I have recently become overweight. I feel sad and unhappy in my life because of my weight and not worthy to be alive.
How do I love myself more?
George, Hawaii, USA
First, I offer you a giant hug filled with the depth of the ocean, the height of the sky and the expansiveness of the horizon. My beautiful friend your presence is one of the most precious gifts to all of humanity. Though your realization of this preciousness may remain hidden to your view, like a sun behind a storm cloud, it is the truth. Your light, your love, your heart, your wisdom is unlike any other. The ego is a champion at hiding your true light.
Step One: Give Yourself a Wonderful, Strong embrace.
An embrace, like the kind you so generously give to others. Next, we are going to work with a simple technique to offer you a mental embrace while shifting your self-image. Human beings transform through habit and imagination. This technique is taken from NLP practices.
- Read this exercise completely. Next, go stand in front of a mirror. Close your eyes and follow the steps in this exercise.
- Imagine yourself with a friend, family member, co-worker etc. that has complimented and praised you. The praise could be of a talent, a way you were supportive or perhaps how handsome you look. Hear the praise in your mind.
- Imagine this person directly in front of you gazing into your eyes beaming kindness and love while speaking the praise.
- Now imagine you can step into this person’s body and look at yourself. Feel the love and kindness they feel towards you.
- Imagine stepping back into your body and open your eyes.
- Look yourself in the mirror and feel the love, value and kindness from your own eyes emanating. Hear the praise of your own mind speaking to you.
- Practice this exercise 3x a day for a week. And repeat as needed.
Step Two: Become Conscious of the Way Thoughts Relate to Emotions
To err is human. It is in the error of your thinking that you will find the clearing to take more self-loving actions. Imagine you words as arrows, each pointing in the direction of mental pathways that consequently generate emotional states. The emotions of sadness and discontent are directly related to the internal representation you are feeding your mind with. Can you observe the change in your body without judgement? It is key to see yourself through the act of observation rather than judgement.
Thinking leads to emotions, which leads to behavior.
Thoughts > Emotions > Behaviors = Results
Imagine language as technology. The same way computer software programs are a technology. Software programs offer an installed structure to produce a variety of outcomes. For example, you can use accounting software to balance numbers or recording software to produce music or movie making programs to make movies. The thoughts you habitually think and consciously choose mentally program you to have the exact emotional states you currently express. Negative thoughts such as “I am unworthy of being alive” will lead with precision to unhappiness. What is a new thought you could choose? What about, “I am alive. I am worthy.” Your personal worth is inherent. Your weight has nothing to do with your worth. Though your thinking, acting in egoic and erroneous ways, will tell you otherwise. Choose new thoughts.
Step Three: Become Aware of Your Habits
When rubber meets the road in the area of transformation and personal growth the greatest changes come through your every day habits. It’s rather simple yet, incredibly illusive at times. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we not do things? If you visited a small village in Vietnam where rice paddy workers were thin and strong you may think, “what a great life… these people work outdoors, they are slender, they are strong I wish my “fat” self could look like them!” Why are they thin? They use their physical bodies every day to work. (BTW, if you got to know them a little better however, you may find that they too have life challenges though being overweight is not one of them!)
In your daily life you have “fields” you are working in. It may be at a desk, sitting in front of a computer screen or long hours of no movement. My simple answer, in the area of action, to you, is to look at your daily movement and move more. The emotional energy that is guiding you to eat more than you may need or move less than you need for your ideal body weight is handled in step one and two. In step three it’s as simple as calories in and calories out. Make a note where you are spending the time in your day, what you are choosing to eat and how to properly plan for more exercise, appropriate food choices, and then take action. Move and moderate your intake/outtake of both.
Step Four: Personal Worth and Body Image
What can I say, other than, when in Rome do as the Romans do. When on Earth do as the humans do. To judge yourself, belittle yourself and wish to escape from life in shame from your weight “issue” is as common as meeting a red light at an intersection. My dear, we are in this one together. If it weren’t body weight, it would be not having enough money, or enough friends, or the perfect car. We shall heal this dynamic through more inquiry.
Souls live in and through the body. Is it possible we are a nation of Souls starving with obese egos? If you choose to disentangle this relationship, “because I am this I am that”, a great awakening is at your fingertips. It is a part of the journey of awakening to untangle your sense of worth from an external attribute. Your body image generates your actions leading to weight. However, your body image derived from your weight equaling worthlessness is untrue. See the malicious entanglement. Give gratitude for new understandings and commit whole- heartedly to connect with yourself as LOVE. Love is your natural state of being whether you are 300 pounds or 100 pounds. An 8lb baby, a 10lb baby or a 5lb baby are all born inherent with the presence as a state of love. It is not correlated to their weight. To love your self more is to connect with yourself as LOVE. To loose weight follow the above steps.
Thank-you for writing in to “Ask Alison”, may these words offer you peace, inspiration and healing.