Have we become so confused, so jaded that our purpose in life is to lose 20 pounds?
We go to any extreme, starving ourselves or stuffing our bodies with fatty sausage to reach our goal weight. It becomes our obsession, haunts us when we’re out, becoming the main topic of conversation. We buy books, listen to tapes, search for special diet foods to reach our dream. We put on a disguise of the healthy person and we forget. We forget the things that will actually help us lose weight, feel healthy and alive. We ignore our real purpose as we hide behind food and liquor and television and movies and sex.
In the name of “health,” we forget ourselves. If we were truly in our bodies would we drink a sugary chemical filled shake in the name of weight loss? Would we take a diet pill that could give us a heart attack? Would we eat at an all you can eat Chinese buffet, force feeding our bellies with barbecued spareribs, fried chicken fingers and soft serve ice cream? Would we listen to the advice of self proclaimed gurus telling us what to eat instead of listening to the wisdom of our own unique bodies? We have cast aside our truer purpose: loving, giving to others, living in nature for the addiction of the perpetual diet.
What will they say? What will they say at our funerals? Will they speak of contributions, how we helped others, how we changed lives? Or will they draw a blank only remembering our obsessions with ourselves and our bodies?
It is never too late to begin.
Take some time away from computers, cell phones, cable television, friends and family and give yourself time to be in silence. Become aware of your body. Sit in silence long enough and you will begin to know what your body really needs, what foods and actions really nourish it. Give yourself permission to experience what real hunger feels like instead of the psychological hunger of unfelt emotions or unrelieved stress. Most importantly, let a new you emerge, one who not only knows and acts on what is best for themselves, but has a deeper purpose that has to do with healing and truly living the precious life we have been given. This is the way out and the way in. It is what I am practicing today. Peace.
Bill Bradley is a Registered Dietitian, lecturer and writer. He has led over 1,200 workshops including many on the health benefits of Mediterranean cuisine and lifestyle. His two books are: Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in The World and Things to do with Black Bean Stew