Okemo mountain view, Green Mountain at Fox Run

Green Mountain at Fox Run: It Never Ends

I took a lot of notes during my three weeks at Green Mountain and I can’t tell you how satisfying it was that they fit precisely into my little notebook, with one page to spare!

Notes from Green Mountain at Fox Run

Maybe I subconsciously paced my scribbles but it’s still a pleasing outcome. Even if I hadn’t learned a thing, the trip would have been worthwhile just for the fun of writing things down all day long like a big nerd.

But BONUS, I did learn stuff! During my last week, the lovely Jo asked on my Facebook page: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learnt during your stay?

My answer:

“… I’m leaving with a deeper understanding of why I do what I do – what’s going on in my brain and body, and the moments/triggers that lead up to a binge or overeating.

And that it’s not one answer but a collection of little tools and practices that collectively can help – mindfulness, consistent movement, mindful eating, self compassion, small moments of pleasure, gratitude etc.

A lot of stuff that I’ve previously thought ‘yeah nice idea’ but had not realised how important it is for helping us stay more centered and less likely to swing to the darker places.”

(Paragraph breaks added for the sake of your eyeballs!)

It was so helpful to gain a deeper understanding of the why, after decades of periodically finding myself surrounded by a bunch of food wrappers, totally frustrated and befuddled at how I wound up there again.

The why is a bit of a cocktail – it can be habitual (the brain following old, deep neural pathways… cue > response > reward), it can be a response to stress, it can be a response to restriction; it can be all of those at once.

But when it happens it’s for good reason. Even though it may not feel that way, on some level it serves a purpose. It might be to soothe, to numb, to feel safe; an attempt to fulfil a need. As they said at GM, The food works. Until it doesn’t.

As we started to learn about the practices that can help heal this stuff – the mindfulness, the movement, the food stuff, self compassion, the new habit building etc – I realised that this is going to be a sloooooow process. After all, I’ve been on the diet/binge treadmill for over 30 years. Some of those neural pathways are more like trenches.

It’s more like It Never Ends, the soap opera that Mo of The Simpsons briefly appeared on (as Dr. Tad Winslow). “Like the cleaning of a house… It Never Ends.”

It Never Ends

But that’s actually a more liberating than depressing thought. I’ve got time! Unlike dieting, I have no arbitrary deadline. I can experiment and play and fail and try and try again.

With all the posts so far and still to come, I thought some background on the Green Mountain approach would be helpful, if you’re curious. This post from their website has a nice summary:

“Here is the magic Green Mountain Formula for wellness and well-being:

Eating + Moving + Living, with a focus on Feeling Good = Health, of the mind and body.

It may sound scary at first to focus on feeling good. We think that if we allow ourselves to feel good, then we won’t be guilted into what we think are healthy behaviors. If we let ourselves rest because it feels good, how will we ever get to the gym? If we let ourselves eat pizza because it feels good, how will we ever make ourselves eat vegetables?

But here’s the key: When we focus on feeling good – when our goal is to eat, move, and live in a way that gives us more joy, more energy, more life – we’ll find ourselves attracted to those things intuitively.

The truth is: When we aren’t taking care of ourselves, that doesn’t feel good. When our stress isn’t well-managed because we’re taking on too many tasks, that doesn’t feel good. When we restrict or binge because we’re hung up on diets, that doesn’t feel good. When we’re not engaging in joyful physical activity, that doesn’t feel good.

The reality is that Eating + Moving + Living, with a focus on Feeling Good = Health, will bring us more of exactly what we’re after.”

Read the full post – If Not Diets, Then What?

The Green Mountain Feel Good Formula

I partnered with Green Mountain at Fox Run, in which I received a three week stay at Green Mountain in February 2018, in exchange for writing about my experience. The stay included the Green Mountain core program and Pathway program at the Women’s Center for Binge & Emotional Eating. I covered my own travel expenses. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Browse all my Green Mountain posts here.

Update, January 2019 – Green Mountain is now closed. 

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for February 2023.

3 thoughts on “Green Mountain at Fox Run: It Never Ends

  1. Thank you for your candidness and willingness to write about these issues. I’m 44 now, and I, too, have struggled since I was a teenager, falling into the trap of what society expected from me, rather than listening to my own body and trusting myself. Although it may seem odd, I feel a greater sense of calm knowing I’m not alone in experiencing the same thoughts and feelings you’ve written about on your blog – from the diet and weight loss highs to the binging and weight gain lows. Even when I thought I had it all figured out, I have learned some new things from your writing that I can apply to my own situation. So, keep on going. It’s a learning journey we’re on, and I’ll be sending you good vibes along the way from the other side of the pond. 🙂

  2. This is REALLY cool that you got to do this! I need to catch up on your posts about it. I think your insights will be so helpful to many people, including myself. I have been working on this for decades too… slowly sorting it out and finding some of the things you mentioned here to be key to changing how I *think* about food. Editing restriction can be tough, but it does help heal some of the past cycles.

    Looking forward to reading more! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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