Healing obesity. . . Is waging a war on fat the answer? Are multi million dollar nutrition and exercise programs in schools and communities likely to save us from the growing girth? Isn’t it time to start thinking holistically when it comes to healing obesity? Let’s explore a refreshing new relationship with the forever feared invader, body fat!
Like in the USA, obesity is described as reaching epidemic proportions in New Zealand. As a result the Government has declared war on youth obesity, sprouting headlines in key newspapers such as: “$67 Million dollar war on fat”. While naturally well-intentioned I question the militaristic language and angle. What is the likelihood of success with such an approach to healing this dis-ease, (obesity is clearly a cause of disease and a lack of ease in the body).
In 1971 President Nixon declared “War on Cancer, " in the National Cancer Act. In 1908 in the USA one person in 8,000 died from cancer. Today in the US, one in three people die from cancer. Two and a half trillion dollars have been spent on fighting cancer in USA. The incidence of cancer has gone up 18 percent and the death rate 7 percent since Nixon declared war.
An aggressive campaign against any undesirable condition often has the result of increasing the strength of that condition. Does a hostile approach to terrorism appear to be reducing the threat? In the same way that fighting terrorism may be increasing global fear and experience of terrorism, fighting fat increases our fear and experience of fat.
One basic truth of human experience is that ‘whatever you resist persists’. The more you push away that which frightens you, e. g. personal or collective body fat, the more you will be confronted by it. If we constantly reinforce the idea that obesity is increasing and we have to fight it, then that is exactly what we’ll get more of.
When fat is a part of your body, then the more you hate, resist and fight it, the more you will hate yourself. When society condemns and struggles against fat, not only do obese people feel more miserable and entrenched, but all people tend to judge fat wherever they see it. However when you approach your fat and all parts of your body with compassion and a willingness to take care of yourself, then you can begin to experience true wellness.
Contemplate the language used in the War on Fat Article I read recently: “Young people will be targeted in an aggressive campaign to combat obesity, amidst fears that the current generation will die younger than their parents”. What mental seeds are being planted here? Countless saints and sages have identified kindness as a prerequisite for physical and emotional healing. For example, Gautama Buddha said ‘In this world hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible’.
Let’s add a new twist: In this world (or in the body) hate never yet dispelled fat. Stop hating your fat and other’s fat because it’s part of your body! Only then can you make lasting positive changes, including dietary and lifestyle, and only then will the body find a naturally healthy weight.
So what are the real issues causing obesity? Yes it’s true; people are eating more than they need, eating too little nutritionally wholesome foods, and not getting enough exercise. But why? We know exercise is good for us, we know we’re supposed to eat healthier food. The doctor tells us it would be a good idea to loose a few pounds. We may embark on a rigid exercise and diet regime from time to time, but we fall of the wagon again and again, probably with a further damaged metabolism. Something treacherous is sabotaging our efforts to be slim and gorgeous!
The secret behind having a healthy body and weight lies in healing discordant emotions. It has been my clinical experience that excess weight is intimately connected with low self-esteem and deep rooted emotional issues. Many of my clients have spent thousands of hours over years berating their bodies and their lack of ability to loose weight. This ‘never good enough I’m too fat’ mentality is the real epidemic.
See part two of ‘Waging war on fat? How to heal obesity from the inside out. ’
As a healthy food educator Anna Wilde provides nutritional and emotional education. She supports people who want to heal body-image and food related issues. Stay motivated by signing up to her newsletter.
Check out her helpful website . Get yummy recipes for a healthy bodyweight like: Lemon Coconut Fish and fascinating articles like: Which foods reduce alcohol cravings?
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