33. Why You Must Stop Trying to Fix Your Body
Welcome to episode 33 of the Mindful Weight Loss Podcast. I am your host and your coach, Emily Erekuff and today I am talking about why you must stop trying to fix your body, your self, your life, other people, anything really
And I say must in all earnestness because it truly is necessary for you to grow into the person you want to be and there are so many levels to how this concept can take shape in your life and we're going to go through those today.
And as we begin I want to invite you to take a moment and just notice or tune into the space in and around your head and your brain. This is where we live so much of the time, and yet this is the space where we create problems. Eckhart Tolle said that "All problems are illusions of the mind." And even just hearing that, your mind probably thinks, "Yeah, that's a great idea. That sounds great." but if you stay in this headspace, this space of thinking, it kind of just goes in one ear and out the other. Your brain is onto the next shiny thought.
And so notice that you're in this mind space. And now bring your attention to the space around your chest and your heart. This is the space of feeling. Indeed your heart is connected to your entire body and when you bring your consciousness to your heart space, you're really bringing it to your entire body. And if you were to think about someone you really, truly love and cherish, notice how you can have the thought in your brain without experiencing it in your body. And this is what we do so much of the time. We live so much in our heads that we don't allow ourselves the full body experience of our lives.
How many times when your spouse or your kids or someone in your family says to you, "I love you" do you just reflexively say "I love you" back without really experiencing that love in your heart and in your body?
And so I want to invite you to, as you listen to what I have to say, just be more aware of that heart-space and the feeling experience that you are having as you listen. More so than intellectually understanding what I say, see if you can feel the effect these ideas have on you.
And so going back to that quote from Eckhart Tolle that "All problems are illusions of the mind." The very reason I want you to listen with your heart more than your mind is because we kind of need to bypass the mind since the mind is what creates problems in the first place.
And I don't say this to vilify the mind by any means. Our minds are incredible and they are marvelous at keeping us alive and keeping so many of us comfortable. Our brains are simply brilliant at meeting our needs, so much so that in the developed world so many of us want for nothing in terms of material goods.
But the thing about the brain that makes it so wonderful at meeting our needs is that it is always scanning for problems to fix. It's always looking for threats so it can overcome or avoid them. Your brain is a fixer. That's it's purpose. That's what it's really good at and what it it likes to do. It likes to repair and improve.
And when we give it a task, it's great, but when it's bored because our needs are already met, or because we don't allow ourselves to pursue our dreams and follow our heart's calling, it can become destructive. It's like a sheepherding dog without any sheep to herd that starts chewing on your dining room table. It needs purpose and direction or it will cause problems.
There's the famous quote that "the mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master." And when the mind is left to it's own devices and becomes the master, that's when it turns on us and decides that we are in need of fixing, physically, mentally, or any other way you might consider it. And that's not a good situation. The mind needs checks and balances and if the mind has decided that you need to be fixed, clearly it has not checked in with the heart because your heart knows that this is a terrible idea.
And your brain just wants to fix. It doesn't consider how that fix might feel, and so doing something kind of crazy like the master cleanse seems like a good idea because it should create the result that you want, right? Never mind the fact that it will feel like you are being tortured while you are being cleansed and fixed.
And truly, the entire time, there is nothing to fix. And if you can appeal to your heart, you know this. You are only "too fat" for your mind. You are not too fat to exist and be you and live in this world, because you are doing just that right now.
And because there is really no problem to fix, your brain is running a fool's errand when it tries to fix you. It will spin in circles forever jumping from diet to exercise plan to diet, because those things can't fix what is not broken.
And consider the meaning of the word fix. Before we used it to mean mend or repair, it meant to affix or fasten or to set one's mind on something. And so when you are fixing something, you are setting your mind upon it. To fixate means to obsess. And so the more you try to fix a problem, the more you are bringing that supposed problem into your awareness. The more real you are making it. And indeed isn't this what happens with a diet. Instead of making the supposed problem smaller; our bodies smaller, we actually make the problem and our bodies bigger.
The harder we try the worse it gets. What we resist really does persist. Worse in fact, it's more like what we resist we create. It is our very resistance that makes the problem a reality in the first place.
And if you can step back and see that, then you'll see that the resistance is the actual problem. Being overweight isn't a problem; feeling negative emotions like desperation and failure BECAUSE you are overweight, that is the problem. And notice there that it's not the emotions that are the problem, it's feeling them purely because you are overweight that is the problem.
Your reality isn't the problem, it's the meaning you assign to it. You can be fat and happy or you can be fat and miserable. And so many of us choose miserable every single time.
We choose the problem and we choose all the stress and effort associated with it. We choose hard. We choose painful. And when I say "we" here, I'm talking about our minds. Because your heart doesn't do that. Your heart and body are quiet and steadfast and supportive and know that there is nothing to be fixed.
Consider too what exactly your mind or brain is trying to fix exactly. And if you say "duh, your weight" hold on just a second because if you ask yourself why you want to fix your weight, you'll find all these reasons behind the weight. So many people say "because I will feel more confident" or "I will be happier". But so then shouldn't your brain then be fixing your confidence or happiness? If that's what you're really after why not address those things directly?
I was listening to another coach talk about this issue in regards to money and gave a great analogy. He said that we associate or equate money with happiness so much that we don't see that they are entirely separate things and that saying "I will be happy or have happiness when I have money" is not really any different than saying something like "I will have food when I have sex." The latter doesn't make sense but it's no different than the former. Why the heck would you insist that when you have money you will also have happiness. And the same goes for weight. Why would you assume that you will be happy when you are thin. They are entirely separate ideas. And you can very much have the one without the other. You can be thin and miserable and you can be overweight and extremely happy.
I want you to also consider if you can even fix, as in mend or repair being overweight. I've said before in this podcast that you can't lose weight like you can bake a cake. You can't perform a series of tasks and be 30 pounds lighter in 2 hours. And in that sense you can't fix being overweight.
And that's because you being overweight is in the past. It's old news and you can't undo what's already been done. Just like too you can't fix overeating. Once it's happened it too is in the past and you can't change that. Just like too you can't fix your emotions. Once you feel upset or angry, you can't fix that away. You can cover it up with too much food for a few minutes, but the feelings will still be there when you are done and you will have simply created yet another piece of evidence in your physical experience that gives you reason to feel upset or angry.
And think about how illogical the idea is that you could fix yourself at all. If you are in need of fixing, if you are broken how could you have the power to fix yourself. It's like Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
And so then if your mind creates your problems, you can't look to your mind to solve them.
And that is why your mind needs a master and that master is your heart. The heart that resides inside your body. And isn't it funny and ironic that this whole time you've probably been looking to your mind to control or master your body, but really you need to do the opposite and look to your heart and your body awareness to control your mind. You need to check in with your feelings to decipher whether a thought or an idea your mind has is good for you or not.
When your mind says that your weight is a problem to be fixed, you need to drop into that level of your heart and listen to what it has to say. And when it feels pain, you'll realize that's because that thought is painful. And when you let go of that thought and feel peace, you'll realize that you're so much better off without that thought.
And guess what? You can believe that nothing needs to be fixed; that you are perfect just as you are, and you can still want to change your body and lose weight. In fact that's when the magic happens, because then you are changing for the purpose of growth an expansion. When you don't change because you have to and because you hate yourself; when you instead change because you want to and because you love yourself, that's when change feels good. And that's when you don't sabotage it. And that's when even when you slip up, you know you're on the right path and you just keep going and so the slip up doesn't even matter. It's almost like it never happened.
So if you feel like you need to be fixed, or that your body needs to be fixed, let that be a warning signal that you are thinking only from the level of your mind and that your mind is looking for a problem to solve. You've let your mind become the master and you are tuned out from your heart. And it's time to get back in touch with your heart and the utter perfection that you really are.
And you know that's one reason why my job is so great. And not just my job, but the job of any coach. Our job is to see your perfection, your infinite potential and to help you see it too. We have all these made up stories about why we can't do things; why we can't lose weight or earn more money or live the life we want, but none of it's true; none of those problems are real.
You and your life, your body, and your emotions - they aren't things to be overcome. They are all perfect and when you can see that, that's the miracle that you are really looking for isn't it?
I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I hope you can see even just a glimpse of your own perfection today. Take care and I will see you next week.