The zone diet, point plan, South Beach, Miami Mediterranean, French-let-them-eat-cake diet, blood-type diet, acid-alkaline diet – well you get the picture; we’re heavier than ever! It’s time for some alternatives that are radical chic and go down smooth and easy. Human beings by nature are not creatures of deprivation and in the land of good and plenty, plain and simple, a weight loss program that involves cutting back on food is not going to work culturally. We have to come up with other ways (weighs) to be healthy and look good.
Borrowing from Zen terminology, the yin-yang of things, I wish to announce the no-diet. Zen always links opposites together for greater spirituality and practical behavior. In Zen one of the greatest achievements as far as enlightenment is concerned is the “no-mind” where one is free of distraction and invasive thoughts. Note: the term enlightenment, which suggests weight loss, makes you lighter. “No-mind” enables the practitioner to face life’s obstacles and joys with equanimity and acceptance. The “no-mind” is concerned with the “no-thing,” in other words, completely liberated by objectivity. Hence, to give you some food for thought, I have created the no-diet.
In order for the no-diet to work you have to lose the deceptive, media-driven illusion of external appearance. Lose the way you see yourself as heavy and unattractive. Instead see yourself as beautiful and healthy. Take note of your best physical/spiritual attribute, like your eyes because they sparkle or your mouth for the intelligent/honest/compassionate words it utters. When you like yourself, you will feel lighter. Just let go and watch the pounds melt away. Remember use your Zen principle to go the opposite route.
Manage your stress-levels. Note: Anger blows things up out of proportion, so you want to avoid anger in all cases, so your waistline doesn’t blow up. According to research studies stress deposits fat around the middle which is not an ego booster; more importantly, fat is associated with metabolic syndrome. When you let go of resentment, your old baggage, you will feel lighter, walk with a spring in your step, and so your body is fulfilling your mindset.
Get your zzzz. Sleeping through the night for about eight hours will suppress your appetite during the day. Leptin is a hormone that is secreted while you sleep. When you interrupt this necessary cycle, you not only experience appetite surges, but you are more irritable, fatigued and tense; in short, you are stressed and perpetuate the whole cycle of fat deposits.
Move to lose. To shed stress, sleep better at night, you need to move during the day. Any sort of focused movement will build a mind/muscle connection. Turn on the music and move. Do your housework to music; walk to music; play with your kids or grand kids; take classes at a gym; lift weights; face the music: Movement will burn off stress hormones, release endorphins and make your problems lighter and solvable.
Find a creative outlet. When you are passionate about a hobby or job, you lose track of time and space. Your mind expands and is absorbed by what you are doing. You become weightless taking a quantum leap into the passion of creation. If anything destructive is happening in your life, if you have experienced a loss, go the opposite Zen route to create and regenerate.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com