Learning to bend

 

One of my favorite quotes from the movie The Matrix:

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Spoon boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

If you’re familiar with The Matrix, you will understand that Neo’s realization of the spoon’s non-existence is crucial to his understanding that he cannot maneuver The Matrix by concentrating on an object and trying to change it. How can he change what doesn’t exist? Therefore, he must only change himself.  Since it is all in his head, he needs to look inside himself (yes, it’s in there people- everything you need) in order to bring about change.

For the serial dieter, disordered eater, or person who has spent a lifetime in some sort of a struggle with their weight, their weight has become the spoon they are trying to no avail to bend. If weight loss and physical fitness were simply a black and white matter of calorie counting and fat-burning exercise, as most of the world would have you believe, there wouldn’t be the magnitude of individuals struggling with weight issues. The weight is merely a symptom of something bigger going on in the mind. Free your mind from what’s blocking it and the body will follow.  It’s been my experience that a person who has a lifetime’s worth of weight or body image issues is generally blocked by feelings of insecurity and an inability to love themselves as they are. Merely putting them on a diet and exercise program is like slapping a bandage on a gaping wound. It may stop the bleeding for awhile, but it’s not going to solve the problem long term.

I believe the answer to that problem is exactly as Neo learned: you can change your reality by changing your perception. So on that vein: the goal becomes not about what your body would be once you finally lost all the weight, but unconditional acceptance and admiration about what your body is already and celebrating that body by moving it daily, preferably outside, where being at one with the earth strengthens and revives you. As you start to show your body love and listen to what it wants, you become less inclined to fill it with junk that depletes it and more inclined to treat it well. Your workouts become more intense as time goes on, because as you gain strength you also gain increased belief in what you’re capable of and enjoy challenging yourself to do more. Not because you have to, but because your body hungers for it and your mind follows. Eventually (this is not a process measured in days, weeks, or months, but rather a new way of living the rest of your life, so I can’t tell you how long it’s going to take) the weight comes off your body, and it almost seems that it was effortless. Not because it actually was, but because losing the weight was secondary to the goal, which was loving your body. And yourself.

This is no miracle “get thin quick” magic bullet. In fact, it requires that you put the scales and measuring tape away and focus on something greater: your inner self.  Not the way you’ll be when you get to the “perfect” weight, but the way you are at this very moment. In loving who you already are you open the door to the infinite possibilities of who you have yet to become.

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