pandemic.
In small groups of eight — Beumer will also take individuals — those who are looking to get control over their health will enter into group counseling sessions, with both three- and six-month options available.
The sessions will use both mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation as the base of treatment, looking to make lifelong changes instead of short-term fixes.
For Beumer, it simply comes down to making self-care a priority, particularly post-pandemic, when nurturers naturally took care of those around them first.
“I ask so many people about whether or not they’ve made time for themselves, and they haven’t,” Beumer said. “Now is the time to do it.”
The program is slated to begin on June 1, with more information available at mindfuleatinginstitute.net.