05/02/2012 04:09 pm ET Updated Jul 02, 2012

A Mindful Eating Marathon: You Are Invited!

If you want to win something, run the 100m. If you want to experience something, run a marathon. -- Emil Zatopek

Welcome to the Mindful Eating Marathon. Starting May 1, you are invited to join this challenge: to be mindful for 26 days of everything you consume -- snacks, meals, treats, drinks. I'll be giving you a tip and a daily challenge. If you are not familiar with mindful eating, this will be the perfect opportunity to learn some of the basic skills and to give it a try. Don't worry -- it's not dieting. Each day, your task is to be more mindful -- have a non-judgmental awareness, all day long -- of one particular aspect of eating. As the quote above suggestions, there is not a "winner" or "loser" in this marathon, only a new experience of food and eating.

Perhaps you saw the word "marathon" and wasn't sure if this was for you. If you've ever considered signing up for a marathon, you know that the very idea of it can seem daunting, maybe even impossible. What makes running 26 miles more doable? Among many things, warming up, a steady pace and staying focused on your goal. These skills also work well with strengthening and training yourself to eat more mindfully. The Mindful Eating Marathon will help you to set the pace and stay focused of mindful eating.

You may be wondering why 26.1 miles rather than 26.2. I believe that we don't really ever stop our journey -- mindful eating is something we can do for the rest of our lives. As you approach the end of the run, you decide if you want to keep going or not. That last .1 is up to you... Keep going or stop? My hope is that the last .1 is actually the beginning of mindful eating for you, not the end.

Let's get started. Feel free to post your own mindful tips, one- to two -minute videos of yourself showing the tips in action, or send video questions/suggestions.

Find the daily tip:

Twitter: eatingmindfully



See Dr. Susan Albers' new book, But I Deserve This Chocolate: The 50 Most Common Diet-Derailing and How to Outwit Them. She is a psychologist for the Cleveland Clinic and author of five books on mindful eating including 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food and Eating Mindfully 2nd edition (order now!). Her books have been noted in O, the Oprah magazine, Shape, Prevention, Health etc. and seen on The Dr. Oz Show on TV.

For more by Dr. Susan Albers, click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.