In order to change our bodies, we first need to know our minds. Everything begins with a thought. We are dynamic beings, but through our thoughts we maintain the illusion of permanence. This is a truth almost always overlooked by people trying to lose weight. We put so much emphasis on diet and exercise, which are undoubtedly important components, but they are not the roots of the problem. They are the how of the equation, not the why. The why matters and to understand it, we need to understand our thoughts, choices and underlying motivations. This is the essence of conscious weight loss.
Weight gain is a symptom of imbalance.
How many times have you heard that weight loss is simply a matter of calories in versus calories out? Or just eat less and move more? On a very simplistic level this is true, but what they don’t take into account is the habits, thought patterns and energetic attachments that affect those raw numbers. When looking at weight loss, we need to see the weight as a symptom of imbalance rather than the end game. When we only focus on the outcome, we miss out on what it takes to get there. There is important information on the way to the weight loss that is intertwined with all of our choices and ideas about ourselves and the way the world works. There is something deeper going on than just eating too much and not moving enough. Unless that is uncovered the weight will always come back. We are feeding something more than just the needs of our bodies. There is soul level work to be done and by just focusing on the number on the scale, we miss out on the opportunity to live inspired lives.
Mind Made Biology
Think of our minds as tool that can direct our bodies toward something. If our minds are able to direct our bodies, what are we directing our bodies to do? Every thought or emotion that we have has a biochemical component. Our thoughts, our emotions and even, immune function are inextricably linked. We have receptor sites throughout our bodies that receive these biochemical components and shift our physiology accordingly. This intelligence and information permeates all levels – mind, body and spirit.
In neuroscience, there is an expression, “Neurons that fire together, wire together”. So as we have the same types of thoughts and reactions to things, for example the feeling of guilt after we ‘give in to a temptation’, we strengthen those neural networks. Over time if we continue to have that same reaction pattern, those pathways are given preferential treatments. When we talk about running off of programs, it is these strengthened neural networks from continued mental and behavioral patterns that we are referring to. At the same time, we are sending the same chemical communicators throughout the body and voilà; we get stuck with the same outcomes.
So what are we to do? If our thoughts shape our biology, we need to change our thoughts. By paying attention to our incessant self talk in our heads, we can stop this from happening. By consciously challenging and choosing our behaviors in accordance with what we truly want and need, we create new neural networks and new chemical communications. This is a present moment experience. Also, if we start to see ourselves and the world with an open heart and more gratitude, these shifts in our beliefs would change our biology.
How do we accept ourselves when we are not perfect?
Again, this is a mind made perception of who we think we are. One grounded too much in the physical reality. There are things about all of us that we would like to change, but we need to strive to find joy and love ourselves, even when we haven't met those expectations. How many times have you said to yourself, when I am thin I will be happy? When my life calms down, I can take some time out for myself or when I make more money then I will really have what I need to be joyful? We need to flip those declarations around to really create meaningful change in our lives. When we strive for happy first, then all other things will fall into place. Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, think that negative thinking is not only related to depression, but can be the cause of it. And not surprisingly, people who are happy tend to make better choices.
We often want the quick fix in dealing with our health and particularly our weight. However, there is no magical pill; it is a combination of many things and it is a true drive for a better life that creates change. It is a day-to-day acknowledgment that we are choosing something consciously for ourselves that will bring us joy and fulfillment. When we search our hearts, minds and souls and try to really develop deep self-awareness, we will see that we are already perfect and whole. When we are happy first, then all other things will fall into place. We will shed old habits like a snake sheds its skin.
Conscious weight loss understands that weight loss must be about more than a great exercise and diet regime. That in order to be successful we need to know our minds, build self-trust and develop self-awareness through enhanced education and insight. The way we eat and move is intimately connected to everything else in our lives. Ultimately, we want people to live healthy, active lifestyles not because they should, but because they truly see it as an expression of the joy and balance in their life. When we do the work to truly understand ourselves we not only make better choices, but we make them from a place of preference and not sacrifice.
Angela Levesque is a writer, intuitive and host of Entanglement Radio on iOM.fm. She works with clients doing intuitive lifestyle coaching, awareness development and a 6-week program in conscious weight loss. She is the author of Healing Environment: The Conscious Creation of Health. Visit www.hestiahealth.com for more information. Find her on https://twitter.com/HestiaHealth and http://www.facebook.com/hestiahealth.