Saying no to dieting: Weight loss with awareness
I have been pondering on the word ‘declutter’ and felt how it is a word, the same as ‘diet’, that we use to distract us from what is really going on under the visible mess in our space or the weight on our body.
If we consider that we declutter to clear the mess, and that we diet because we are overweight, we can see that we are focussing on fixing a problem. But the mess or the overweight is the result of underlying issues and when we focus on the problem it distracts us from ever dealing with what is truly going on underneath. So the circle goes around and around, continuously decluttering and continuously dieting, but we are never really making different choices and inevitably the clutter or weight will return.
Could it be that we don’t want to really look at the underlying issues as we feel they are too painful – so we eat, or add clutter to our lives, to fill up this space?
This was certainly the case with me – always thinking there was something wrong with me dominated my life from a young age. I was on a cycle where it felt like I was always going on a diet on a Monday, and from that moment on I would be consumed with the thought of not eating food. The sad thing was that I wasn’t even overweight, but not eating became a way of punishing myself. I was blaming myself for what was going on around me. In order to not feel, I started to distract myself by saying that I needed to lose weight.
Around the same time, I also developed a love of order in my life. When things didn’t feel right (and usually my room or my house would reflect that), I would rearrange my room or later spring clean my house. When finished, I would feel a sense of clarity – I loved this feeling so I would always be cleaning and reorganising. It was a never-ending cycle that went on for years.
I realised after going to Weight Watchers for 6 months and putting on 8 kilos (yes you read that right, I put on weight!) that I had to stop looking ‘out there’ for something to fix me. I had to take responsibility for what was going on in my life. By this time I was 52 and my weight had reached 76 kilos, 20 kilos overweight for my height and frame.
Observing how my body responded to food
A huge change for me was starting to notice how I would feel after I ate certain foods. Some mornings when I had no breakfast I would feel amazing and have a real flow in doing my housework, while other days when I ate certain foods for breakfast (eg. bread) I would feel sluggish and go around in circles all day getting nothing done.
I realised that what I was eating was having an effect on how my day was.
At this point I started to write down what I was eating and how I felt after eating. I still have a vivid memory of how amazing my body felt after eating a green salad one night – it was exactly what my body needed. There was no reaction to the food. My body felt clear and clean.
Observing how much I was eating
What came next was noticing how the amount I was eating would make me feel. If I ate too much I would feel a full, uncomfortable sensation in my stomach. Never stopping and connecting to how much I felt to eat, I would just serve myself the same as my husband. Although I was eating healthy foods, the moment I overrode the feeling that I’d had enough by having another mouthful, I would empty my plate – again feeling uncomfortable and full. By serving myself less I was able to stop and feel when I had eaten enough. I loved the feeling of finishing a meal without that bloated, uncomfortable feeling in my stomach.
Observing how I ate
My awareness refined as time went on and I started to notice how quickly I would eat, so I looked at how I could slow down – I remembered my Nanna would have a cup of tea with each meal; she ate very slowly and would stop and put everything down while having a sip of her tea. I followed this example and found that by stopping I got to feel how I was rushing to eat my meal and how I did not even chew my food, just swallowed. Each time my awareness grew I naturally made different choices and my eating patterns would also shift. I found that when I was aware of how food was affecting me it made no sense to ‘eat against myself’ in an abusive way by eating foods that made me feel uncomfortable.
"All in all, the best recipe and food regime is the one you have come to yourself in energetic awareness to your whole body. Food should nourish us, not numb us."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 119
Some foods that I took for granted in my diet and never questioned began to look less appealing. I had never liked dairy and even though I lived on a dairy farm as a child, milk made me sick. I continued to refine what I was eating, cutting out dairy and gluten. As a result of removing gluten from my diet my head felt clear and I no longer had a foggy feeling in my brain. The more I was able to identify and eliminate foods that affected me, the more my body awareness increased and, for example, I noticed my memory and mental clarity would drop after eating some foods.
All these changes over time supported me by bringing more awareness to how I felt with what and how I ate, which led to natural weight loss with no thought of being on a diet. Over a period of 2 years, the excess 20 kilos slowly fell off.
What is key here is that I did not struggle. I just felt how my body would feel when I ate, and if any food didn't feel OK, I would eliminate it from my diet. SIMPLE.
This awareness began after listening to the Gentle Breath Meditation by Serge Benhayon. This specific meditation supported me to reconnect back to me and know that I wasn’t broken and didn’t need fixing; it was about making different choices in my life and that these choices affected everything in my life. Weight loss was simply a side effect of making different choices from being aware of my body.
My weight has been steady for 8 years now, though now if I get distracted I tend to lose too much weight, which is also not good. This is a great reflection that our bodies are always changing and therefore we need to be constantly tuning in and aware of its changing needs.
Now at 60 I feel amazing and my thinking is clearer than ever before. Changing the food that I was eating changed my whole life far beyond anything I could have imagined. I would have never considered that my choice of food could affect me so greatly.
Returning to your essence
Getting to know your essence is about understanding your breath. When you choose to breathe the yumminess of your own breath you can begin to feel and live full of yourself without needing anything else.