How to Lose Weight - Spirituality and Weight Loss
Is there such a thing as spiritual weight loss? It is certainly a seductive idea to the millions of people attracted to the ideal of following a more spiritual path.
Eckhart Tolle & Oprah think so and in this very short video (around 2 mins) they talk about weight loss in a spiritual light. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Spirit-and-Weight-Loss-A-New-Earth-Class-2-Video
They make it sound so easy but two minutes is only an appetiser for such a topic.
The general idea is to be aware of your body because it will tell you how much food you need.
In this short extract with Eckhart Tolle talking with Oprah in connection with A New Earth, a listener asks how she can explain to her friends that her successful weight loss was, and is, a spiritual process. Not an easy concept to explain to people who believe weight loss is directly connected to what you eat.
Oprah’s comment was that you have to allow “yourself to be fed from the energy that is already there inside your body”, being conscious of your body and "being aware of what you are feeding yourself" and your body's needs.
Eckhart Tolle’s response was that “being in touch with the body helps greatly because the body knows what it needs really the overeating happens because it is part of the ego.” He talks about the unconsciousness seeking a substitute for the sense of aliveness.
Sounds good but in practical terms how do you achieve this awareness that leads to weight loss just by listening to your body’s needs? It just doesn’t just happen instantly. For starters you need a consecutive 30 days of practicing something before it becomes easier and a habit. If you are used to eating a lot of food, even though your body doesn’t need it you will feel hungry.
The best place to start this is by practising what Eckhart Tolle calls “being present”. This has been written about constantly however Eckhart is very eloquent when he explains how to be present - by being aware of your senses, hearing, sight, smell, touch and then to observe without judgement or comment . He talks about "stillness" in the mind, we spend a lot of energy “going over” past events or predicting future events. It is surprising how “out of our body” we are when doing this which is most of the time.
For this be an effective way to assist with weight loss you really need to practice being present in the moment regularly. It may be easy to do now and then but to do it constantly requires a lot of prodding. It is a good practice to get into when you wake up in the morning to just watch your breathing and observe without thinking. During the day when your mind starts racing away with a thought (rarely an original thought) just stop and be conscious that this is not about being present. Even if for a short time, say one minute, will help. Stop, concentrate on your breathing, just observe. Eckhart Tolle talks a lot about the ego trying to sabotage being present which explains why it can be difficult at times to be aware of "what is" at that precise moment and not thinking of the past or future.
There is so much wisdom in Eckhart Tolle’s work he has influenced millions of people and many of them have read his books The Power of Now and, the even more popular, A New Earth. His ideas are so simple and yet provide an extremely successful blueprint for a good life and an offshoot of practising what he teaches is that weight loss becomes easier and permanent.
Marianne Williamson has also written a book on this topic titled “A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever”. Apparently her personal experience led her to write this book having discovered that her need to suppress her negative feelings with food disappeared when she was following the spiritual practices she talked about in her book “A Course in Miracles”
Marianne Williamson believes that if the way you think about weight doesn’t change then your subconscious will always be urging your body to regain any weight lost. She explains how important it is for your mind, emotions and your body to all want to lose weight. So for her dropping the “thought-forms” that initially produced the weight gain needed to be addressed, generally these began in childhood and they can be changed with a little guidance and persistence in chipping away at the negative thought patterns.
If what these three people say is correct, and certainly they are highly regarded worldwide for their spiritual teachings, then it is important to include in our daily practices inward reflection, practicing being quiet, meditation, mindfulness, feeling gratitude for what we have and above all being aware of what our body needs. Be aware of our breathing and our emotions, don’t try and hide negative emotions instead watch them and understand what it setting them off. Keep a journal (try the online version 750Words.com) to reflect and post your progress in these matters.
So it would seem that it is possible to achieve permanent weight loss through being more spiritually aware, through self reflection and by changing our thought patterns created by our history.