We live in a world where weight, body fat, and extra pounds are a pretty big deal. And yet, our strategies when it comes to weight loss aren’t working and are often causing us to do battle with our own body. The good news is, there’s a dimension that goes beyond what we can see and understand when it comes to weight and its loss. It’s the domain of the spiritual.
Join Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, in this #IPEtv video where he shares about an important spiritual lesson we can discover from weight: patience. We think you’ll find this to be a fascinating and results-oriented approach to weight.
In the comments below, please let us know your thoughts. We love hearing from you and we read and respond to every comment!
Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Hi, I’m Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.
Today’s Topic: Spiritual Lessons We Can Learn from Weight: Part 2
We live in a world where weight, body fat, extra pounds, gaining it, and losing it are all a very big deal.
Our collective concern around weight is one of the biggest conundrums that impact the human heart and mind. The amount of pain and suffering that occurs around this topic can easily be described as profound. Clearly what we’re doing when it comes to weight loss doesn’t work.
I don’t take this topic lightly at all, and for that reason I think it’s important that we all do our best to shed more light on this subject.
And shining the light of skillful consciousness on the subject of weight means we look to other dimensions to help find pieces of the weight loss, weight gain puzzle that may be important.
In my 30+ years of research, clinical experience, inquiry, curiosity and deep care around this topic, I’m often led to a particular and unexpected place:
If you don’t like that word or if it doesn’t apply to you – meaning you’re an atheist – then substitute the term “character growth and development.” If you come from a faith and Bible-based approach, then substitute the term “how God is asking me to grow.”
And if you’re cool with the term spirituality, here’s what I mean:
There’s a dimension that goes beyond what the eye can see. There’s a hidden architecture to the universe. There are unseen forces that move us and guide us that we tend to know very little about. And the great saints, sages, prophets, religious and spiritual leaders throughout history have all pretty much agreed that when we set our sights towards the realm of the spiritual or sacred – our vision begins to open up.
When I say weight, by the way, I’m talking about the challenges we face in trying to lose it, in not weighing the number that we want, in dealing with the prejudices and judgments of others, and the challenge of dealing with our own harsh commentary about the body we’ve been given.
With all this in mind, here’s the next important spiritual lesson that we can learn from weight:
Here’s what I mean:
Most people who want to lose weight need it gone by yesterday. Weight and body fat are usually seen as the enemy that must be eradicated as fast as possible, and no matter what the price. After all, extra weight stops us from being happy, from being the real me, from having love, excitement, and all the goodies that a fabulous body clearly bestows on us.
When it comes to weight, we’re in a hurry.
The majority of weight loss clients I’ve seen over the years indeed have this one fascinating thing in common – they are in an anxious rush when it comes to weight loss. They can’t get it gone soon enough.
And this deeper anxiety around the timing of it all, this intense need to eradicate it – has some unfortunate side effects:
1. Constant stress around weight can generate increased insulin and cortisol production, which paradoxically can lead to weight gain, and decreased ability to build muscle and burn fat – just the opposite effect of what we’re looking for by worrying and pushing
2. This same rush and anxiety – via the physiologic stress response – de-regulates appetite and can have us eating more despite our best intentions
3. And lastly, increased stress generally has us making poor decisions – especially when it comes to our weight loss strategies and dieting choices
Patience is a virtue.
Patience is also a wise strategy when it comes to creating the optimum physiologic state of digestion, assimilation, and day in, day out calorie burning capacity – which is relaxation.
In other words, it’s impossible to be patient without being relaxed.
But patience is more than just a virtue here, or even a metabolic enhancer.
Patience is a deeper learning. It’s a maturing. Patience is a spiritual teaching. It asks us to go at the pace of the wisdom of life – as opposed to trying to force our pace on the universe. Patience gives us time to let life teach us what it wants us to learn. When we try to push the pedal to the metal when it comes to anything in life – we will soon learn if our speed is in alignment with a higher wisdom, or not.
For many people, learning patience when it comes to weight loss IS the lesson that’s necessary for any kind of metabolic shift or weight loss.
The spiritual lessons that life wants us to learn will always trump our small demands and desires.
So, see if you can relax around your weight loss goals. Drop into patience. Hang there. Feel what patience truly feels like. Let it wash over your chemistry, and let it carry you to a place where you can act from a more mature and wise place.
And from there, we simply let the weight loss chips fall where they may, and when they may.
I hope this was helpful, my friends.
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