I have always been very careful not to blindly accept the general beliefs of the mainstream current thought forms of my I have always been very careful not to blindly accept the general beliefs of the mainstream current thought forms of my culture. When I observe everyone doing something I am cautious about following in their footsteps. Actually, I am of the opinion that many concepts which we are encouraged to believe as absolute truth are, in reality, ideas that are not only false, but harmful to our well-being. One such area that has overwhelmingly consumed, no pun intended, the entire population is weight. The Weight Loss industry, in 2009, was a $350 billion plus industry. Now, let us stop and think about this. No one who is making money from weight loss products really wants you to lose weight or else how else will they keep making money. Diets do not work for most people, since after the desired weight is reached, the person usually returns to their former eating habits and, over time, the excess weight returns.
Let’s back up a little and define what exactly we mean by overweight. I have been contemplating the term for quite some time now and it seems to me that our culture has created an ideal, as do many other cultures, and that ideal has to do with body size. Now we all know that everyone is physically different, some tall, others short and the rest in between, but we are all being encouraged to weigh a certain amount based primarily on our height. Therefore, we can safely assume that expecting everyone to be the same size and weight is an unattainable goal and doesn’t even make sense. Don’t be duped about weight and the unwarranted negative self image associated with certain body types. Don’t fall for it. The more you focus on excess weight, the more it will stick around.
The first step in the process of creating an overweight customer base is to identify what will be considered perfect or ideal. This is simple since our society admires movie stars and models as the standard of beauty. Of course in other cultures the standard may be different; therefore it is not absolutely true that our standard of beauty is anything more than the current cultural preference. There’s the old joke about a woman who was considered plump in America and went to Mexico on vacation with a friend of hers that was a model. She noticed that the men mostly looked at her and not her slim friend. One day the model was taking a nap and the woman asked one of the local men who spoke English, you know in my country the men all look at my friend, but things seem different here. The man replied, s senorita, the bone is for the dog, the meat is for the man.
When I lived in Belize, I noticed that there were very few women who were thin by American standards and if they did get too thin, they were considered unhealthy. There might be some value to this way of thinking. For those who are thin by nature, this is a healthy physical state, but for the rest, losing too much weight is usually not in their best physical interest. In order to reduce body mass to a size that is not compatible with the body structure, but is with a young woman on the cover of Cosmo, one must eat less food than their body requires. In addition, the type of food that has become associated with weight loss is very often laden with chemicals and has very little fat. The brain needs a certain amount of fat to function properly, so is the idea that thinner is better a subconscious cultural plot to keep women weak?
The word food is used very loosely nowadays. Chemicals are not food and foods that have been processed and have lost most of their nutritional value are of little benefit, if not harmful. Artificial sweeteners are not food and should not be used in or with . They are chemicals that upset the alkaline/acid balance of the body and can cause serious health issues and even addiction. I was once told by a substance abuse counselor that I met on vacation that the most difficult a substance addition to treat was that of Diet Coke. The combination of the ingredients and carbonation is a toxic, refreshing beverage with absolutely no nutritional value. In addition, artificial sweeteners make you crave carbohydrates, so you end up eating more of what will make you gain weight.
The current methods of farming food, coupled with environmental pollution and soil depletion due to single crop farming, fertilization and the seeds being used have robbed our food supply of many nutrients. Because of this we are required to take nutritional supplements to make up for what is not in our diet and should be. For those not supplementing their diet, cravings occur when the body is not getting what it requires to be healthy. Our bodies know what they want, there is no tricking our cells, therefore, even after we have eaten a whole plate of lettuce with only vinegar, we are still hungry. Big surprise!
Our beliefs have been infringed upon and little by little until we are programmed to behave in such a way that will allow someone besides us to profit. What do women eat when they are out in a restaurant, you guessed it, salad. Why is that? Don’t get me wrong, I love salad, and I eat salad when I desire it, but I do not order or prepare it just because I think it looks good and people will think I am thinner because I eat salad all the time.
As a culture we are so focused on thinness that people are divided into two categories, those who are thin and those who are not. I realized this to be so one Sunday at the mall when I caught myself in the same trap. I was horrified that this was the mentality of my culture and even more that I had been participating in this belief. I was determined to begin to see others as perfectly where they are supposed to be, which is where they are. As I sat in front of the food court filled with throngs of people, consuming mostly junk food, I began to think about the situation at hand. For the most part it appeared that there were a number of things going on; first and foremost was that it was dinnertime and after a long afternoon of walking the mall and shopping many people had worked up an appetite or perhaps just felt like eating. I walked amongst the tables topped with burgers, pizza and French fries and noticed that there were excessive amounts of food in front of most people, even children. When I say excessive, I am basing it on how much food I personally care to consume at one sitting.
Most people in our culture eat more than they need, this is a fact. The amount of food we require will be communicated to us by our bodies. In other words, when our cells require nourishment, we get hungry. If we eat slowly, chewing and swallowing our food with care, we will know when we have had enough because we will not feel hungry anymore. The old adage of clean your plate is fine if there is not too much food on the plate to start with, but I have a sneaking suspicion that when that saying came into being, there was not the amount of food readily available as there is now. First of all, there was a time when food had to be prepared; people didn’t just reach into the refrigerator or freezer or go out to a restaurant each time they felt hungry.
As a culture we eat a lot of processed food. When I lived in Belize the local residents were proud that they ate only fresh food that was prepared daily. Most ingredients were local and had not lost as much of their nutrients over time as a result of being stored or transported. Many of us have busy lifestyles in the United States, leaving us little time to prepare meals each day from scratch, but there is Love in home cooked meals, an ingredient that you will not find in prepared or processed food. Life force energy gets transferred into the meal providing us with vitality that we will never get from a fast food restaurant or a frozen dinner. Over time our bodies and health will reflect what we have chosen to eat.
Okay, so we have determined that eating too much of the wrong food is enough to account for the inability to remain at an optimal body weight, but there is more. The social pressure to be thin and the implications of being overweight, a term applied to a measurement that exceeds a number arrived at by the medical community and/or the fashion industry, has the result of creating low self-esteem and even self-hatred. Beauty is big business and there is a disproportionate amount of focus place on whether or not a person is beautiful. In fact the person can be amongst the worst scoundrels ever to live and if he or she is beautiful, they hold our attention and maintain our admiration. Inner beauty is highly under-valued and outer beauty, even though it can be bought is the measure of a person.
Larger people are kept separate so that thinner ones do not have to shop with them as anyone who wears Plus Size clothing will tell you. The Plus size departments are hidden in basements and corners of areas where no one goes. The clothes are not stylish, for the most part, and sometimes they even cost more, as if an extra two inches of fabric between a size 16 and 1X is going to make a difference in the cost of creating the garment. Why can’t these garments be amongst the regular clothes? Are we to hide people away who are an inch larger that the privileged, acceptable thin ones?
If you do not like your body the way it is now, then you will never like it no matter what size you are. So in order to achieve your perfect body weight, the first thing you must do is start liking yourself right now, just the way you are. Begin to tell yourself that you Love yourself. Stand in front of the mirror and admire what you see and say the words out loud until you begin to feel the Love. Think of someone in your life that you love, whether it is a romantic love or love of a family member or friend and think of how you feel when you feel love for them. Then start feeling the same way when you look at yourself.
As you see your reflection, admiring and loving yourself, realize that there are two of you participating in this process; one is yourself, the you that is in your conscious life and the other one is the person that is talking to you or your higher or real self. The one that you refer to as “I”, when you say I love you to yourself is your higher self. It is that part of you that has always loved you, was born loving you and always will love you no matter what. That part of you doesn’t care how much you weight, the color of your hair or how many wrinkles you have, because that part of you is eternal and only exists in your body during this lifetime.
A young child that loves an adult does not judge the way that person looks, they just love them and in the same way, your higher self loves you unconditionally; so do not be afraid to tap into that feeling for yourself. Don’t let the standards that society has set for beauty, which are fleeting and change from time to time, keep you from loving yourself. Do not allow yourself to be convinced that you are not a beautiful creation of the Universe. When your mother and father first saw you, they could not imagine anyone more beautiful so believe that you are healthy and lovely and that is the reality you will create for yourself. Be the vibrant being that you were born to be.