John Cali

This is the third article in our series about food. This week we’re going to discuss the issue of obesity, or being overweight. This is a major problem for most of the American public. According to studies I’ve read, roughly two-thirds of Americans are overweight. So this is obviously an issue not only for some of our readers, but for most Americans. And, I’m sure, for people in other countries too.

You may want to review last week’s newsletter before you read this one, and also the previous week’s.

Many of you talked about obesity in your responses to our last two newsletters. One of our reader’s comments pretty much sum up the concerns most of you have. Here is an excerpt from her letter:

I would love to hear more of (Spirit’s) thoughts on . . . the subject of weight loss or gain. Does he have any ideas about that?

I have to say, my excess weight has been a nemesis for most of my life and although I have been able to lose weight for periods of time, I am always struggling with this issue. Sigh!

I know I will find an appropriate way to lose weight and find the right balance for my body, but in the meanwhile . . . thank you for listening . . . .

Here’s Spirit.

Spirit

As our letter writer said, “excess weight has been a nemesis” for her. But the real nemesis, as we see it, is the way so many of you view your bodies.

Your bodies, friends, are magnificent physical mechanisms. They are your creation, if you will, in at least two ways.

First, before your birth you chose the body you now inhabit — your soul self chose the body you were born with. Second, you — the human aspect of you — choose how to create and re-create your body every day of your physical life.

Specifically, you choose by the food you give your body. You choose by the way you treat your body — this can include such things as exercise, relaxation, sleep, meditation, and so on.

But the most critical element here is you.

Take a little self-inventory here. We are going to pose a few questions to you. You don’t need to answer them while you are reading our words here today. But we would urge you to take some time, in the next day or two, to sit in a quiet place and think about your honest answers to these questions. If it will help you, write your answers down.

The questions:

What does your body mean to you? What does it represent to you? Not to the other people in your life, but only to you.

Do you love your body? Or do you hate it? Or are you somewhere between love and hate?

Do you give your body the nourishment you believe is best for it? Not what others believe is best for it, but only what you believe is best for it.

Or do you give your body things you believe are bad for it? Not what others believe is bad for it, but only what you believe is bad for it.

When you eat or drink something — anything — where is your focus?

Are you focused on what you have to get done today, on your personal challenges, on someone else’s problems, on the world’s problems? If your focus is not on what you’re putting into your body, you are not receiving the greatest possible benefit from it.

Do you unconditionally love your body now, whether it’s the body you want or not?

During the course of your day, do you think mostly good thoughts about your body, just as you would think good thoughts about someone you dearly love?
We can think of many more questions. But these will be enough to get you started on this little self-inventory.

You can probably see where we’re going with this. Think on these things. Answer these questions for yourself. Talk about the questions, and your answers, with your family and friends if that feels right for you.

Then come back next week and we will finish what we have to say about this subject. A subject so sensitive and significant for so many of you.

P.S. from John:

This is not at all where I expected Spirit to take this discussion. But then, I should know better, after all these years, than to think I know what Spirit will say.

Anyway, if you want to give us any feedback on this newsletter (or on the previous two newsletters), we’ll welcome it. Just email me. Given the big response we’ve gotten to the previous two newsletters on this subject, I may not be able to answer all your emails individually. But I will read them all. And then next week, as Spirit said, we’ll finish what we have to say about this.

Next week will conclude this series — although, if enough of you tell us want us to continue, we’ll be happy to do so later.