I hope everyone has had a great week! As we move into our third week in our Messages from the Body series, we are going to take a look at the issue of body image and weight.
The weight game is a tricky one. Eating and food are wrapped up in every social aspect of life. We celebrate with it. We grieve with it. For many of us, it becomes much more than the gas we put into our vehicle. Instead, it’s all tangled up in our thoughts about self. Our thoughts about love. We eat out of loneliness. We eat to fill the emptiness. It works for a while. (Until the next thought trickles in and undermines that exterior wall of made up confidence.) So we find ourselves at the fridge, head inside, choosing our next brick and mortar for the wall between ourselves and the outside world.
On one end of the spectrum when struggling with food, we must ask ourselves, “Are we clinging to food?” Are we attaching the fulfillment and satisfaction gained by filling our gas tank to love?
It would take an infinite amount of time to name the diets created to put an exterior structure around our food intake. As we all know, it rarely works. Where attention goes, energy follows. Right? In this strategy, energy is focused on food and having to take it away. So in essence, the energy is focused on lack. We feel nothing but sacrifice.
That’s the last thing we want. We all know that as soon as we are told that we can’t have something, that it’s all we want. It’s all we can think about, until you have it, which is followed by a loop of guilt, playing right into why the are eating in the first place. Worthless… no one cares about me… weakness.
On the other side of this issue, we have the inability to accept even the most basic of nourishment. The switch has flipped and what is intended to give us life has become poison in our minds. For some, the thought of food seldom comes at all. They have shoved their needs or expectations for being fed emotionally so far down that they don’t know anything but emptiness. “If I could just fade away or become invisible. No one would notice anyway.”
So as you can see, no matter where you stand on this spectrum, we have somehow gotten food all tangled up in our ability to receive love. Down to the inability to recognize that we need or even want it.
It is as if we are frozen, but burning out at the same time. We are running on the inside and freezing on the outside, or the other way around.
When I was a little girl, I was able to see a fire in people’s bellies. I never knew what it meant until I began my studies through the Chopra University and learned of “agni,” the fire which cleanses, transforms, warms, and produces light. It takes matter as fuel and turns it into energy. It can manifest as burnout, or as radiance depending on what we stoke it with. This inner flame can be found in our third chakra. Mastering this inner fire, the agni can help us to put action with intention and create lasting change.
“If our agni is strong, we’re able to digest food efficiently and easily assimilate our daily experiences. On the other hand, if agni is weak, our body won’t digest well, creating toxic residue or ama that lodges deep in our cells.”
If agni burns too hot, there is absolutely no assimilation of information or absorption of nourishment. Such as person with the fight-flight switch on. They are running and running on the inside. In one ear, out the other. We got scared along the way and started running. Things have been coming at us at rapid speed for a lifetime.
If agni is burning low, we are moving slow. We sit in the center of the room and let the information pile up around us. Past hurts, lost dreams are all stored in our cells weighed down with our sadness. We hide things away for later. So in our look at the size of our body, let’s look at it from a new direction.
- Stand still. Look around. Where do you find yourself on this spectrum?
Close your eyes. As if in a videogame, if you could just hit the pause button for a second, you see yourself on the screen. You see very clearly the arc. You see clearly the point of balance at its center, to the left the fire burns low while on the right it burns hot. With awareness comes change. Our focus is turned now to balancing our fire with what goes into our mouths.
- I would like for you to find a picture of yourself from a time when you felt amazing and beautiful.
Maybe you’re saying you don’t have a time when you felt beautiful… Get out of the way and find a picture of yourself that would make you content with your health and body image. Print it out. Hang it on your fridge. Have it be the screensaver on your phone. Your bathroom mirror.
- Eating happens at meal time.
The only structure we are putting in place is that eating happens at meal time.We are not using food as comfort. Find yourself a good book instead. Go for a walk. Have a cup of hot tea. If need be, cut one snack at a time and turn the others towards something like a hand full of nuts.
For those of us that we have to be reminded to eat scheduling mealtimes on you phone reminders is a great option. Have something handy like Yevo shakes that are packets with 43 vitamins and minerals for those times when you would pass food by.
- Satisfy the body in one sitting.
One of the things we often have a tendency to do is think in terms of denial. We put all of our focus and attention on what we are going to take away. Here’s the amazing part: Have dessert! Aureveda teaches all 6 tastes should be satisfied at each sitting. Having dessert signals your body to a finish to your meal and reduces later cravings. For those on the opposite side of the coin, planning meals that incorporate all of our senses and all of the flavors entices the bodies interest. Make the most out of what goes into your mouth by making each bite nutrition packed. Warm, cooked foods are grounding and nourishing. Add in some spice to raise your inner fire, such as peppers and ginger.
- Use your food to control your fire.
Hot peppers, salsa, or ginger are fire builders. Calories burn fast. Your fire burns hotter often correlating with the tongue. 🙂 So if the fire is up and you want to rein it in, soothe with melon or frozen yogurt. Find a tree and allow the cool wash over you. If your system is moving slow, try avoiding meat, wheat and dairy… especially after sundown, and keep salty, fatty, fried foods to a minimum. Stoke your fire with peppers, salsa and ginger. For those who are the flitters… stay away from cold, clear, astringent and bitter foods and see how things even out!
- Talk to your body!
Your body knows exactly what it needs… so ask. Here is the game. (This can be used with anything that you are putting on or in your body.) Here we hold the questionable food in front of our body and ask, “Is this what I need right now?” And Allow! If you feel an energetic pull forward that is a yes. Your body is interested in what that food has to offer. Just try it. Take an apple and a candy bar. Try it with each. If you feel a pull to behind, the answer is no. If drawn to either side, you will be thrown off kilter. If it’s not a no and not a yes, best to leave it for another time.
- Affirmation: I allow the supreme intelligence of my body to know exactly what it needs to be in congruence with my highest and best.
Write sticky notes and plaster them everywhere. Our brain loves to read. Even if you aren’t it is! 🙂 Put one on the fridge next to your picture… the bathroom mirror. The dash of your car. You could even put a few reminders on your phone. This isn’t about being positive… this is about giving your brain a pathway to a new outcome!
The only thing out of balance in nature is you. Make time to get outside. Go for a walk. I know for myself, if I even allow the word exercise to enter the equation, I am not interested. I can think of a million reasons. Take a look at the image on your phone. We hold the intention that we are walking toward our most expanded, optimal, healthier version of ourself! Let it go knowing that nature literally interacts with the bacteria in your gut, improving absorption, and overall a more joyful, content belly. We are adding fuel to your fire with each step. For those that are running, we are slowing to a walk… on the inside, the same applies. If you can find a path that has running water nearby, even better. The negative ions boost our serotonin and energy levels. See, you aren’t even having to do anything except just going for a walk and soaking up some sunshine. (The vitamin D won’t hurt either.)
- Invest in you!
Now before you start with the excuses, hear me out. If you don’t find value in nurturing you, why would anyone else? You write yourself on the calendar. Take time for you! Spend 15 to 20 minutes each morning and night in quiet and check in with you. What do you notice that is different? Are you feeling lighter? Are you beginning to see your inner fire? Check in on the quality of its warmth. (meditation download) I will record that this afternoon.
From the start, set small goals with rewards. (Don’t reward with food! It’s just fuel for your fire!) Find a massage therapist who is trained in reiki or energy medicine and when you reach your goal, reward yourself with a massage.
Our intention: Allow the healing hands to move the toxins, old stored hurts and old habits held in your tissue, releasing them into the Universe to be recycled.
Sign up below to download this guided meditation to help you step into the flow, allowing you to settle into the most expanded, absolutely beautiful version of you the world has seen to date. Enjoy!