Should losing weight be an unpleasant experience?
What is food in the first place?
Reflections on my personal experience.
Obesity nowadays is considered a dis-ease, an ill-being. For the first time in human history, there are more people dying from overweight than from starvation. The percentage of obese people have bypassed the 35% and even the 40% in many countries, while affecting both genders. Obesity has a long list of associated side-effects, ranging from physical to mental. For example, it increases the chances of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, fatty liver, IBS and other bowel disturbances, and cancer. Further, it increases the chances of anxiety, depression, out of control anger, and other mental illnesses.
Some countries have been offering gold for citizens who lose weight. Others have been trying to develop drugs to fight it. Nonetheless, to lose weight in a sustainable and permanent way, these methods are likely less effective. To address obesity from its root cause, a change in diet and lifestyle is needed that leaves the individual happier and better off than before.
What is food?
An alien visits you with a closed pot, offering it as food for eating. How do you decide if the content of the pot is edible?
It seems that we humans have lost the ability to sensibly make that decision. Most likely we will take in many cases whatever is offered for us.
Yet food is something that is supposed to make us better off, happier, healthier, with a stronger resistance to diseases. Food is supposed to provide us with the ingredients that our body requires, and make us feel happy and content once adequate amounts have been received.
Does the food that you consume answer to these criteria?
My personal experience
I have been trying a variety of different diets for a long time in my life, but never felt that I was happy or satisfied with any. There was always something missing, some inconvenience, an organ of the body that was unhappy.
For the last six months, I have been following a special raw diet, designed to mimic what our 100 of thousands to million of years ago ancestors used to eat, and at the same time that provides sufficient nutritions as available in current guidelines. I have described the diet in general terms in the post Meditation retreat at home - eating food. The main principle of the diet is to eat only raw food that existed 100 thousands years ago and before (or evolutionary relatives thereof).
Besides that, the only change in my lifestyle was to combine a daily fresh air hike, with a meditative quality of around 1 hour. A description of a variant of such a walk is given in the post Meditation retreat at home - breathing air.
These two simple changes have resulted in me seamlessly losing 30kg of weight in 5 months. In addition to that, I have a much better general well-being, I am less amenable to dis-eases, and feel more energetic. Perhaps most importantly, for the first time in my life I can read the signs of my body to understand what it considers edible and what not. By being able to feel the adverse reactions of the body, even if I want to, it is much harder to switch back to the average diet.
My personal experience is that the body knows exactly what it likes and wants. It is rather the patterned mind that does not listen to it - though the ability and the signals are still there. Once the mind heeds the words of the body, losing weight becomes a pleasant and sustainable experience. An experience soaked in the nectar of empowerment, as well as personal and spiritual growth.