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Health Matters, Matters of the Spirit, Self-Help

A New Diet-A New Beginning: A Metaphor For Deep Inner Change

0If I want to know how a person feels about themselves, I watch what they eat over a period of time. Food, I have discovered in my profession as a healer, reflects our state of mind. What we eat feeds a psychological state and maintains the chemical balance that produces it. In my spiritual observations over countless years, I’ve been intrigued to learn how every physical manifestation in life is a metaphor for the deeper machinations of the spirit. In this post, I want to focus on the concept of dieting, what it really means, and why we are or are not successful in our attempts to lose weight. What we put into our mouths, and what our bodies do with the food, is a metaphor for the way that we think, the way that we process life, and when we start a weight-loss regime, our eventual success depends on what issues in our lives we are ready to confront. Dieting, I now know, is a metaphor for the initiation of deep inner change which is reflected in a life (and therefore a body) that we personally approve of.

Some time back, my daughter took a photo of me that had significant impact in making me confront certain issues that I had been avoiding. To others who saw it, it was a nice picture: Lance and Annabel didn’t know what I was complaining about when I criticized it. But it didn’t matter what other people thought; what was important were the feelings that were evoked in me. The truth of our personal situations lie deep within us, and often when we try to avoid confronting them, there will be triggers that remind us that those issues are there, hidden in some place in the mind. As in my own situation, one of those triggers could be a photo in which we unexpectedly perceive a deeper aspect of ourselves: in that photo we see beyond the surface to the thing we are trying to avoid. Another trigger could be a person that you see on the street or on TV. Perhaps they look unhealthy; perhaps you unwittingly intuit that they look the way that you feel inside. When we have a deep and prolonged inner reaction to the way someone is behaving or the way someone appears on the surface, we can always look to an issue within ourselves that needs to be brought out into the open.

In looking at my own photograph, I saw the person that was hiding just below the surface. This person was holding onto issues that she didn’t want to have to confront, and as a result, hid silently in the shadows of her mind hoping not to be noticed. But Life itself doesn’t let us get off that easily. It makes us notice. The image made me uncomfortable, and it stayed in my head. I saw weight that really didn’t need to be there, and my face looked puffy and tired. The extra kilos and the retained water were playing their role in hiding the aspect of self that needed to be met with, head on. After much contemplation, I decided to embark on the diet and exercise regime that I’d been promising myself for months. It would be the only thing to do that would coax out the woman in hiding. Dieting, in effect, would make me face some hard truths about myself.

To those in the healing field, fat is seen as a kind of storage system for the issues which we carry in our lives and that for some reason we do not want to confront. Negative events that we have never processed in a healthy way can reach back far into childhood. Perhaps we had alcoholic parents, maybe we were sexually abused, or it could be that our parents did not allow us to have a voice. Perhaps our childhood had nothing to do with who we are now, and genetics did. We might have brought issues such aggression in with us; we may be prone to excessive fears that manifest as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or other anxiety conditions, or maybe we are just so passive that we live subservient lives. It could be the case that issues such as these are embedded in our DNA when we are born. Whatever the truth is, emotional matters that we do not want to deal with, find a place to manifest in the body. If they do not manifest as serious disease, they will manifest as fat. The more emotions we hide from ourselves and the more fiercely we work to stop them from surfacing, the fatter we get. And to get fat, we have to eat the foods that serve the purpose of hiding our emotions.

As we change our diets and excess fat is burned by the body, so those emotions are released in the form of hormonal reactions. We are forced to feel, to confront the reality of our situation. We can no longer pretend that we are feeling something else. If we are especially observant, we will also see that events will unfold as we lose weight, events that will bring everything out into the open. Take my cousin as an example. She has been very overweight for many years now, and every diet that she embarks on (they begin every two months on average) ends after a couple of weeks. She’ll be very diligent in her planning. She’ll clear her cupboards of junk food, and buy all the healthy products in preparation for the days ahead. About two weeks into the regime as she begins dropping the pounds, she’ll find herself in a conflict with a family member or colleague; a conflict in which she is required to speak her mind, stand her ground and take what she needs to make herself happy. This is a pattern which never fails to show itself. My cousin, to this day, refuses to speak up for herself, and because she will not allow her emotions to be expressed and therefore be released from her body, they instead swim around in her body system, making her feel deeply depressed. And in response to an unconscious direction from the passive person who hides in her mind, she runs to the pizza parlour to order the very thing that will pile back on the pounds, and therefore keep her emotions in check.

In my own case, I am now keeping a daily diary of the emotions I feel as my diet regime progresses. As I face the contentious issues that unfold as I lose weight, I allow myself to feel my own emotions without having to medicate them with food, wine, excessive shopping or any other method of avoidance. It’s not easy, especially since exercise helps burn off fat more quickly, and so the emotional reactions come on much more quickly and can be quite prolonged.

None of us can hide from ourselves forever. The desire to be slimmer than we are is more about our need to free ourselves of unwanted thoughts that hurt us, than about being beautiful. I’m not referring here to slender young women who want to look like skeletal runway models. That is another sad story of human pain that deserves its own blog space. I’m talking about the issues of being seriously overweight. If you are happy with the weight that you carry, then you can ignore the message of this post. But be sure your protests are not just another way in which you avoid your issues.

Each one of our lives is a dance of the spirit, a ballet in which the soul attempts to heal itself. To diet is to confront the demons that lie in the deepest recesses of the soul. In the journey to a better self, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Think about your life, and be prepared for the possible issues that will rear their ugly heads. If you have the courage to deal with them, you can be sure of success.

More power to you if you’re on a diet! I’ll let you know when I get to my goal weight!

(I have recently joined the Flying Lessons Blog Circle in which we share stories in a group once a month, using a common theme. Feel free to follow all the links in the circle of blogging friends and have fun reading! This month’s theme is ‘Beginnings’ and your first stop will be Sue’s blog over athttp://suegrilli.com/blog/)

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About Yaz

Hi Everyone! Please check out my site. There you'll find a range of subjects on which I've expressed my world view. I always challenge myself and others to move out of their point of view and try seeing things from another perspective. Your point of view will always be there if you don't like mine! And I'd love to hear from you. Perhaps you'll shift something in me. This is the journey to the True Self and I love it. Lots of love to you all!

Discussion

19 thoughts on “A New Diet-A New Beginning: A Metaphor For Deep Inner Change

  1. Very interesting post, thanks Yaz 🙂

    Posted by Lucy | January 17, 2013, 3:30 am
  2. Great post Yaz. I know when I started to lose weight it is interesting on reflection that I also started dealing with things I had never dealt with. I gave myself permission to be brave, to be “okay”. I found a voice. This was very easy for me to relate to.

    Posted by Chatter Master | January 17, 2013, 4:01 am
  3. I also want to lose some weight. I feel better and more fit when my weight is at my ideal range. Good tips on being mindful when losing weight, had not thought of doing this.

    Posted by sufilight | January 17, 2013, 5:25 am
  4. Brilliant as ever, and so deep. This would be the most important chapter in my dieting ebook, if I ever get around to writing it, but of course my thoughts only every skim the surface of what you cover so thoroughly. I continue to stand in awe Yaz

    Posted by Joy is now | January 17, 2013, 10:08 am
  5. I’ve changed my diet, no more sweets, biccies, fried stuff etc. Cutting out spuds and bread has made me feel so much better.

    Posted by Danny Breslin | January 17, 2013, 3:34 pm
  6. Such a beautiful post Yaz, and so well written!! I wish my daughter would read it, but this is a subject that is taboo between us and it makes me so sad. Thank you for putting in a way that really makes us all think, and I wish you the best on your journey.

    Posted by Kathie | January 18, 2013, 5:33 am
  7. What a wonderful post, Yaz! I’m so happy to have you in our blog circle 🙂

    Posted by Mary | January 18, 2013, 7:59 am
  8. Well written and very deep, thank you for posting!

    Posted by disashisoul | January 19, 2013, 2:09 am
  9. Your posts are always filled with incredible wisdom and knowledge Yaz. I will be doing juicing starting today for at least 4-5 days or more. I am definitely taking your tip of keeping a daily diary of emotions that may come up for me. I for one do great on these juicing cleanses, lose weight and feel awesome, but no sooner off of them that I slowly go back to where things were before. It’s like I haven’t been able to process all the emotions possibly. This will be interesting to attempt to work through with my emotions for one by noting them this time and attempt to see what underlying issues might be contributing factor for me. Blessings! xo

    Posted by Suzanne McRae | January 19, 2013, 8:50 am
  10. Thank you for sharing Yaz! Over the last few years I’ve put on more weight than I care to admit. But I am admitting it now…I feel it’s been a protection mechanism. I’m very vulnerable to feeling other people’s emotions…and I’ve read some information on how its connected spiritually. I’m working this year on some affirmations and seeing I do not need this extra weight to protect me from others. I’m setting boundaries, saying affirmations, and going to the gym.

    Posted by Amy Riddle | January 19, 2013, 6:12 pm
  11. I totally get what you are saying here. I have been at Weight Watchers for 4 weeks, have shed 7 pounds and feel bolder by the day. Hooray for taking control!

    Posted by Jean Wagner | January 19, 2013, 11:41 pm
  12. Great post! Welcome to the circle!

    Posted by Lalyblue | January 20, 2013, 1:45 am
  13. our relationship with food / self … so simple yet complex! when i feel depressed i tend to self destruct by not eating … well i used to. & if i notice this pattern re-appear it is a warning sign i need to deal with some ‘old issues’ … with self. excellent post my friend, and as always so much food for thought ; ) you are amazing! keep shining your light ❤

    Posted by carolineskanne | January 20, 2013, 2:04 am
  14. I put a link to this article on my dieting blog, Yaz. You always say it better than I ever could.

    Posted by Joy is now | January 20, 2013, 3:28 am
  15. Yaz, this is such an enlightening read. With you saying that healers see fat as a reflection of inner machinations – I have got to, got to ask you: Last night (Saturday) I drank 1 litre of Malibu rum, which is 21% alcohol. I got up today, Sunday, and did yoga at 10.30am. I have no thought of drinking today, and in fact, do not know why I picked up that bottle while shopping… and having picked it up, at home of course thought, ‘I’ll have a drink”, and then drank it all. It’s like coconut water to me, not strong at all.

    Anyway, I’ve packed my work gear already for tomorrow, Monday, & will be doing muay thai at 6.30 in the morning before work. Yoga and anything physical but for walking, I have not done in YEEEEEEEARS (yoga 13 years, to be exact).

    Why is it I am doing these healthy things now, but yet, I pick up a bottle of destruction while buying vegies at the supermarket. I have put on 19 kilos in this past year. I don’t look fat, but yes I do look heavy. Regardless of fat or heavy, what I am not is what is the natural and most health state of my being. So, say I walked into your healing centre & you see my belly with some blubber on it, considering I DON’T EAT BADLY, never overstuff myself (like in bulimic days), but I do drink a litre of sugar/water/alcohol easily: what do you think, Yaz?

    I hope you don’t mind me asking you this, but I am inspired by this post – by your healing self, your thoughts. Thanks – only if you have time…

    Posted by WordsFallFromMyEyes | January 20, 2013, 1:20 pm
  16. Hey, Yaz! Food is my drug of choice and I guess it will be my final dragon to slay. Your post is spot on, I know emotional eating will be one of my last vices to give up. 😉

    Posted by Denise Hisey | January 20, 2013, 11:19 pm
  17. Losing weight is one of the most gratifying things ever. Putting in back on is one of the most disappointing, but at least it gives you the chance to take it off again. A change of lifestyle is the only way to go. A “diet” is just a band-aid.

    Good post.

    Tim

    Posted by timkeen40 | January 21, 2013, 1:16 am

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