Just about everyone struggles with some level of issues around eating and gaining or losing weight, leading many to experiment with various diets in order to control their weight. Most of the time this leads to an endless roller coaster of losing a certain number of pounds and then seeing the weight come roaring back slowly or sometimes with great speed.. The reason for this is that we can use our will power for periods of time to physically lose weight, but often we fail to realize the changes that real weight loss asks of our attitudes, feelings and behaviors.
To really lose weight where it is not merely posturing has to be accomplished on all four levels; mental body, emotional body, physical body and spiritual body. Leaving any of the bodies out of the equation will leave a crack that can open a door to relapsing down the road. So it is essential that whatever way you decide to approach weight loss, that there is a yes from each of the bodies so that you enter into it with a real agreement from head to toe. So if starting a diet seems all right physically, but doesn’t address your emotional needs, it will be only a matter of time before your emotional body will be screaming to end this so called diet. To sustain a real weight loss involves a willingness to go through a series of steps similar to peeling an onion. Real is defined as being able to go through the numerous stopping points.
Each stopping point will ask you to attend to the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual qualities inherent in that step and to not skip over any of the steps. Here the focus will be on the process of losing weight, not merely the end result. Many people find the idea of steps to be too slow and they choose to ignore this process and rush to the end goal. The image that I work with is called a weight loss map and it is made up of a series of concentric circles. Each circle is separated by ten pounds as a meaningful step. So if you weigh 240 lbs. your next circle would be at 230 lbs. Of course you can also use this map to support weight gain by simply going from the inside out and reversing your direction.
Create a weight loss map
Once you are able to understand that this program deals with small changes in your attitude and behaviors, not problems, I’d like to invite you to create your own weight loss map starting with your existing weight. On the outside circle Draw a large circle and place the number of your highest weight on that circle. All around that circular line you are to put on it all of the behaviors that are needed to support that number. One example would be to write no self- esteem and self- negative talk. Then make another circular line inside that and write on that line a number that is ten pounds less perhaps 240 pounds. Between the 240 pound line and the 230 pound line you are to place all of the behaviors, feelings, and thoughts that you would need to support you and allow you to go from 240 to 230. It needs to reflect a slight change from the 240- pound line. You are to continue making new lines ten pounds apart until you have a circle for your goal weight whatever it is. Each of the ten pound increments represents a stopping point that you can only move past if you integrate the necessary behaviors contained within those circles.
Respect each number that you weigh as a perfect expression of who you are at that moment in time. In this system there is no delineation that this is a fat person and that this is a thin person. Each person is regarded as perfect in terms of their attitude. So a 240 pound person who is five foot three is not considered fat. Rather they carry a 240 pound attitude and all the behaviors and physicality that go with it. It is not considered a problem as much as it is a reflection of who they are with no judgment. The two major questions that are asked in this system is “How do you maintain your 240 pound attitude, such as doing no exercise and swallowing food or life with no chewing and what are the demands on all four levels of a 230 lb. attitude?”
The Diet from List
I have laid out a list of eating principles that a person needs to eliminate from their life at different points on the weight map circles in order to be able to move with integrity from one circle to a lower one. Failure to respect these items will expose your vulnerability to eating patterns that will increase your weight, so it is vital that you learn to respect each one and integrate it into your life.
Diet from swallowing life and learning to chew things up
Diet from eating other people’s comments and only respecting your own thoughts
Diet from building your life around global abstract words like don’t be RUDE and SELFISH
Diet from giving others the vote as to what you do or say
Diet from pissing away or denying your sexuality
Diet from hedging your own power
Diet from personalizing everything
Diet from regarding disappointment, powerlessness, and emptiness as the enemy and seeing them as your best friends
Diet from proving, defending and guarding
Diet from being secretive
Diet from distrusting yourself
Diet from living with one foot in and one foot out and be willing to put two feet in or out
Diet from being ashamed of being ashamed
Diet from being afraid of being afraid and learning to be willing to be afraid
Diet from being inauthentic and incongruent
Diet from not loving yourself
Diet from futurizing or living in the past
Diet from rejecting your sadness, which is the doorway to the depth of your life
Diet from immediate gratification
A commitment to respecting this process can mean the difference between a weight loss that is merely an illusion and one that becomes an integral part of your nature.
This article was originally published at The Relationship Doctor Bruce Derman
. Reprinted with permission from the author.