A Simple and Spiritual Way to Control Your Weight

Mindful Awareness

by Jayaram V

Summary: A simple and unique formula based on three ancient Indian spiritual virtues to gain control over the mind and senses and control overeating and excess weight.

There are innumerable theories and solutions regarding obesity, weight loss, weight gain and weight control. They may have their own advantages and disadvantages, may work for some and not for others, and maybe easy or difficult to practice. In the history of the world, probably the idea of staying thin and controlling weight for health reasons or physical appeal gained importance only in the last 40 or 50 years. People were happy then, and derived their self-esteem from the various blessings which life offered. Nowadays, if you do not look good and healthy or fit into popular social stereotypes, you are not even considered smart or intelligent or worthy of attention and appreciation.

Unfortunately, due to various biological and genetic reasons and lifestyle choices, for many people it is an uphill task to keep their bodies in shape and improve their self-image. This writer is no exception. I was born in a family of heavyweights, who somehow seems to keep gaining weight by just breathing air. Right now, I too belong to the majority of strugglers who keep losing and gaining weight in proportion to their happiness and physical activity. However, it does not mean that I do not have ideas about the problem or its solutions

Therefore, although I am not truly qualified to advise anyone on this subject, I still want to offer experimental minds, with a spiritual bent of  mind, a simple and unique formula which I believe may work for them if they practice it honestly. It is based on one simple principle: to control your eating habits, you have to restrain the sense of taste. For that, you have to practice three cardinal virtues, which have been practiced in Indian spiritual traditions for thousands of years. You might be familiar with them, but you might not have thought of them in the context of eating food or losing weight. You may also think of controlling the sense of smell, but it is not as important.

The three virtues are detachment, indifference and sameness. If you can bring them into your eating habits, you will surely control your sense of taste and any overeating problems you may have. Before you practice them, remember not to let yourself be caught up in deciding what to eat or not eat. Your food choices are important, but not very important as long as you choose healthy food, or in spiritual language sattvic food.

However, do not let it become your sole focus. Detachment also means you have to be flexible, without being careless or reckless or cruel to yourself. You have to treat your body with love and care because it is your immediate abode and support. It serves you dutifully as long as you live upon earth. Therefore, it deserves your unconditional love and affection. If you have these emotions for it, you will treat it appropriately as you would take care of a child, pet or someone you love.

Therefore, whatever may be your food choices, meats, no meat, soups, salads, bread, rice, millets..., and whatever may be your diet plan or weigh loss program, make sure that while eating you eat your food with complete detachment, indifference and sameness, without paying attention to the taste or letting it overwhelm you. If you remain detached, indifferent and equal or same to the food you eat and keep that attitude whenever you are eating or drinking juice or a beverage, you will do a great service to your body and yourself. With that, at least you will not make the mistake of overeating or eating purely for taste and enjoyment.

Do not give too much importance to food or build your life and happiness around it, and do not take pride in the idea that you are a foodie unless you are selling something on TV or Internet. Treat food as a physical necessity and eating as another important activity to keep your body alive and healthy. The more importance you give to food and eating, the more they will draw you into enjoyment and make it difficult to control yourself. Instead of loving your food, you may better love your body and treat it with care and compassion.

Detachment, indifference and sameness, work in many situations to control your thinking and actions. Do not look at the  idea in a depressed way because it reminds you of renunciation and hardship or the fact that it is mostly practiced by yogis and spiritual people on the path of liberation. They are universal virtues across all cultures and traditions in the world and practiced for thousands of years in different parts of the world. You can apply them in any area, be it your business or profession or even your personal or professional relationships.

They still work in many situations, and are extremely helpful both in worldly life and spiritual life to control your mind and body or your thoughts, desires, habits and actions. Once you learn to practice them and cultivate them until they become integrated into your natural disposition, thinking and attitude, you will be not only healthy physically, mentally and spiritually but also act with greater awareness, control and calmness.

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