In my 20’s, I practiced Yoga on my own and became familiar with meditation, at least, my own form of it. So I can attest to its benefits.
I firmly believe that to maintain our health and wellness, it’s necessary to go within and get in touch with our inner selves. The benefits are great. They range from stress reduction, increasing serotonin, gaining clarity, becoming more mindful, just to name a few.
In order to prevent weight regain, I have incorporated mindfulness practices into my program to accompany my nutritional and physical fitness strategies. Quite simply, my head has to be on straight.
If you are anything like me, you might have thought that meditation was some sort of transcending experience that took you to another dimension. Maybe for some gurus. But now I know that the practice is learning to focus and when you get distracted, gently bringing yourself back to the present.
Through building my capacity to stay in the presence, I am better at not being consumed by frustration about weight and health, I can see clearly that the problem was my relationship with my body, not my body itself. Today, I know that healing takes place in my spirit as well as my body. I also know that staying the course means I can’t be my old self and new self at the same time.
Meditation has taught me to be a witness to my own life. I see it now. When issues come up that make me want to abandon my program, I have to recognize the walls or obstacles in my way. I need to stretch, and transcend the problem. Be in it. Don’t run away from my demons or towards the unhealthy patterns of my past— sugar, candy, cookies, and inconsistent exercising. I have to surrender to the process, relax and give it over to my Higher Power through the Spirit within me. Someone said, “We fear that if we give up the fight, God will lose our file.” How preposterous! As much as possible, I have to shut down that phony inner voice that tries to stop my journey towards healing and recognize that I can’t do it alone and that help is always at hand.
I spent years and years trying to attain the perfect body and perfect health, until I ended up with a dramatic WLS solution. Before my surgery, I knew that my life had a higher purpose. I was afraid to leave my comfort zone of unhealthy behavior, unsure of what was ahead. I was afraid to open up to new possibilities. I resisted a new sense of self—a self that could truly enjoy all the pockets of experience that lay before me. I believe that the primary key to successfully losing weight and keeping it off lives in our spirit.
Yes, I need to exercise new habits, but just as importantly, I need to unlearn past behaviors that imprisoned me. Marianne Williamson, spiritual leader, gives the analogy of an egg. The egg must hatch because a gaseous substance fills the space and if the chick does not leave the egg, it will die. It simply cannot survive. Like the chick, my old life in the world of obesity was un-survivable.
I now recognize my new responsibility – to bring forth the good, the true and the beautiful. So today, my goal is to recognize that I have a new opportunity, I have a purpose that’s not hindered by the trappings of my old life issues. I have unlimited potential. I can now own my power, know what I know, want what I want and allow myself to dream about the life I used to think I didn’t deserve. I have the chance to be the “more” I always knew I was, but couldn’t grasp. So when I shut down my mind for 10 to 20 minutes whenever possible, my goal is to meditate on gratitude, listening to internal guidance from God and being of service to others and sharing.
There are many different forms of meditation. Pick the one that suits you but be sure it covers techniques to stay in the present moment, treating yourself with loving kindness and making mind/body connections.