Ending Our Struggle with Weight

Our global community is stuck in a cycle of unhealthy suffering. We treat our bodies like afterthoughts, and as a result, we are in the midst of a tragic obesity epidemic. It is clear that diets aren’t working, yet we continue to deprive ourselves of food, only to gain more weight. (For statistics on the inefficacy of dieting, watch the Hungry for Less video below.)

It’s time for a collective awakening around consumption. Everything we ingest--food, information, even entertainment--affects our health. We can stop the cycle of suffering by treating our bodies as sacred entities and thoughtfully choosing what we consume.

 The following passage is from Savor: Mindful Eating Mindful Life, Pg 11-12.

“’I have been struggling with my weight all my life. I know I have to lose weight. I do not like the way I look. I do not like the way I feel. I have gone on diets, tried diligently to exercise, lost the weight, and had it all come back in no time. I’ve lost count of how many times I have gone through this yo-yo cycle of loss and gain. I am totally frustrated, ashamed of myself, anxious and overwhelmed about my weight. I am tired of carrying this extra weight around. I do not feel good. Every day is a struggle for me. Every night is a nightmare. I have diabetes now, and I am really worried. I fear that I will not be around to see my children grow up. I am here because I do not want to give up. There must be a way out of this suffering.’—Participant in a mindfulness retreat

“This woman is not alone. Everywhere you turn—from television, magazines, and web sites to newspapers and radio—you see, read, or hear stories about the U.S. population’s frustrating struggle to lose weight. Two out of three adults in the United States are overweight, and one out of three is obese, more than double the rate of obesity in the late 1970s. In scientific terms, we are in the middle of an obesity pandemic, a state of extreme weight gain that is overtaking not only the United States but also much of the globe. This steep rise in obesity over the past thirty years has no parallel in our history, and if we do not change our current trends, the numbers will continue to rise.

“And this is largely because our society has become toxic in a way that experts call ‘obesigenic.’ We are surrounded by societal forces that drive us to eat more and move less. And the natural result is weight gain, obesity, and the of myriad health and emotional problems that go along with them. Yes, it’s ultimately a personal decision to eat more than one needs and to not exercise enough, but it’s also nearly impossible to escape the pressures around us that lead to unhealthy behaviors. Bombarded day in and day out by unhealthy outside influences, we easily become dissociated from what our bodies truly need and truly want."

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Lillian, I'm back, with renewed appreciation for the teachings in the Book. Bayard

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