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July 23, 2024

Inner Peace: Why diets don’t work — and how to change that

Image by John Hain from Pixabay
June 14, 2023

If you deviate from your nutrition plan, be gentle with yourself

By Jim Hatton

I was born a fat baby and became a fat kid. I was teased and even physically bullied because of my size. When I was older, my extra weight did not help me fare well with the ladies.

In high school I got involved in wrestling, track and field (shot put) and tennis. I joined a gym. The regular physical exercise helped to manage my weight, but I still consumed more calories than I burned off!

I tried many different types of diets; some helped, others didn’t, as they were hard to stick to. I wondered why I wasn’t successful.

After belonging to a gym for a number of years, I became interested in the relationship between bodybuilding, weight management and nutrition. I went to graduate school and became a Certified Nutritionist. I opened a nutrition store and provided advice on weight loss, diet, exercise and nutritional supplements.

As a result of my education, customer service experience and personal observations, I have come to some realizations about weight control and dieting:

  • No one diet works for everyone.
  • Exercise is essential, but it can be moderate.
  • Reduce simple sugars.
  • Increase protein.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Reduce stress.

These tips are not new and can be found in almost every diet book. But why is it so hard to apply them and get lasting results? The main causes of failure to lose weight are not about failing with the diet. To succeed, let’s consider some hidden emotional causes.

Here are some underlying issues that most diet books don’t talk about:

  • Fear that if you eat something off the diet, the diet won’t work.
  • Guilt about eating something the diet said to avoid.
  • Fear of failure, that you won’t lose the weight and your body will never change.
  • Fear of success, that if you achieve your goals and succeed in becoming slimmer and changing your shape, you will be uncomfortable because it will be unfamiliar.
  • Fear of being seen. This is more often the case for women who worry: “If I look too good, then men will hit on me” or “Other women will be jealous and not like me.”
  • Feeling unworthy of being in better shape or looking and feeling better.

These are a few of the common reasons why diets don’t work, so let’s take a look at this issue of weight loss from an entirely different perspective.

Most people believe that we live “in” our bodies and that our bodies have control over us. In fact, it is just the opposite: Our body is our “space suit,” and it is our responsibility to take care of our space suits. We are the stewards of our bodies.

Not only are we the caretakers, but we also control our bodies. When we want to raise an arm, we send a conscious signal to the arm and the body responds. It is our consciousness that controls this. We control what we put in our body and how we move it and when we let it rest. Even the automatic beating of our hearts or the digestive tract processing nutrients and eliminating waste are a result of the subconscious mind directing our body. Note that when we die and our life force or consciousness leaves the body, the body ceases to function.

It is our conscious intent that can change our body/space suit. Even people with strong addictions can overcome compulsive behaviors and use of addictive substances. For example, many people in Overeaters Anonymous, a 12-step program of recovery, are no longer enslaved to dieting, bingeing, restricting their food intake, vomiting or over-exercising. Spiritual programs of recovery address the physical, emotional and spiritual causes behind the illness and help their members become free of addiction.

Try to be easy with your body and your diet. If you deviate from your nutrition plan, be gentle with yourself and return to the plan. Bless your body no matter what it looks like. It is your precious body temple, and it is the only one you have in this life.

The more you consciously align with the three aspects of the body — nutrition, exercise and rest — and act as a wise and loving steward of your body temple, the more you will naturally move into a state of wellbeing that will include your right weight and shape.

The time may come when you no longer crave your addictive foods and may be able to truly enjoy them. I have proven this to myself, and you can too.

Blessings and success on your journey.

The World is not broken, Be in Peace…

Jim Hatton is an author, spiritual teacher and speaker. He makes his home in the Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon. Contact him at jim@jimhatton.com.

Want to contribute? Send 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Richard Carey (rcarey009@gmail.com).

Picture of Jim

Jim


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