Affecting Obesity with Spiritual Truths (A Four Part Series)
Truth #2: Self-Love
by: Shannon McKeown, MS, LDN
“You are what you eat.”
– American Proverb
I am going to start each truth segment with these three startling statistics on obesity in order to set the stage for what is happening to the consciousness of Americans and the world. It is my passion and desire to turn back time to the age of the Norman Rockwell pictorials – a time when obesity never looked as if it would ever become an epidemic. What happened to us????
The Norman Rockwell picture of 1950’s America has certainly changed. According to the American Dietetic Association, Americans consume more than 500 more calories a day than a quarter century ago, which has 3 out of 4 Americans overweight or obese.
According to the CDC, the evidence of an epidemic is everywhere:
More than 190 million Americans are overweight or obese.
Obesity related diseases are a $147 billion medical burden on the healthcare system.
Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years.
According to a forecast analysis from Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., “the U.S. weight loss market is worth 60.9 billion dollars. Out of the estimated 75 million dieters in America, the typical dieter now makes 4 weight loss attempts per year to lose weight – the highest number in 15 years.”
Self-love and self-worth are connected to conscious eating and consciousness. Your thoughts are not just ethereal beliefs or ideas that enter your mind and then disappear. How you think and feel can have a profound effect on your ability to perform and achieve the goals that you have set for yourself, and manifest your desires. When you are sure that you are worthy and love yourself, any achievement is within your grasp. In the space of self-love and worthiness, you relax and look for solutions such as realizing your wholeness, rather than dwelling on your problems. You are also more likely to imagine yourself without food relationship struggles then to stay mired in an unhealthy food relationship that produces illness and dis-ease. What the mind expects, it will find. If you anticipate health and happiness, then you will experience each of those. Thinking positively may sound like a simple shift in consciousness, as it is, but it also comes from the mindset and value of self-love and self-worth.
Within you are voices that often compete for your attention. It can be difficult to decide which one to listen to, particularly when their messages are all quite different, and sometimes conflicting. The One Voice, however, only speaks the language of truth. Among all your inner voices, the voice that IS quintessential LOVE is the one that encourages you, gives you hope, and urges you to trust and believe in yourself. Struggle within oneself is often caused by conflicting voices inside of you. As you move through life, you get an assortment of messages from the various aspects of yourself. Some of your voices, such as the saboteur and the victim can speak so loudly that they drown out the voice of truth. Listening to the voice that IS quintessential LOVE will help you resolve internal conflict, so that your every expression is that of God’s love emanating self-love. The more you listen to and believe in what the One voice is telling you about your value (self-love and self-worth), the stronger that voice will become. Saying NO to the voices that are judgmental and make you feel ashamed will help you stop being afraid of taking the next step to realize your wholeness, raise your consciousness, and thus improve your food relationship struggles, and bring forth vibrant health.
Many people, in seeking out love, tend to look outward rather than inward. Sound familiar? Yet falling in love with yourself can be just as wonderful an experience as falling in love with someone else. While the idea may seem odd at first, even conceited or selfish, choosing to fall in love with who you are is a powerful act of self love. When you fall in love with yourself, you cannot help but experience God. When you begin to look at yourself with fresh eyes, noticing the magnificence of what makes you unique, you discover how much there is about you to fall in love with and you cannot help but want to treat your body temple as lovingly and respectfully as you would treat anyone else who is special to you.
Upon this revelation….being overweight, taking medications for hypertension, high cholesterol, being inactive and the other things that you have created with low vibrational choices – you will not want to continue any longer. You will not tolerate this expression or ignore it anymore. You will be pro-active in making the necessary changes to elevate your consciousness and it will involve a mostly whole food/plant based eating plan that is your Divine Self expressing wholeness and food consciousness.
Choosing to fall in love with yourself is a very personal process that takes time. There is no “genie in the bottle” that will snap its finger to make this happen. But there is the power of intention and the power of your Divine Self expressing that will motivate you to make necessary changes. Falling in love with yourself will encourage you to take inventory of all your wonderful qualities, teach you to nurture yourself with nature’s bounty, go to your center in silence, and become physical active.
Self-love is really important in a world still comprised of low vibrational people who may not like you. Remember like attracts like, so when you run across a person who does not like you – it is most likely because they are not of your energy. Rather than taking it personally, you can let them be who they are, accepting we all have different perspectives. But more importantly you are not taking it personally because you love yourself and do not need their approval. While approval from others is a nice feeling, when you come to depend on it, you weaken your foundation of self-love. As you reap the benefits of loving yourself, one of the most rewarding benefits will be your relationship with God that has a direct connection to all your other relationships in your life including food. The need for you to have everyone like you will be replaced by the joy of discovering that you are attracting like minded people to your life – people who are like you and understand and appreciate the truth of who you are. Living your life in the light and love of God transcends limitations and empowers you to “NOT live to eat”, but rather, “eat consciously to live.”
Begin a new conscious routine of attracting the natural bliss of life into your being by starting each morning taking several deep grounding breaths. Reaffirm the love you have for yourself. Say aloud a self-directed loving prayer that enables you to access and awaken your soul into making choices for your spiritual well-being and body temple health. Before you leave the warmth and comfort of your bed, be sure to tell Spirit that you are eager to accept the blessings “It” has set aside for you and that you will be operating during this day in consciousness. As you prepare to meet the day, visualize yourself enveloped in the energy of God with a bright light guiding you to fulfill your spiritual well-being. Gradually widen the circle of light until you are able to send it ahead into your future and then “be” in awe of what awaits you. Each morning as you acknowledge your love of self and love of Spirit, this practice
will ensure that your day is suffused with grace and movement in consciousness. Love is all there is….if you have self-love you automatically have self-worth.
About the author:
Shannon has both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in foods and nutrition. She holds a state license as a professionally credentialed dietitian and nutritionist. Shannon utilizes a more natural and holistic nutritional model inspired from her employment with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, where she was drawn to the stories told by the medicine man about how the Seminoles were in tune with nature as their physician. This experience re-awakened her to a very old truth by Hippocrates: “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Armed with this new inspiration, Shannon did extensive research during her graduate studies regarding heart disease and the many natural, therapeutic benefits of foods, such as: citrus for cholesterol management; plants like aloe vera and spices like cinnamon that improve glucose control; and super fruits that reduce inflammation and build immunity – just to name a few.
(At the time of this publication, Shannon lived in Austin, Texas, but she has since moved our of our area. We wish her well!)