I am six feet tall and weigh ‘around’ two hundred pounds. I feel best when I can maintain my weight at one-eighty-five. Regardless what you weigh your weigh is the product of your food intake and your energy output. Exercise works great to tone the body, but exercise is not the answer to weight loss.
There are numerous diets; and diets do work but they require you to maintain the diet plan in order to maintain the weight loss. My wife and I attended Weight Watchers (she was only one-thirty-five but wanted to come down five or so pounds) I dropped fifteen pounds in six weeks and felt great, but did not see the need to continue to pay once I knew the process – then back to old habits.
I am convinced that weight loss and maintenance requires a life style change – and that is hard to do. It requires conscious eating.
If you read this blog regularly you will know that I am an on-again off-again Buddhist. Like weight maintenance, I always feel better when I am actively, consciously practicing the concepts of ZEN. Therefore I have looked for guidance on weight maintenance in the community of Buddhist writings.
The book Mindful Eating, published by Shambhala publications and written by Jan Chozen Bays (MD) is worth a read.
I am absolutely positive that following the concepts of this book can result in weight loss and maintenance – If you live in a monastery. However, in every day life it requires the same dedication that is involved in Zen mindful living.
The book is a good read, and if you are weight conscious it presents ‘a healthy and joyful relationship with food’ that meshes well with Zen practice.
The concepts are:
· Be mindful when you eat. Turn off the TV and put down the book; look at your food, smell the food; taste the food.
· Slow down. Chew your food well; the book suggests you put down your fork after each bite.
· Quit eating when you are sated – go back for second portions if necessary rather than over load your plate.
· Balance food intake with physical activity.
· How to deal with cravings
It is important to remember that Buddhism is about peace of mind – living productively in the now; not about self doubt and recrimination.
If weight loss and weight maintenance can improve your health and make you feel better about yourself than it is a worthy cause and should be approached with mindfulness. (Weight loss should be determined by how you feel about yourself – not about the opinion of others that you allow to negatively affect you self-image.)
You should remember that it is all-right to be a FAT HAPPY BUDDHA.