Mindfulness & Weight Loss
In traditional martial arts, it is taught that to truly succeed one needs to have both technique and understanding of principle. Weight loss is no different. But here the technique is understanding how food is engineered to misinform us of the nutrition our body truly needs. The understanding of principle is using mindfulness bring to bear the correct motivations and actions on a moment by moment basis.
This country has developed a weight problem of epidemic proportions. 70% of Americans have a significant weight problem. Research studies and the media have recently begun to highlight the pessimistic notion that once you are overweight, there is nothing that can be done. The medical community has focused on reducing body weight by about 10% for a significant health benefit vs. the dismal prospects that people face without such weight loss. The idea of substantial and sustainable weight loss is all but gone from the public agenda.
The problem is that our culture is using the medical / scientific model to address the issue. The medical model deals with probabilities and outcomes. It looks at societal lifestyle issues, what is known about food from a scientific standpoint, what is known about exercise, etc. What the medical model does not do is look at the existence of the actual problem as it unfolds.
We gain weight for one simple reason - in the present moment, we do not properly register the signals our bodies provide on how to eat and exercise. The problem exists in a series of moments where we make decisions that contribute to our plight. It therefore cannot be dealt with in any other way. To solve the problem, we must look at how we live our lives moment to moment. The medical model misses the point because it ignores management of the only funnel through which all of the decisions are made that prevent us from achieving our normal body weight - the present moment. If we can correct our thoughts and action in the present moment and maintain it through our lives, we will never again be servant of the weight loss treadmill.