Here's how I know... if you really needed to lose weight, you'd be doing it already.
In the same way that you always feel like you need more money, but it's when the rent is due (or those shoes go on sale) that you actually find the money.
So if you've been torturing yourself about how you look and you are letting your mind be filled up with an endless swirl of thoughts like, "Why is my belly like that? And my hips. I used to be so much thinner. I should go to the gym. That girl over there is so skinny. I wish I looked like that. I wonder if I should try hula-hooping or pole dancing? Silly. I wish I could just snap my fingers and change my body. Maybe a juice fast? I don't really like juice...."
Then I am here to tell you right now: CUT IT OUT.
(Now, clearly, if your weight is a medical issue and you still aren't doing anything about it, then you must just rally all of your internal strength and get a bunch of people to help you right now. Seriously. I don't care if you are thin or not, but I do care that you stay alive.)
I have a little story for you.
Here's what happened:
I was meditating the other day (and, as usual, half-running my list of complaints about myself) when I suddenly felt a BOLT of energy -- like a wrecking ball of energy had just hit me square in the chest -- and I suddenly saw the complete absurdity of my endless self-criticizing.
1. I have a BEAUTIFUL life.
2. Life is very, very short.
Therefore, for me to spend ONE MINUTE obsessing about something as trivial as my weight is not just ridiculous, it's a bit obscene. In the way that having a bowling alley in a private home is a bit obscene.
I was suddenly shocked at myself. That I would spend even one minute of this glorious life beating myself up seemed, at the very, very least, pitifully ungrateful.
I seized a pen and wrote:
My Poor, Ever-Lovin' Body...
My precious, delightful, ungainly, grace-filled body
That has lived through
So much neglect
So much disdain
...and you have only ever loved me
Breathing for me even when I forget
Patient so patiently waiting for me to love you
Or even like you a little bit.
You always do your best
Even with me disapproving all the time
Oh the things I have said about you
Still you helped me as best you could.
Tell me what I've done
Show me every scar
Each tender spot
I'm noticing how soft your skin is
And this light I see in your eyes
How could I ever miss how beautiful you are?
So as a consequence of that blazing moment I have started a new spiritual discipline:
I have spent the last several days mentally refusing to worry about how my body looks. And I gotta tell you, it is appalling how many times an hour I start to think, "Oh, my weight is so..." and then I have to say to myself, "Stop. Think about something more interesting." And then three minutes later I'm right back. "My thighs..." and then, "Stop. Think about something more interesting."
I cannot begin to count the amount of time I have spent over the years just idly hating myself.
Well, as of now, I am reclaiming that time and that mental energy. I have made a sign for over my desk that says:
IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT YOUR WEIGHT YOU ARE JUST BORED.
GET BACK IN THE GAME.
And I challenge you to do the same.
Let me know how it goes, OK?
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