“The body is given to the mind as a tool for learning and growth,” my teacher said. “It is the job of the mind to treat the body well, ensure its safety, and meet its physical needs.”
I think of this often at this time of year, because so many of my clients suffer with body image issues. Where do they come from? Why do they exist and persist?
Some of us spend a great deal of our time trying to achieve the Body Perfect, and being upset and angry when we cannot seem to do that.
It is NOT TRUE that any woman with discipline and willpower, can achieve a perfect body shape. You may have tried all the weight loss pills, diets, and drugs, and they all work for a short bit of time, but then you find yourself eating the same old wrong foods, and back in your former position and worse.
And the things we say to ourselves! Would you speak to your boss or best friend like that?
Repeated weight swings actually increase the rate of heart disease and lower your body’s ability to come back from the violent swings of the “Yo-yo Syndrome”! After many periods of starvation, the body simply believes it will be subject to periods of starvation, and it lowers the number of calories it needs to survive.
Even women at what I would call normal body weight often agonize over the fat they see on their hips and thighs. Now when the weather gets hot and humid, the body stores extra fluid. This is NOT fat. It is water, which the body believes it will need soon.
Please stop berating yourself over things you cannot change. And please stop blaming the body for things the mind has done. (Which body part decided to eat that last bag of chips or that last quart of ice cream?) The mind chooses the food it will eat; the body handles it as best it can.
Yes, your activity level, has an effect, and yes, your food choices have an effect, but do you know the one single most important thing you can do to have a healthy, normal weight body?
Change what you say to it. Change what you do with it.
Feed it healthy nutrient rich foods – if they were not created by your Higher Power, do not put them in your body.
Give your body 30 minutes of gentle exercise three times a week.
Give it enough fluid.
Give it eight hours of sleep.
But most importantly, change what you say and do with it. Begin to consciously treat the body with dignity and respect. Speak kindly to it. You may need to create a lot of new sentences for talking to the body. Thank the body for its hard work in carrying you through the day. Take time to rest, relax, and have fun.
And if bad feelings come up to your mind from the body, get help to handle them. Don’t push them back down with ice cream or potato chips! Let some healthy person help you handle them.
Wayne Dyer used to say that we should pay attention to the thoughts we last speak to ourselves at night; those thoughts are what the subconscious mind marinates in all night long. Make them good. Make them loving. Make them what you really want in your life. Try this, please. It is easy and it works.
In my own life, yoga has been one of the precious activities. Some of you may know that I have had a number of orthopedic surgeries. Yoga helps me learn to move differently and to compensate for the injuries.
We are having a yoga master come to Renaissance for the Third Saturday support group, this weekend. Please join us if you can. Just call the office for information.
I wish you a beautiful, happy second week of August! Enjoy this wonderful sunshine and warm weather and be kind to the body!
Blessings to you,