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How yoga helped “Ravenous” author Dayna Macy stop overeating


In her new memoir, the Yoga Journal staffer explains how an on-the-mat epiphany about food inspired her to make a practice of healthy eating.

Dayna Macy Ravenous Dayna Macy’s probing new memoir Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom (Hay House, 2011) tackles the Yoga Journal-staffer’s life-long issue with overeating.

Ultimately, Macy’s on-the-mat epiphanies inspired her to take control of what’s on her plate.

Well+Good recently caught up with Macy by phone. We’re looking forward to meeting her in person in New York City this week at Om Yoga and the Yoga Journal Conference (see event details, below).

Can you explain the inspiration behind Ravenous?
Overeating has been one of the thorniest issues I’ve ever had to deal with. After I had my twin sons, I kept gaining weight. It surprised and confused me because I’d been practicing yoga for twenty years. I’m also a food writer and I ate really well, but my portions were out of control.

How did yoga contribute to your epiphany about food?
I had my Aha moment one morning on my yoga mat. I realized that everything in my life that I wanted to accomplish—career, education, yoga, or music—I’ve had to practice. Success or competency doesn’t just happen. I didn’t just one day sit in lotus position. So why would my relationship with food be any different? I decided to make eating my practice.

So what does your food practice look like?
I decided to really understand what a reasonable portion is; weighing and measuring my food became my practice. This made emotional and spiritual sense to me. As a rebel and a feminist, I would have said, “fuck you” to the diet.

You never use the word “diet.” Can you explain your aversion to that word?
As a writer, words are important and you have to choose them carefully. Words contain energy. Diet signifies something temporary. What happens when you go off a diet? I was and am looking for a way to be more peaceful with my relationship with food. That’s not something I flip on and turn off. —Alexia Brue

Wednesday, May 11, 6:30–7:30: Dayna Macy reading at Om Yoga, 826 Broadway, at 12th Street, Union Square, blog.omyoga.com

Sunday, May 15, 1:30–2:45: Macy will moderate a panel with Seane Corne, Ana Forrest, and David Romanelli on what it means to eat like a yogi at the Yoga Journal Conference, at the New York Hilton, www.yjevents.com/ny