with Food Through
Mindful Eating Institute
Petra Beumer Helps Clients Free Themselves
from Restrictive Dieting
By Tyler Hayden
Founded in 2017 by Petra Beumer a former weight loss coach and regular lecturer at Cottage Hospital and Sansum Clinic, the Mindful Eating Institute is a weight management and self-care counseling service that as Beumer explains it “helps clients free themselves from restrictive dieting and develop a healthy and relaxed relationship with food and their body.”
What inspired you to create the Mindful Eating Institute and how does it differ from your previous work with diet and nutrition? When I was a weight loss coach I witnessed that clients who had been struggling with weight management issues their whole lives needed so much more than a strict diet. I decided to follow my calling and developed a mindful approach to weight loss and emotional eating. I created a treatment model which is deeply rooted in positive psychology, mindfulness principles, and self-compassion research. It is not a quick fix but a way of finding peace with food as a permanent way of living and being.
In practical terms what does the concept of mindful eating mean? Mindful Eating means becoming aware of physical hunger and bringing awareness to the eating process and the food itself. I consider it to be a part of a larger umbrella, called Mindful Living: paying attention to our physical and emotional needs and living with purpose and authenticity.
What does treatment at the institute look like? How do you measure success? The therapeutic work requires gently, over time, replacing the powerful ritual of eating instead of feeling. This asks for a “deeper dive” into the underlying emotions which cause a client to numb and escape by eating.
Clients learn to fill their inner self-care reservoir and start witnessing a “shift” a few months into the program. They experience a greater sense of inner peace and self-acceptance. The need to reach for food when they are not physically hungry greatly diminishes.
How did you see your clients’ needs shift during the height of the pandemic and how do they compare to now? The pandemic turned out to be a “poundemic” for many. Food truly became the great comforter and soother during a very stressful and unprecedented reality. People are now ready to turn the corner and take charge of their health.
(805) 722-7400; mindfuleatinginstitute.net