Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

…”A pair of my old pants to fly as a flag over your home office”…

A client shared with me an amazing and exciting bit of information that clearly validates his commitment to and the benefit of the optimal life management program in which he and I are engaged.

We’ve been working together for nearly six months in this small-step behavior change program. He has made spectacular progress in regards to slowly shifting his relationship with food, his feelings about and commitment to physical activity, and his awareness of the gifts of gratitude, mindfulness and intentional quieting of his mind.

We share a weekly Skype session and several emails during the week. After each weekly session, I type up a summary of our session that captures our shared dialogue. The content of the summary reviews the week’s small-step successes and any barriers or challenges that may have arisen. We discuss the coping mechanisms he utilized to manage the challenges, and explore additional choices that are available to him. My summary includes direct quotes from him that exemplify his sense of progress and forward movement.

The milestone he shared was that in preparation for a business luncheon, his wife commented that his slacks were too baggy and loose for him to wear. He went into the garage to find a box of “old” clothes that he had not worn in many years. Much to his delight, he was able to comfortably fit into a pair of pants that were 4 sizes smaller than the baggy pants that he was currently wearing. That’s a lot of sizes to drop! And all because he is integrating 5 small meals per day, moving his body—gently, on a regular basis, and engaging in self-soothing relaxation sessions. How wonderful!

Last week, at the end of our Skype session, I asked him if he would send me a summary of our session. What he sent literally had me laughing out loud. With his permission, and with slight modifications to maintain his anonymity, I submit this to you now for your reading pleasure!


Of course I took no notes, and a day has gone by, so I’ll summarize from memory.

  1. You wanted a pair of my old pants to fly as a flag over your home office, and maybe use on your web site.
  2. You said I should eat more stuff that I don’t like.
  3. I’m supposed to get to the next level by exercising more and eating less. Although no hard numbers were agreed upon, I’m left with the impression that five or six hours a day of varied exercise would tilt me in the right direction.
  4. You have a formula for mixing yogurt and dried leaves that will destroy the taste of actual vegetables.
  5. I should get an account at Whole Foods and eat everything they chop up.
  6. You hinted that I look good in baggy shirts.
  7. You miss not having a record of everything I eat.
  8. You made clear how you feel about hot dogs, to the extent you’re crazy if you think I’ll ever invite you to a baseball game.
  9. I may help you get to Cleveland, but I’ll never tell you where I live.
Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

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"The Holiday Survival Cooking and Eating Class exceeded my expectations. It was so enjoyable to learn new ideas for healthy snacks and meals, taste the delicious treats we created and leave with an inspired hope that this will be my healthiest holiday season yet! I am impressed with the knowledge and care that Robin (and Wendy from In the Kitchen) both possess and I look forward to taking more classes in the future. Thanks again!"  --Rose M.   “What a wonderful, yummy class! Not only did we participate in creating several easy-to-make, delicious, nourishing dishes for the holidays and every day, we also learned strategies for surviving and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. Both Robin & Wendy were delightful and imparted their cooking and eating knowledge with love, humor, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend their classes to anyone who is interested in developing a better way to look at food, using thoughtfulness with mindfulness to learn some very valuable strategies for eating any time of the year!” --CAM   “I found the class delightful with great ideas for the holidays. In the Kitchen is a warm and welcoming place and you and Wendy were great teaching collaborators. Good new recipes. I appreciate your healthy eating information. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to enjoy the holidays without stressing over food. Actually, the information isn’t just for the holidays. I want to stay healthy all year and eat well.” --Pat B.   "I’ve participated in several classes at In the Kitchen, enjoyed them all immensely, but it is always a special treat when Wendy teaches a class. The recipes offered in The Holiday Survival class were easy to make and so delicious. And what a plus to have Robin co-teach the The Holiday Survival class with Wendy. Thank you, Robin, for all your great information on healthy eating, which was delivered so professionally, dovetailing beautifully into Wendy’s presentation. Hope you two team up again for more classes of scrumptious, healthy recipes. What a fun evening!!" --Carol B. _______________ I love this positive feedback! How gratifying it is to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way…and to be able to do so around a topic that is so dear to me, is just the icing on the cake (right—pun intended!). Wendy Van Wagner and I will continue to offer seasonal cooking classes in addition to the occasional specialty class…stay tuned!
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