The following is derived from Chinmayi’ Dore’s best-selling book, BodyMAGIC! – an End to Emotional Eating Forever, available on Amazon.
I had years of waking up every morning feeling really awful about myself.
Hating myself for not sticking to my diet the previous day.
Dreading some event that was looming, by which I planned to lose a stupid amount of weight in a silly amount of time, just to feel ‘good’ for a while.
Those targets were, of course, unrealistic. I would have to go out and buy another dress, a size bigger. But it would feel like I was buying one ten sizes bigger. I felt so huge, bloated and ugly.
Then a little spark of hope would come up. Maybe if I ate only salads today, or fruit, or cabbage soup, or if I drank lemon water, I could still do it. So I would start the day with my plan in mind.
Then I would remember that I was meeting a friend for lunch. I would plan to have soup, but by the end of the meeting, I was convincing myself that a summer pudding would be fine, because it had so much fruit in it!
Then I would arrive home, feeling sick to my stomach and my heart. I would give up altogether by drinking wine and eating far more than ever.
And so the cycle would roll. I would gain weight because I was down, and I would be down because I gained weight. It’s so sad, but that is the nature of an addiction. A downward spiral of self-hatred and failure. The only spark would be the next new diet pills that melt away fat, or a new way of eating that would guarantee that I can burn cellulite off the back of my thighs.
It seems so cruel to me now. These dieting companies are making millions out of our desperate misery. It’s nothing short of mental abuse. It goes on because we all have been so desperate that, like any addict, we’ve wanted a quick fix. And the fix is not just the reduction on the scales but the feeling of having done it. We know that some diets can work in the short-to-medium term and we are convinced that we are going to be part of the tiny minority who can succeed, maybe even longer.
So the process goes something like this:
- Unresolved emotions become unmanageable
- Overeating and/or food addictions suppress emotions and soothe temporarily
- Weight gain takes place to support the stress and famine responses
- Dieting seems the only answer to fix the physical problem, but challenges the emotions further
- Enter new emotional support/dependency that alleviates difficult emotions
- Weight loss gives emotions a positive boost, things seem to be going well
- New dependency increases, disrupting life and eventually emotions
- Overeating returns to soothe emotions
- New dependency still remains
- Emotions are still unresolved and become more unmanageable
overeating is definitely not natural. It’s quite separate from eating for nourishment. The vital difference is whether it’s necessary for health or not. When we are hungry, we eat to satiate a physical need. When we overeat, we eat to satiate an emotional need. I make no apologies for stating the obvious, because it’s that subtle difference that actually gives us hope.
When we swap meals for chemicals, supplements, shakes or other commercial diet foods, we are trying to change a habit (as well as disconnecting from nature). But it’s not the habit that needs changing, it’s the addiction.
There’s a reason why I called my book BodyMAGIC!
It’s not just another diet plan.
It’s not the waving of a magic wand that is going to make you slimmer, trimmer or get into that little black dress.
It’s to tell you that
you have the MAGIC! within you
you’ve got the POWER! for lasting change
The equation is simply like this
Healed emotions lead to greater happiness
= healing addictions and greater friendship with food.
Magic is the word I use to refer to this journey’s energetic, spiritual and metaphysical nature.
That’s how bodyMAGIC! feels to me.
Once we connect with ourselves again, with the energy given to us by nature (through food, air, water etc.), specifically Mother Earth, we can feel the magic working through us.
ON the journey to BodyMAGIC! you will realise that when you allow yourself to be connected, you feel totally supported by all that you are connected to.
Decisions about what you put in your body come naturally and with wisdom. You have always had this ability, this power. It just needs uncovering, reworking and remastering. This mastery will empower you in all aspects of your life, and it will rub off on your friends, your family and most importantly on your descendants.
BodyMAGIC! can show you what needs to shift, why, when and how to do it.
If that seems a little ‘out there’ for you, then for now, just be curious. I will not suggest that you make any drastic life changes before you are ready. You may already have a good knowledge of the healing arts, but maybe much of this will be new to you. I want you to keep both of your feet on the ground.
Introduce BodyMAGIC! practices at your own pace and with close attention to your body and mind.
Here’s an outline of some of the ways to can get the POWER you have always had with your food.
More details and practical exercises are given in the book BodyMAGIC!
Awareness of the Diet Trap
- Be aware of thoughts about needing to watch your weight, eating less of certain foods or all food. Be aware of analysing what you ate yesterday and thoughts of making amends today or in the near future. Be aware of thoughts of having to take exercise to burn off something you ate. Allow your body to adjust itself. Trust that you have your own internal mechanism for balancing your body’s health and its weight. Your emotional intervention in this process is more likely to disrupt its natural ability, both now and in the future.
Understanding your Appetite
- Why are you hungry? Is it because you haven’t eaten for a while? Or maybe because you didn’t eat very much at your last meal? If you are hungry and it’s been more than three hours since your last proper meal, honour your body’s request for fuel. Never ignore your hunger, try to suppress it, or ever try to fool it by giving it food that has no calorie or nutritional value. It’s like giving a baby water instead of milk. Try not to go without food for more than five waking hours, or miss breakfast.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
~ Alan Kay
Friendship with Food
- Make friends with the food you eat. When you choose, buy, prepare, cook and serve food, honour it as one of the most important things that you do for your health, because it is! Be curious as to how that food got to your plate. Care about how it was cared for. Invest your time, effort and money in food that comes from conscious sources that support your planet, your home. The energy used in harvesting the food is the energy you will be eating! If you like, bless and ‘heal’ the food with gratitude as you bring it into your home. Find a deep, positive connection with your food.
Respect for Cravings
- Honour your cravings. Apart from the addictive substances found in some processed foods, your body is very likely needing something your conscious mind doesn’t know about yet. Something for your health. If there is anything unusual going on with your cravings, why might that be? Consider a change in the weather, your immune system, the moon cycle, unusual stressors, even the food you ate earlier. Is it natural, e.g. wanting warm carbohydrates on a cold day, or unnatural, e.g. craving sugar or coffee to cure a hangover? If you are regularly craving sugar, alcohol, coffee, junk/fast food, and not getting them affects your moods and clouds your thinking, they could be addictions. Work through them slowly and with gentle self-care. Get help if necessary or find healthier alternatives until the cravings come less frequently. Respect yourself enough to feed your body the best you can, most of the time.
Peace in the Present
- Ask yourself whether you have truly ever been starving, and getting food was really difficult. And take account of times when you have been really hungry because you have been starving yourself. Forgive yourself for the times when you have denied your body’s signals and replace any guilt with gratitude for the food you have easy access to now and in the future. People are truly starving in this world, not because of a scarcity but because of inequality and poverty. There are many positive ways to help those who are unintentionally deprived of food in the world. But nobody will be saved because you didn’t finish everything on your plate at your favourite restaurant.
Knowledge of Hunger
- Are you aware of the difference between being peckish, hungry and ravenous? What is your body really saying? Are you tempted to indulge out of habit, emotion or stress? Or do you just want to enjoy a muffin and coffee with your friends now and again or fish and chips because you’re at the seaside for the day? Is that OK? Don’t deny yourself what you enjoy or the events involving food that you want to remember in life. Is your body going to really enjoy this food? Is it what your body needs to feel satisfied right now? Are you going to feel like you are missing out if you abstain from something you actually really enjoy eating once in a while?
Learning to Leave
- How much of what’s on your plate do you think your body needs to satiate your present hunger? Even if you are really hungry when you sit down to eat, take your time to eat mindfully. Notice how much food you really need to satiate your hunger. Don’t worry about when you will eat again and if you might get hungry. Don’t refill your plate at the buffet table, just in case you might need something later. There is no need to store food. We live in a society where there is more than enough to go round. Have healthy, non-addictive snacks or even leftovers in your refrigerator, nuts, seeds or fruit in your car and a healthy snack in your bag if you want to.
- In this age of fast communication, we’re constantly being bamboozled with new ideas and trends for everything. This includes ways to lose weight, ways to get fit, get healthy, get sleep, get love, get happy, get rich, etc. The problem is that we are letting go of our inbuilt ability to find these things ourselves. We have come to believe that the more we pay for something, the better or more effective it is likely to be. You have a huge muscle in your toolbox called intuition that will be slowly waking up with the practices in this book. In the meantime, if your intuition doesn’t seem to have the answer and before you go and pay someone else to tell you what they think is the answer, look for the answer in nature. Our body’s cell memory is familiar with working with and in nature, eating naturally, breathing naturally, sleeping naturally, healing naturally, communicating naturally and even being entertained naturally. It will welcome the familiarity of these traditional practices that may have lain dormant in your cells for too long. And your body will respond accordingly, with bliss and health.
- We have not evolved to deal with emotions like the ones we face in the 21st century. Almost all illness, disease, even injury can be attributed to stress. Stress from life’s events, from the environment, from our lifestyle, it all adds up. Top it off with an eating disorder that is directly attached to the emotions, where in its extremes we starve or binge, and we are asking a heck of a deal from our bodies. If we want to be happier, we need to focus on our health. If we want to have good health we need to focus on our happiness. That is done through healing. The three are beautifully interconnected and yet inseparable. Hence they form the principles of this book.
If this resonates with you, read on. Surf this site and invest in more BodyMAGIC!
You can make a real start today by ordering Chinmayi’s book BodyMAGIC! – an End to Emotional Eating Forever HERE.