When it comes to weight loss we tend to think of it as a problem that needs to be solved, and one that is serious and potentially fraught. What if this was not the case? What if relaxing and relying on the innate wisdom that is within each of us was part of the solution?
- Why we say that in this understanding there is very little ‘doing’ that is necessary
- How being relaxed and loose can aid the reception of insight and wisdom
- How finding a solution to an overeating habit is not all on our shoulders
Resources Mentioned in this Episode
- Michael Neill’s book The Inside Out Revolution
- My book It’s Not About the Food
Transcript of this episode
Hello explorers and welcome to Q&A episode 33 of Unbroken. I’m your host, Alexandra Amor.
Today the question I’m going to explore is, how does relaxation help with weight loss?
This question came about because recently I gave a friend a copy of Michael Neill’s book, The Inside Out Revolution and I was reflecting on my experience reading that book, when I first was introduced to this understanding by a friend. I tell this story in It’s Not About the Food. I got two thirds of the way through the book, and my friends checked in with me and said, “How are you enjoying it? What do you think about the book?”
I said, “I really like it. It’s really great. He’s got a very engaging writing style. And I feel like I’m learning some things, but he hasn’t told me what to do yet.” And she said, “No, that’s right. And he’s not going to.”
At the beginning of exploring this understanding, I couldn’t really grasp or get my head around why it was that people said that there’s not a lot, if any, doing in this understanding. Why is it that, that they’re not giving me things to do? Like, rules to follow, or checklists to go through, or that kind of structure that we’re so used to, from, or at least I was, from the self-help world, and from the diet books, and the managing your eating books that I read for years and years and the classes that I took.
It was really puzzling to me that the teachers kept referring to this idea of doing less.
And so that’s where our question is pointing us today. I want to explore what that means and why it’s important.
A couple of different analogies occurred to me about this. So one is, is one that I heard from someone else somewhere else, and I can’t remember what it was, but the analogy is this: imagine that you’re having to have surgery, any kind of surgery. And the surgeon approaches you and is maybe taking you into the operating room. And imagine that there’s one scenario where the surgeon approaches you, and is really kind of tense and rigid, and just sort of uptight. And you can tell that this is a person who really follows the rules, and wants to get things done in a timely manner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but there’s just this rigidity about the person who is taking the situation very seriously. Almost to the point of making you nervous about what’s going on.
Versus having a surgeon who, while still equally competent, at the actual job of surgery is holding the situation much more lightly. So there’s an ease there and a comfort with themselves and with perhaps even relying on your body’s natural resilience and resourcefulness. And there’s a looseness about that person and a receptivity to creativity and new ideas. Inspiration, I guess would be the best word for that.
Which surgeon would you pick?
I definitely would pick the surgeon in the second scenario, because that’s a person who is going to be open to creativity and inspiration. And even if the situation is quite serious, even if the surgery is really important and maybe life saving there’s still something about the about holding that situation lightly and trusting all the elements in play. Trusting, like I said, the health and the resilience in the in your body, the person who’s being operated on, and trusting the wisdom and the creativity and the intelligence of the other people in the operating room.
The surgeon in the second scenario is not feeling like the outcome of this situation is 1,000% resting on her shoulders.
That surgeon understands that there’s more at play, and that she can rely on those things to guide her as she’s doing her job. And again, doing her job very competently, of course, she’s trained, and she’s skilled. And all of that is taking place, but there’s just this looseness, relaxation around the job that she’s doing. And so given that scenario, I would definitely choose that surgeon, the surgeon in the second scenario.
When I was preparing to press record here on this minisode, the other example I thought of, to illustrate this example that I’m sharing is that of sports. Now, I’m not a very sporty person. But my stepfather was really sporty. And he played all kinds of sports, and he watched all kinds of sports on TV. I would often overhear him talking maybe to my uncle or my brother about when a certain athlete was doing really well in their career. My stepfather watched a lot of baseball, my mom did, too, they really enjoyed it, and my brother, and often if one of the players was doing really well, hitting a lot of home runs, or making a lot of spectacular catches that kind of thing, John, my stepfather would talk about that person being in the zone. That’s a common sports descriptor.
He would often comment as well about how loose and relaxed to the person was.
When an athlete is performing really well, it seems to me from my very limited number of observations, given that I’m not very sporty, but when an athlete is doing really well at what they do, there’s a looseness to it, there’s a relaxed element to what’s going on.
I think all of what I’ve just shared is illustrative of the understanding that we’re exploring here, as it relates to ending an unwanted over eating habit.
So it might seem absurd that I’m using those two examples, but I think they point really well. And really clearly to I mean, we would almost call it performance. So a surgeon and an athlete are performing. And that’s definitely not what we’re doing when we’re trying to resolve an unwanted overeating habit. But navigating our way through life is certainly more pleasurable, and definitely more, we learn more, achieve more, accomplish more, in my experience, when we have that relaxed, loose approach to things rather than approaching something with a really kind of rigid, anxious approach or methodology, or whatever it is.
When it comes to this conversation about overeating and trying to resolve that habit, I knew I was guilty at the beginning of really, and I’m saying that without blame, it was just something that was happening of wanting to be told the rules, and of feeling like there was a certain amount of urgency or pressure on myself to resolve that problem that I had that overeating problem.
That makes total sense, because it was something that I had been dealing with for 30 plus years.
And it was something that was on on my mind, it felt like my full time job, it felt like I couldn’t get my life started until it was resolved. All of that created a lot of pressure within me to fix this and find the solution and manage my cravings and my overeating habit. And what I see now is that the in any given situation, including this one, resolving an overeating habit:
The more I can relax, and be loose with it and hold the situation really lightly, the more I can tap into Universal Wisdom.
The universal wisdom that’s always there for us, and is available in any moment. And at every any given time. And the more I see that, there’s really nothing I can do wrong, that everything is an exploration and that there is insight that’s just right there waiting for me.
People in this understanding, often use the expression that we’re one thought away from having a big shift in our understanding.
Going back to the surgeon and the athlete example, when we’re quite rigid and tense and feeling like the weight of the whole thing is on our shoulders. That is actually the circumstance that makes wisdom and insight. It could occur, but it’s, it’s a little more difficult for it to occur to us or to happen within us. And when we’re relaxed, that creates an environment that encourages wisdom and insight to make itself available to us.
How does relaxation aid weight loss?
Well, when we take a more relaxed approach to learning about this understanding, when we hold the situation that we’re in lightly, even though that can be difficult to do, and we just do it to the best of our ability, that creates the environment that makes wisdom and insight available to us. And we can begin to see that there is it’s not all on our shoulders, and there is so much universal wisdom available to us at all times.
There is wisdom within our cravings within the unwanted habit of overeating.
We can see that when we relax our ideas about how things should work and relax around the all the information that we have from the old paradigm of psychology, which is pathology based and is telling us that we’re broken, and that there’s something about us that we need to fix.
Instead, we can begin to see and begin to learn and grow and deepen our understanding about how well we actually are always that there’s never anything wrong with us. And that looking in that direction toward our wholeness. And our innate well being is what creates positive change. So that’s how relaxation can aid weight loss.
As ever, I hope this has been helpful for you, and hopefully for you. And if you have a question that you’d like me to explore on a future episode, please let me know you can go to AlexandraAmor.com/question, and fill out the form there and I’ll be happy to answer your question.
Until next time, take care. Talk to you soon. Bye.