Friday, September 09, 2005

The eating/weight/appearance thing

Someone asked me about eating issues yesterday, and I guess like just about every woman in the United States, I've struggled with this issue. Food, exercise and me are a love/hate triangle sometimes.

The above links are some helpful articles online that give some excellent ideas. I've also learned several things over the years, ideas I think of as building blocks toward complete dominion on the issue.

  1. I am beautiful.
  2. I am healthy.
  3. I am satisfied.
  4. I am balanced.

I believe these things about myself without question, since I am the direct image and likeness of Spirit who is beautiful, healthy, satisfied, balanced. These are things I feel to the core, and they contribute to my overall sense of wellbeing.

So what leads to my struggles with the whole eating/weight/appearance thing? I think what I'm still working through is understanding what the body is. I can tell that I'm still working on several levels when I think about the body: the purely physical, the mental, and the spiritual.

From a purely physical point of view, I believe my body is a temple. For now, it's the housing for my worship of God, and I shouldn't bring anything into it that impedes that worship. And it's a pre-fab templeā€”it's already constructed for me. If I stay out of my body's way by avoiding or reducing fear, stress, hatred, resentment, etc., all the negative mental toxins, it can and does perform harmoniously. If I work to keep the natural and healthy mindset of love, peace, truth, principle, my body can exceed expectations with greater endurance and capacity.

From a mental point of view, I've often seen how my emotions affect my body. When I'm panicked, or when I'm exuberant, my body responds with a strong reaction that reinforces that emotion. This isn't good or bad, it just is. I don't then try to "heal" my body of the reaction; I work to control the emotion knowing full well that the body will then respond harmoniously.

Spiritually there is only one conclusion: my true body is Spirit. I've written about this before, and have had moments of clarity where I've felt separated from my physical body and totally spiritual. I can count these moments on two hands so it's not happening every day, but still those moments are more real to me than the time I spend dwelling in the physical. The moments of clarity lead to the instant resolution of whatever might have been inharmonious, bringing my total being into alignment with Spirit.

So when it comes to bodily balance, I'm making decisions on three levels really. For me to truly feel in alignment, the eating and exercising I'm doing has to make sense on all three levels.

  1. I need to not get in my body's way by introducing things into it that are inharmonious. This of course changes as the public discourse swings from condemning one type of food to embracing the newest exercise system. What I've landed on is really trying to discern for myself whether what I'm putting in my mouth is contributing to my well-being or is not. It's become more intuitive as my connection with Spirit has grown stronger. What is Spirit telling me to eat? When, for example, am I eating a gift of love from a friend or when am I simply indulging? It could be the same piece of cake, but have an entirely different effect.
  2. I need to work to reduce the mental toxins that would put my system out of balance, and to express balance and dominion in my day to day life. This involves inviting calm, peace, benevolence, grace into my life every day. It also involves recognizing that it's not balanced to sit in front of this computer all day every day, but to incorporate into my life activity and enjoyment of the world around me. I walk, I dance, I hike, etc.
  3. I need to go deeper into understanding the nature of my existence as spiritual. As I do this, the temporal comes into perspective. The temporal is temporary! So my investment in eternal health needs to be based on spiritual reality, making sure my mental house is clean and in order. Am I embracing every day more of this reality and making it my own?

Jesus said, Take no thought for what you shall eat and what you shall drink. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

So he's telling us what to do. Seek God first, then food and drink will follow. I find it helpful to remember that he was talking to a society where the issue was often not enough to eat. So this is not a license to indulgence. "Take no thought" doesn't mean being thoughtless. But put it in perspective. It's our relationship with our Creator that is foundational and sustaining. Build that first, the rest will follow.

I'm still working it out, and in fact I think abiding in this mortal seeming demands that we work it out anew continually. The above is a snapshot of where I am right now. In a year's time I'll have new insights I'm sure. And I'd love to hear what you've learned on this!

Have a great weekend!

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 9/09/2005 07:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Laura!
I have send your article straight away to two friends.
Love, Veronika

At 9/10/2005 07:54:00 AM, Anonymous Myron said...

Thanks, Laura. That was a very good snapshot! I am working on this issue as well, and am about the same place. I ask the Holy Spirit to join me in my eating. I admit that I don't know what anything means, and that I don't want to make any decisions on my own. I ask that He decide for me. When I do that consistently, I lose or maintain weight no matter what I eat, and I notice that I don't eat nearly as much. I also notice that I don't want to eat a lot of the things I have craved in the past.

What I also notice is that when I feel a sense of lack anywhere in my life, I throw all that out the window and eat everything in front of me. So, during this past week as I sought spiritual healing around my thoughts about the hurricane, I ate a lot and enjoyed it less because it was not satisfying. I gained weight.

Now that I have received healing of my thoughts and am at peace again, I notice that I automatically went back to eating with the Holy Spirit. So now that I see the pattern, I think it will be easier not to fall into that error next time.

Love, Myron

At 9/10/2005 09:25:00 AM, Anonymous Steph said...

Thanks Laura!

I also like to say "I am free of the bondage of food."

At 9/10/2005 10:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have got into the habit of running everyday. This is the idea you talk about of incorporating the right activities in our daily lives. When running, I actually consider it a prayerful activity where I am expressing God's spiritual qualities of stamina, grace, endurance. The daily run has become a way of relying on God's constancy in life.
I find also when I am listening and in tune with the spiritual, I eat the right amounts of food and feel satisfied. It's when I am not in tune with the spiritual that I tend to indulge and go overboard--maybe in an attempt to satisfy the emptiness I maybe be feeling at the time. I guess the biggest challenge for me is to keep focussed on my relationship with God moment by moment. I find that when am able to do this, I eat naturally and in the right quantities and maintain the right weight.

At 9/12/2005 01:00:00 PM, Anonymous Steph said...

How funny would it have been if, when Jesus passed out loaves and fish to the people, someone said they couldn't eat the bread because they were on a low-carb diet. It really puts things in perspective for me.

At 9/12/2005 01:04:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

haha, I love it!


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