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The paradigm of diet and exercise has thrived in the modern Western world, where an increasing majority of us are overweight and almost constantly battling the bulge. From a very young age we have been bombarded with weight loss tips, ‘diet’ versions of junk food and images of perfect, airbrushed bodies. The diet paradigm is one of both denial and overindulgence. Packaged foods tell us to eat them, because they are ‘all natural’, ‘high in vitamins and minerals’, ‘new’, ‘value size’ and so on. These subliminal messages set up desires within us that are swiftly denied by basically every diet mindset, telling us to be ‘good’, whatever that means. The idea that my diet starts tomorrow hasn’t become clichéd for nothing.
Shifting Your Mindset
Calorie counting, in my experience, breeds a constant sense of lack; a focus on what I can’t have and an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction. The thing is, it’s hard to lose weight, when you tell yourself you want to lose weight. As long as you are feeding your subconscious mind that you are fat and need to lose weight, you will remain stuck in that cycle of being overweight and trying not to be, until you shift your mindset. Focusing instead on health, telling yourself that you want to have a healthy mind and body, is where the journey becomes a joy and not a chore.
Like millions of other young women, when I was a teenager and young adult I was consumed by the desire to lose weight. This obsession began when I wasn’t even remotely overweight, but the message to diet and slim down had sunk into my young mind and took root. Ironically, my focus on diet led to my heaviest weight, and it wasn’t until I lost interest in trying to lose weight that I actually did. Instead, I became interested in learning about how my body worked and what foods were optimal for me.
My journey into veganism and yogic eating has healed my relationship with food and given me the knowledge and understanding to reach my ideal weight easily.
What is Aparigraha?
One of the yogic principles that I think is very valuable when it comes to eating is aparigraha. Aparigraha can be understood as meaning ‘non-greediness’ or ‘non-grasping’. While the concept is fairly easy to understand in principle, that we shouldn’t take any more than we need, it can be tricky to put into practice when we are surrounded by supersize meals, fast food and frequent temptation. I think that, for many people they’ve lost touch or maybe never really learned what a healthy portion size for them is.
Incorporating the principle of aparigraha into your life will not only help to release you from the grip of overeating, but it will also help you to become more aware of the other physical, emotional and spiritual baggage that you are carrying. Think of any excess weight as, essentially a hoarding of calories that have not been required by your body. If you want to learn more about aparigraha in relation to eating, I recommend this article.
So many of us have hang ups, anxieties or phobias around food, when it should be one of the most pleasurable and natural aspects of our daily lives. After enjoying a meal, our bodies should feel satiated and our minds content. The body is satisfied when it receives all the nutrients and substance it needs to support its tissues. The mind, on the other hand, feels satisfied by our meal’s colours, presentation and on a subconscious level, the love it was prepared with.
Diet vs. Detox
When we compare the paradigm of dieting and exercise to detoxification, we can see that the motivation behind each one of them is very, very different. The paradigm of diet comes from a focus of not being slim enough, and exercising to burn off excess calories. Subconsciously, this reinforces negative self beliefs that we are not yet good enough, and that we must deny and punish ourselves in order to be accepted.
In contrast, adopting a paradigm of detoxification comes from a motivation to support our body’s natural processes, and reach optimal health through nourishment. Subconsciously, this should come from an attitude of self-love, which tells us that we must take care of ourselves. We deserve to treat ourselves well and have the right to thrive!
I think that we should examine the WHY behind our diets and detoxes. Are you coming from a place of self-love and simply aiming to be a better version of yourself; or are you coming from an unhealthy place of self-loathing and feelings of inadequacy? Only you know the answer to that.
When we approach our self-care with an attitude of love, we intuitively lean towards foods that are naturally detoxing and nutritious. The plant kingdom has an absolute abundance of wholesome, satisfying and deeply nourishing foods that will help you feel and look your best. Fruits, berries, greens and vegetables are optimal foods for detox and weight loss, as fruits especially are water-rich, full of fibre, electrolytes, antioxidants and have an astringent quality.
If your wish is to dig deep and thoroughly detox your vital organs and bodily systems, which will enable them to regenerate, then incorporating the Deep Tissue Cleansing Kit will serve you very well on your cleansing, healing and weight loss journey. This kit includes a free consultation with one of our practitioners and all the herbal protocol to keep you going for 14 weeks! You can also choose to get the kit 2 weeks at a time. Here is the Kit for weeks 1 and 2.
Practical Steps to Weight Loss
Addressing the emotional and philosophical aspect of weight loss is imperative. I believe you cannot achieving long term health, vitality and optimal weight without first adjusting the beliefs and habits that got you where you are today. Moving from that place requires total acceptance of who you are and a resilient belief that you can and will do better, because you deserve better.
Second is knowledge. Shifting your focus from weight loss to health is greatly aided by a keen interest in learning about your body and how to nourish and care for it. The book ‘Detox Miracle Sourcebook’ by Dr. Robert Morse can serve as your foundation manual for how to thoroughly heal and regenerate the physical, mental and emotional bodies. It also explains the art and science of true detoxification. It includes:
- Basic anatomy and physiology
- The various body systems (respiratory system, endocrine gland system etc.)
- Explanations of the various constituents that make up our foods (vitamins, minerals, tissue salts, acids, alkaloids, tannins, enzymes, etc.)
- An exploration of the root causes of dis-ease
You can also learn about how detoxing your liver will assist you in your weight loss journey, click here to read the article.
Thirdly, there are a number of herbal formulas that aid and assist in weight loss. One is Kelp. Due to kelp’s iodine content and its role in thyroid function, it helps to improve metabolism and energy. An iodine deficiency can slow your metabolic function by as much at 50 percent, so including kelp can naturally and significantly improve weight loss and other associated health problems. You can read more about the health benefits of Kelp here.
If you have issues with bloating, Hops Flowers are a good choice. Hops Flowers act as a diuretic, and therefore may decrease bloating and water retention, which corresponds with weight loss. It can also aid in digestion by increasing stomach secretions. However, the Hops Flower can also increase the appetite, so keep that in mind if overeating is an issue for you.
So, in conclusion, I hope this helps to inform and inspire you on your weight loss and detoxification journey. Please leave any comments or questions you may have in the comments section below, we’d love to hear from you!