Weight must be one of the most discussed topics in our society today. In newspapers, magazines and on television, it is everywhere. In Holland it has even become a subject of government and insurance concern with serious discussions about “forcing” certain people to lose weight because they have unfavorable health statistics. Imagine…
Because of all this attention, people are often thinking about their weight and usually not in a positive way. What about you? When was the last time you were thinking about your weight? Are you satisfied with your weight? Be honest. How many diets and others things have you tried to shed a few kilo’s or pounds?
The funny thing is that notwithstanding all this attention, nobody has come up with a perfect solution. I don’t know about you but when I tried to lose weight in the past, I wasn’t very successful, whatever I tried. It is a public secret that diets generally don’t work and even cause the much feared weight swings. So what can or should you do? Well, what about a spiritual diet?!
Stop worrying about your weight
Interestingly enough all the spiritual masters give the same answer when they are questioned about weight problems: do nothing, accept what is and allow the body to (re)balance itself in a natural way. This is what Tobias of the Crimson Circle said during a Q&A session back in 2006:
We’re going to ask all of you not to focus on things like weight. The body has its own network, it’s own way of handling energy. And, in a sense, when we were saying in the Shoud today that “Let everything come natural,” when you start interfering with things like worrying excessively about your weight, it tends to inhibit the natural process that is taking place. You’re going to find weight fluctuations just like you find sleep fluctuations and everything else.
There are certain expectations that you have, which are in themselves overlays or consciousness networks, about weight and body and even your doctors tell you that too much weight is wrong. But as we said, science right now – the facts of science – are not always true. Your body knows exactly what to do. Your body knows how much weight and energy it needs stored – stored in this level and the other levels. The body is going to balance itself. Particularly when you stop worrying so much about it, it’s not going to feel the need to carry all that weight. But please, also let go of the concept of what the proper weight is, there are more important things that you have to do in this lifetime.
This inspired me to create a “spiritual diet” for myself to help my body find its perfect balance and it did. But, this diet is probably quite different from what you would expect.
1.Throw your BMI scale out of the window
There are some persistent beliefs about the ideal weight. One is based on the BMI index. According to the official scale I currently have a BMI of 28, which suggests that I am overweight, although I feel perfectly healthy.
Now, the interesting thing is that when I looked into the use of the BMI scale, I found various articles confirming all kinds of limitations and shortcomings. Oh, and did you know that they made the BMI scale more conservative in 1998 for “health reasons”? Just read this CNN article and you will understand how things are manipulated. It makes you feel like throwing your BMI scale out of the window, like I did.
2. Shed your beliefs about weight and beauty
Throughout European history obesity was actually considered a sign of health, happiness and prosperity? Have you ever noticed the models that Breughel, the famous painter, used? It makes you wonder what changed, until you realize that weight and beauty is all a matter of personal opinion and preference anyway. The recent discussion about catwalk models being too skinny and no longer representing the ideal woman illustrates this. Why not shed your beliefs about weight and beauty all together, while allowing others to keep theirs? Which brings me to the next point.
3. No longer listen to others
Do you have one or more persons around you that constantly tell you that you should lose weight? I know, they mean well, but personally I am getting tired of all that well meant advice. For me the only measure is how I feel, not if I look slender and have a six pack instead of a soft curved belly.
4. Make food your friend
Isn’t Abraham right when considering all the bad stuff that is supposedly in our food, that we eat at all? Just consider this question: how will your body process food while you are enjoying it or when you are concerned that you eat too many calories? Just feel and you probabaly know the answer.
I enjoy food every moment of the day. I don’t count calories and I certainly don’t use the weight watchers’ bible where every product in the local supermarket is rated for calories. But I do listen more to my body. I found that sometimes when I am overeating, like with “drop” (a kind of liquorices) or “oliebollen” (which is translated as doughnut, but actually it is completely different), it is my mind and not my body which seems to enjoy the excess take in.
So, enjoy the food, don’t consider it your enemy anymore and most importantly, don’t feel guilty if you eat too much, but do try to listen more to your body when it says: enough!
5. Do only the things that you love doing
Often you are suggested to submit yourself to a strict regime of exercise to help you lose weight and get a more healthy body. Perhaps you listened and became a member of a local gym. When I did, I started with a lot of enthusiasm but very quickly I became bored. I simply don’t like using these stationary machines and I noticed an increasing resistance of going there. I initially tried to compensate for this by watching movies while I was exercising, but to be honest it only helped so much.
What does make a difference is when I only do things I love. Like hiking, biking, playing tennis or skiing. In the past weeks when I tried to use the gym at the office, I noticed that notwithstanding all the convenience and enthusiasm of others, I couldn’t make myself going there on a regular basis. But man, I can’t wait for the weekly squash game with one of my colleagues. We have so much fun and feel so good afterwards. I even decided to add an extra night taking squash lessons from a pro.
So, when you think about exercising just feel into it and only do the things you love doing. You’ll know what you like and don’t like. Be honest with yourself and trust whatever you do with joy is the perfect work out for you. Which brings me to the final point of this spiritual diet.
6. Accept yourself
I know it may sound boring by now, but if you really want your body to reach a healthy balance you must accept yourself as you are. When I stand in front or a mirror, I could easily criticize what I see. But how does that serve me? Do I feel better or does it help when I don’t like what I see? Of course not. But, have you ever noticed with people who seem completely at ease with themselves that they have this “glow”, this radiance?
What do you think other people will notice when you have this radiance of self acceptance? The few extra pounds you may have around your waist? No dear, they will be jealous of how you look without understanding why. They will tell you that you look great!
If you still have some doubts about this “diet”, you may want to listen to this discussion (9:50) between Abraham and a lady that tried everything to lose weight and I bet you will start with your spiritual diet tomorrow. Bon appetit!