Monday, March 1, 2010

Losing weight is a dream many people have. But that isn't really what they want.

Losing weight is a dream many people have. But that isn't really what they want.

If I gained a pound, lost a pound, gained two pounds lost two pounds, over the course of a year I may have lost several hundred pounds, but it isn't what I meant.

I didn't mean I want to lose a lot of weight. I meant I want to build a stronger healthier more slender body.

But that isn't all.

I want to have the process be easy and enjoyable. I want to have the weight come off effortlessly. I want to wake up in the morning feeling like I know what to do, what to eat, what to drink, how much to move to be able to achieve my goal of transforming myself for the better. I want to eat foods that are delicious that make me feel good. I want to take care of my body so it can last the many years of my life without pain and disease.

"...nature, in its infinite wisdom, really only gives us two messages:
a sense of comfort and a sense of discomfort."
Deepak Chopra, M.D.

I love this quote; it reminds me that life can be so simple. We could be guided by our inner voice that tells us yes, this would be good - or no, that would be bad. Unfortunately our Western minds have been trained to ignore our feelings. We have a knowledge within us that is sometimes so deep and true that we can't put it into words. It is a sense of knowing. It is very Western to ignore that feeling/sensing knowledge and instead try to replace it with something that can be answered by a scientific text.

In my humble opinion, I think this is why a diet plan can work very well on paper but doesn't translate as easily in the real world. The real world is messy. It isn't clean cut. We have so many choices before us every day that we could make thousands of good healthy choices, and still be overweight when you add them all up. Also, if you have ever been to the doctor when you or a loved one isn't feeling well, the amount of things doctors don't know about how and why we are sick is stunning. Test results are most often inconclusive. Advice followed strictly doesn't always yield the results they outline. We still have a lot to learn about how our bodies work and how best to heal them.

It can take me an hour to burn 500 calories, but I can eat 500 calories in less than a minute. Given this fact I could feel confident saying, "Exercise alone will not make you thin, slender, strong and healthy." There are those whose experience is contrary to that. There are people who would swear that they can eat whatever they want, whenever they want, run five miles a day and stay lean, fit and healthy. They aren't lying. They don't have a magical metabolism.

Most likely, their definition of what they want, and their ability to tune in to their hunger is different from someone who isn't lean, fit and healthy.

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