I have had a problem with my weight all my life. I’ve tried diets, eating plans, exercising – the lot! I lose weight initially but I put it back on. I’ve heard that it’s related to how I feel and think as well. Can you help me?
Yes, the body does reflect your mindset. All emotions and attitudes will ultimately be reflected in the body and how you think is reflected in the world around you. Louise L. Hay (who wrote “You Can Heal Your Life”) and many others have discussed the connection between certain attitudes and dis-ease in the body. There can be a number of reasons why someone tends to being overweight. The body, in a way, is showing us how we think about ourselves and about the world we live in. Think about my response to you. Contemplate it over the next few weeks. Exactly what is behind the increased weight will be different for each person and only you will find the exact connection. But sometimes it’s not necessary to find the exact reason and I’ll explain that a bit further on.
Increased weight may be a form of protection. If we have been hurt or are afraid of being hurt the extra padding seems to feel like a protective barrier.
Or sometimes the deeper aspect of ourselves chooses a certain physical manifestation to encourage us to go beyond the superficial image of how we look – to be given the impetus to find something of deeper value within us. Everyone has heard ‘you are more than your looks’, ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’. Well, this may be the opportunity for you to discover that at a deep personal level. Extra weight may also be there to keep people out, from letting another get too close to you.
Often people eat emotionally and not to feed and nourish the body. It is a way to stuff down emotions and not feel something uncomfortable and it may be in response to one of the possibilities I’ve mentioned above or something along these lines. In exploring these emotions you will help your body attain its ideal weight.
But as I said, it’s not always necessary to know ‘why’. In fact, obsessing over that question can be unproductive. A certain amount of self-analysis is necessary, but at some point you just need to say, it doesn’t matter why, I just want to resolve the situation.
First, always, accept where you are and how you are. The journey to where you want to be will be all the more difficult if you fight against your situation, hating yourself or the weight. Can you, even for a second, accept yourself just as you are? Can you say ‘I am overweight and it’s okay’. If you can say yes, even for a moment, you are causing a break in the thought/energy stream that is creating the exterior world which then allows for a new possibility to occur. Make this choice throughout the day whenever you wish things were different and it will become easier.
Secondly, when you have a negative thought about your weight be interested in the emotions that arise. Don’t analyse the emotion, just feel it as an interested observer. In your mind’s eye look down into the body to where the emotion is being felt in the body. Don’t judge it or fight it, just observe it and if you can, bit by bit, go into it as much as you can. Allow the feeling to wash over you. It is in this acceptance and observance, and the freeing-up of the feeling that is anchored in the body, that the energy around the negative thought begins to dissipate. In my experience, there is a great deal of relief when you stop resisting and stuffing down the feeling. Do this each time the thoughts about your weight arise.
Observe the feeling also when you are about to eat or want to eat. What do you feel within the body? Go into it. At a certain point you’ll begin to recognize the feeling in the body that is a response to the act of eating or wanting to eat. You’ll say ‘oh, here it is again. I know you.’ At some point you’ll be able to say ‘no thanks, I don’t need to go down the path of feeling this’. Ask yourself can you let it go? Again, it can simply be a choice to let it go, even for that moment. It’s not that you stop eating, it’s that you disconnect the not-so-helpful emotions from the act of eating through the interested observation of them. If guilt arises, anger at yourself, or whatever, allow it to be there and observe it.
These are the beginning steps to finding the answer to weight issues via self-exploration. In fact, observing yourself and your reactions almost as a scientist would look at an experiment, is one of the important steps that you take in resolving any issue that may be troubling you.
Do you have a question or need some clarity or guidance? Send your questions to Aura at email@example.com
Check out Aura’s blog at www.bottomlineblog.net to purchase her eBook, The Bottom Line – An Introduction to the Spiritual Journey.