Several months ago, I attended a conference in Florida to work with a wonderful group of people in the medical and related health fields. We were all together because of our interest in different ways to treat the obesity epidemic. After the conference, a number of us decided to take a break and sit outside to enjoy the afternoon sun. We talked about many topics, including our children, the work we were doing, how some of us loved doing yoga, and, of course, food. Being the only nutritionist in the group, the conversation eventually turned, as it often does, to dieting and weight control.
Several of the women had been on and off Weight Watchers for years. It is a terrific program and the women liked going to the meeting for the support and encouragement, as well as the flexibility and difference food choices they can make. One woman’s story really struck me:
She told us she had once lost 40 on the program, and during this time was regularly attending yoga classes. She also found herself able to get into the meditative practices of yoga, which are quite difficult to attain. She also enjoyed practicing many of the postures, or asanas. More importantly, I heard her saying that during this period of time in her life, she felt so good about herself that she had no problem driving past fast food places-she felt absolutely no desire to stop and get something to eat. She sounded as though this was a very peaceful time for her, not just with her weight, but in her life.
Unfortunately, as often happens, the woman eventually gained back all of the weight (along with a few additional pounds) and she stopped practicing yoga. I found the combination of the two (practicing yoga and losing weight) quite interesting and I spoke to her about this. My advice to her was to worry less about the “food” part and think more about putting the yoga back into her life. Most of us understand exactly what it means to “eat healthy” in order to lose weight. Folks who have been to Weight Watchers are well-educated as to the various acceptable choices they can make, and which foods they can prepare. The woman admitted she did already knew all of this.
I suggested that she focus on rebuilding time for yoga first. The meditation, the postures, and the different yoga sequences would make her feel at peace with her body. Yoga always gives me a sense that, regardless of my weight, I can feel good in my body. Yoga is not just about being flexible in your body. It’s about increasing flexibility, building strength and endurance, physically AND emotionally.
I just know that as soon as this woman begins practicing yoga again, she will be able to permanently lose the weight. Not focusing on food while focusing on increasing activity improves one’s overall health and well-being.
Being at peace with your body enables you to become at peace with food so much more easily!
Copyright (c) 2007 At Peace With Food