Tuesday

New Year, New You?

New Year – new you. Usually that means a diet…

For any diet to be successful, we have to give less attention to food and more to our fat-causing thoughts.

By the Law of Attraction, you can’t get slender and beautiful by considering yourself fat and ugly. Tough but true.

If you hate and despise yourself in a world that has a low opinion of people who are overweight then you will create fat – and the food that creates fat will leap to your attention and clamour to be devoured - we know it does that, right?
If the world respected fat people and despised thin ones (as used to be the case in some countries where fat indicated wealth) then the odds are, you would be thin. It’s what you think and believe about yourself that is the key; not the food itself. If you need a cause to hate yourself, your weight is an easy target in a world full of yummy, addictive, sugary or salty foods.

And, of course, the more we worry about nutrition, the more cause for worry we attract too..

Michael Pollan’s excellent book In Defence of Food, (Penguin) suggests that the American people’s major problems with weight gain began as the same time that low-fat foods were introduced. It may be a coincidence, but it is certainly true that much of what we eat today is not actually food but an arrangement of nutrients and what Michael calls “food science” – highly processed and rearranged so that our bodies don’t understand it.

That, and how we are eating these food substitutes – on the street, in the car, in front of the TV, in the movie theatre, while we read a book (and more and more alone rather than with others) – affects the body’s reaction. Without the original make-up of food, including the fats, we don’t have the original automatic signalling system through our body that we have eaten enough. Instead we crave more. And without sitting down and taking time over food, we fail to notice when we are full.

I’ve never been skinny and I’m not built to be a rake. However it took me many years to be at peace with that. I have been what is considered “too fat” and I’ve done diets that worked very well. But they worked more because of my belief in them and my satisfaction at the idea of getting slimmer than because of the food I was eating or not eating. That’s why diets will work to start with and become more difficult later if the issues of self-esteem that caused the need for them in the first place are not dealt with. What really works for me is to ask my body every day what it wants to do and to eat. At the moment it’s mostly blueberries, oranges and watercress and bouncing on my rebounder trampoline. My addictions on the other hand want more Christmas cake, chocolate and biscuits. You can tell the difference between the two – the real desires are much more quietly expressed!

My naturopath wants me only ever to eat 70%+ chocolate and in nutritional terms of course she is right. But that kind of chocolate doesn’t attract me or make me happy. So by the Law of Attraction, it can’t help me much. What can help is loving myself - again and again and again going back to that wonderful ho’oponopono of “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.”

It’s vital when you want to become more slender to do it from the point of view of positivity and not from a feeling of self-hatred. From the ego’s and the body’s point of view, dieting is starvation and both will react to attempt to regain the weight and possibly add some more in order to ensure that you do not starve to death in the future.

So a slow diet is always a more successful one in the long run (I know, I know!). Also it’s unwise to refer to "losing weight" as the ego has no concept of loss being a good thing. In absolutely everything else in our life, we want to find things that have been lost so why would weight be any different?

Instead, refer to “becoming slender” or “becoming fitter” and seek interest in how you eat. If it’s hard to find time to cook for yourself or to sit down and eat consciously then the problem is not within your body; it’s in the part of you that doesn’t feel worthy of time for yourself and your body.

Our desire to be beautiful, young and slender has profited the medical industry greatly through the development of surgical procedures and drugs that will have the desired outer effect. But the key to happiness is not beauty, nor youth; it is self-appreciation. Sure, have the Botox if you want; even the surgery if you want. If you do it from a point of view of moving towards your bliss, that’s fine. But if you do it because you don’t, ultimately, love yourself, you will have just the same problems afterwards.

A wonderful affirmation to help with weight issues is “Blessed am I among women/men to live and love in this beautiful temple.” That way you are offering love to your body, and that is the best start you can have towards a perfect and healthy physical life.

So go enjoy that diet! You’ll find me bouncing on my rebounder and we can compare notes in February.

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