You’re not only human.
You’re also a soul having a human experience. Your body is the vehicle through which your soul expresses its unique gifts and talents; your body is how your soul gets things done here on the material plane. Your body is also a sensory instrument through which you experience and interact with life and others, creating countless opportunities for your growth and evolution.
But even though your body is the tangible, visible part of you…it’s not all of you. It’s not the eternal part of you. Yet, it’s so easy to forget this and get bogged down by our bodies, and our beliefs about them. Our beliefs about our body can change its so-called “reality,” but that’s a topic of a future post. For now, let’s consider the relationship we construct with our food.
In Maslow’s pyramid, food represents a basic requirement for our body’s physical survival. Meeting this need first will support every other activity and achievement. So, for those of us fortunate enough to live without food scarcity or insecurity, the way we interact with food we don’t need is what’s interesting.
If we respect ourselves and our needs, we’ll eat when we’re hungry and eat healthfully (however we’re personally defining that). If we’re self-destructively using food to punish ourselves, or stuff down emotions, we might overeat or binge. If we’re trapped in a state of self-hatred and body punishment, we might starve. What we eat, why we eat, and how much we eat all reflect the state of our closest human relationship: the one we have with ourselves.
And when your mind is conflicted about food, or focused on controlling your consumption, this can be all-consuming. It’s hard to make progress on “bigger” or more “important” things, like developing healthy relationships or finding work we love. It’s easy to get stuck, mired in a cycle of yo-yo dieting or binging/starving, and feel the guilt and shame that go along with these experiences. It’s easy to feel blocked and frustrated, unable to do anything bigger with your time and talents when you feel out of control around something as passive as…food.
This is why I love to help people lose weight and keep it off: once you accomplish this, your mind opens to a world of bigger possibilities. Once you effect change on such a fundamental level, bigger dreams seem within reach. Weight loss, and successful weight control, are a very potent personal gateway to other goals.
Your weight loss becomes direct and tangible evidence that you can make change, that you’re capable of choosing what you want out of life and getting it: a more exciting career, betterment of your finances, improved relationships, robust health. You grow more confident that you can create the life you want. And most of all, you start respecting yourself enough to execute on your intentions as well as you can, every blessed day.
And what does this eventually lead to? What I really love to help people experience….the very top of Maslow’s pyramid: self actualization.