Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Why Lose Weight?

Good lord. What a waste of time, money and effort I have spent on being something I am not…thin. Exercising, diet supplements, starvation, reading theories, secrets, nutritional journals, labels, counting calories, filing out charts, injections, doctor visits, on and on and on. I suppose I am not the only one, the diet industry is raking in millions, if not billions of dollars a year. According to the body mass index published by ridiculously misinformed doctors I am overweight. I think they are paid off by the diet industry anyway. Overweight is better than the obese level I have been at for most of my adult life. I have the same waistline I had when I was in high school. I have a 42-inch chest and a 32-inch pant size and they tell me I am borderline obese. I can always be thinner but I am not buying into the labels the diet industry wants to put on me. When I weigh what the chart says is healthy I look anorexic anyway.

I have a tattoo on my shoulder that is the number 23. I get asked what that means all of the time. What is means is that anyone can go exercise for one hour in the gym, but it is the other 23 hours that makes the difference in health and body size. Nutritionists claim that dieting is 20% exercise and 80% nutrition. In other words, although exercise is important for physical well-being, it is the food that we put into our mouths that makes us look the way we look. I tend to find that if I don’t eat dairy, gluten or sugar I can lose fat fairly quickly. I agree with the nutritionists that preach refined, processed foods are killing us. However, giving up ice cream, cake and alcohol does take some of the icing off of the proverbial cake.

It is amazing how the nutritional industry has changed since the AMA came out with the food pyramid in the 50’s. Current thinking has decided that pyramid was unhealthy and we should eat far differently than what was thought was healthy 50 years ago. Calories from fat are more important now than calories from carbohydrates. I do agree that eating more raw food makes me feel and function better; especially raw butter cream icing (kidding). I also tend to agree that we are a nation of gluttons; the food portions here are obscene. I travel internationally a great deal and what we get in restaurants here would feed a family of four abroad. So, eating more realistic food portions also goes a long way towards appropriate weight and health.

Paramahansa Yogananda taught that we should chew our food at least 100 times before we swallow, including soup. The digestive tract starts in our mouths, and when we thoroughly masticate our food we actually get more benefit from it. Chewing 100 times also slows down how fast we eat. Having grown up with three brothers it was a feeding frenzy at every meal. When we eat slower, the chemical processes that tell our brain that we are full kick in sooner and we don’t eat as much. There is a physiological reason for Yogananda’s teachings.

We get fat because of toxins in our body. Our fat protects us from poisons by absorbing these toxins in the body. The reason we get fat from eating poorly is not necessary a caloric issue, it is due to the chemicals and toxins that are in the crappy food that we eat that triggers the formation of fat cells in our body. While overeating can happen with kale, it takes a huge amount of healthy non-toxic foods to create the fat that one Twinkie creates. This is also why eating non-organic meats is so bad for you. Having been in the cattle industry for twenty years, I can assure you that non-organic meat equates to poison due to the steroids, GMO engineered foods that are feed to commercial beef steers. The same biological process that creates fats in humans occurs in animals lower down the food chain. By feeding poison to beef cattle and chicken, these animals get fat and more desirable for an unsuspecting public. This is why there is so little prime organic beef. The grade “prime” means intramuscular fat. I raised prime organic beef and it takes a specialized organic diet to create prime grade organic beef. Eating non-organic beef and chicken sparingly is a really good idea.

There is a deeper psychological issue involved in overeating. It may be that emotional trauma makes people want to be invisible and overeating and being morbidly obese will definitely do that in our fitness crazed society. Overeating also makes us feel good temporarily and forget the traumas of the past. Obese people are also subconsciously telling life to “wait”; they don’t want to participate. So “weight” can equate to “wait” in the subconscious mind. Being “overweight” can also be “over wait”.

Whether you are overweight or pleasantly plump is largely an issue of perception. It is interesting that society values body shapes inversely from the food supply. When food is plentiful, thin is beautiful. When food is scarce, curves are desirable. Until we can get past the illusion of physical appearance, thinness or curves will always be desirable, normal, healthy bodies seem to never make it on the cover of Vogue magazine. I am encouraged by the recent movement to appreciate curves; perhaps we are gaining some sense that how people look has nothing to do with beauty. The bottom line is how do we feel about ourselves? If we feel we are beautiful, that is true. If we feel that we are unattractive, that is true as well.  I think I am going to have some French fries.

The truth is how we feel about ourselves is probably the most common denominator about how we look. If we feel healthy, we are. If we don’t feel healthy, we are not healthy. When we feel good about ourselves, the subconscious reasons for overeating don’t exist. The easiest way to get to a healthy weight is to feel good about yourself. The weight will evaporate when we look in the mirror and like what we see, no matter what we look like. Anger and stress are prime reasons we overeat, emotional eating really puts on the pounds. Be happy and be healthy.