I don't know how it happened or when! I just woke up one day and I was fat! Worse morbidly obese?
Absurd? Perhaps, but like millions of other obese people, Ive made the same incredulous claim. It may indeed be absurd, but its also amazing that we can spend years mindlessly gorging ourselves with food as if were hypnotized. Then one fateful day, we wake up and we see what we've become. The horror! We stare into the mirror in disbelief, denying our own culpability as if all that fat happened to us. Our girth seems like an alien life form and getting rid of it seems to be beyond our own control.
In a strange way, compulsive overeating and other addictive behaviors are outside of our control. That's because our eating disorders do not reflect a lack of self-control. We are the victims of a disease and are no more at fault than anyone else with a serious illness. Mercifully fat needn't be fatal. There are precepts, people, and programs that can help us peer into the mirror and begin to recognize from the inside what shapes us on the outside.
Alone In The Crowd
One of every three adults is obese in America. Among African American and Hispanic children 40 percent are already weighed down with health problems caused by excess weight. On any given day, anywhere in the country people watchers can bear witness to the fact that we are a poorly nourished, dangerously unhealthy country. And those people watchers who look with their hearts can see something else, too: many of those overweight souls feel frustrated, sick, and oh so alone.
Want Smaller Hips? Exercise Your Brain
Losing those thunder-thighs and that beer belly starts above the neck. What our minds are full of is what fills our fat cells. I'm stupid. I'm ugly. No one could ever really love me. That's not just fat around your middle, that's heartache, anguish, and self-loathing. Our thoughts fuel our souls which nurture or poison our bodies. Its not just the junk food we put into our mouths that's killing us; its the junk in our heads, too.
Ive battled my weight since forever, but recently I've enjoyed some measure of success not just with losing weight, but with losing the obsession over my weight. My fat doesn't fill my every waking thought anymore, and as a result I'm beginning to drop the pounds.
Adherents to 12-step programs and similar support groups will attest to the fact that neither the food nor the fat are the problems. Its what causes us to fixate on food - the underlying emotional, psychological, and experiential factors that drive us toward the food and away from the pain or so we hope.
Through The Looking Glass of Self-Awareness
A recent article in Time magazine described the increasing popularity of therapeutic regime called mindfulness. Its a new-ish spin on an old precept which suggests that our thoughts shape our world, our bodies, and our perceptions of both.
According to the Time article, There are nearly 1,000 certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR, instructors teaching mindfulness techniques [including meditation], and they are in nearly every state and more than 30 countries.
Just think about it, I mean that's the point of mindfulness: to just think about it, whatever it happens to be at the moment. Showing up mentally and being present to every sensation of the moment in the moment, is a little like pressing the pause button on your inner-remote control.
Freezing a moment in time so that you can experience it can make the other moments of your day the more frenetic ones over which you have less control more bearable, even pleasurable. Who'd have thought that being self-conscious could be a good thing! The therapeutic self-consciousness of mindfulness can develop into self-awareness which is transformative. The ultimate goal is self-acceptance.
I Am My Own Lab Rat
With the exception of professional achievements of which I've been privileged to receive quite a few I never really showed up for my life for my own sake. It was always about someone else's demands or expectations. My desires weren't even on the list, which drove me toward the food to muffle the cries of my neglected heart. Now I test the effectiveness of mindfulness on my own psyche and so far I have been impressed with the results.
For example, when I exercise, I focus on each movement as an act of self-love. I don't punish myself for being fat with brutal, strenuous exercises. Instead, everything I do is coupled with a positive affirmation about me. Im teaching my brain to recognize and respond to self-love. Happily, that little clump of gray matter between my ears isn't very discriminating, so when it hears me say things like, I am beautiful as I am and worth the effort to be healthy, it believes me and my whole body relaxes into the workout instead of groaning for it to be over soon.
Likewise, with food, I try to make healthy food choices, not so much because of my weight, but because I'm teaching me to love me enough to want to make healthy choices. Like any other exercise, this is a deliberate, conscious act of my will. I'm still a little clumsy at it, but every day in every way, I am getting better and better at it.
I am learning to embrace the truth that I am not my fat, and the tighter my grasp on this reality becomes, the more my fat loses its grip on my body, my heart, and my spirit.
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Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.