Yep. This is a picture of me in high school. From my childhood and into my late twenties I battled my weight; sometimes winning but more often losing. When I finally lost weight permanently, I went inside of my own heart. I cued into my true physiological urges of hunger and fullness and ate within those bounds. I also didn’t exercise until I knew that my eating was under control.
Weight loss for me was about so much more than the food, and I know that I am not alone in that. Modern diet and exercise culture beats a steady drum that we must all stick to a rigid diet and drive ourselves crazy with cardio exercise! As if that is not enough, we are told to add weight lifting to our already overburdened bodies and schedules!
Diet is the crucial factor in weight loss. If we run or walk three miles, we burn a mere 300 calories. If we eat a candy bar, in three to four bites, we have consumed our three miles. Factor in mindless calories such as a piece of candy here or a cookie there, and we easily eat more than our bodies burn off and the excess is stored as fat.
Now imagine that we tune into our own bodies with a mindful and eager attitude. We forget the exercise regime for the time being and move our bodies in a life-enhancing way, as we feel led BY OUR BODIES. A walk in the woods, a jog on the beach, a short but favorite section of an old workout DVD. We exercise in a fashion that brings us joy and makes us look forward to our workouts. And if we do not feel led to workout for a while, we take the break that our bodies need.
As you contemplate this radical idea, imagine the freedom of your spirit as you let go of the dogma and embrace what YOU want and what YOUR body needs and desires. Focus your mind on the freedom and the rest of the journey becomes a much more enjoyable ride.
Challenges will come as you learn to break the hold that food and modern culture has over your mind, but the great freedom will be more than worth it!