Meditation is a subtle practice; for that reason, it’s important that we have a teacher to guide us. ~Unknown
Recently I shed more than thirty pounds without trying or intending to. I shared this news on social media one day, after stepping on a scale in my hotel room, I was shocked. I had lost over thirty pounds without being conscious of it.
After my “announcement”, people from all spheres of life bombarded me with their questions. Everyone wanted to know the secret behind my weight loss. I wanted to help, but to be honest, I didn’t really know what to tell them. Weight loss has many layers to it, and it is entirely individual to each person.
Many were hoping to hear about what pill they could take, or a new diet plan to adopt or hoping for a secret exercise program that they had not tried. What was the next Beach Body, paleo, ketogenic, South Beach, Crossfit fad – that was actually going to work for them? My answer to this riddle was unbelievable for most of my friends. But a handful said they would consider giving it a try.
I lost the weight because I started meditating.
Many of my friends felt baffled by my answer, but it was because of the meditation practice that helped me make lifestyle changes that led me to drop the extra weight I was carrying around for too long.
I was in graduate school at the time, and for homework, my professor prescribed meditation which I intended not to do. A month later during our next teacher/student review session, she said that I was not doing the meditation homework. She suggested that to lead someone down this road, I need to walk through the path myself.
I was amazed! How could she possibly tell I was not doing the meditation homework for a month? I was ashamed and I felt humiliated. The fact that my teacher knew I wasn’t meditating on a daily basis was enough to get me to do it.
I started right away. For twenty minutes a day, we were instructed to clear our minds and concentrate on our breath. It was so much harder. It was excruciating. This was the reason I messed it up in the beginning because I thought I already knew how to do it.
Sitting still was my first problem. I would keep moving but I did not give up. Initially, I thought I could not do it, and maybe meditation was for better people than me. Finally, after struggling each day for about two weeks – a shift happened.
It is just like learning any new thing, like when you are learning how to snowboard and the early days are tough when you are falling most of the time. But with practice, everything clicks, and one day you feel like you are floating on a cloud. It’s the same process when learning how to ride your bicycle. Or, when you are surfing and trying and getting beaten by the waves, and then finally you start gliding.
It felt good. It was a connection. After that experience, I finally understood how powerful meditation could be if you keep practicing it. As I gradually practiced more often, I began to notice that I could sit still and focus for much longer.
Eventually, I was able to maintain that feeling outside of the meditation. And this is when my life began to change.
I had a deeper connection to myself which made me feel good. This new feeling gave me a fresh perspective, a renewed esteem for myself, which propelled me to make some changes in my lifestyle.
When you meditate, you grow your self-love, Just like when you’re building muscles, self-love takes consistent practice. This, in turn, helps to improve your self-respect. Self-respect means to honor and care for yourself. This new inner feeling and self-awareness motivate you to take on healthier activities with your mind, body, and soul – which improves your life.
Meditation teaches you to listen to your inner voice. Once we get good at listening to that inner voice, we start to treat ourselves with greater care. For example, the voice inside me told me that I needed to start going to bed by 10 pm every night. It helped me to stop eating certain foods and motivated me to exercise outdoors every day. It nudged me to stop drinking alcohol.
These were some of the changes which I made, and as a natural byproduct, I lost thirty-plus pounds in a matter of months. I was surprised to see my transform body and could not even recognize myself in pictures. Meditation guided me to love myself better, and my fit body was the result.
I don’t know what habits you personally need to change for you to get a healthier, fitter body. We all have different habits that keep us from our best self, but meditation will give you the clarity to weed out whatever it is that you need to change.
Meditation clears away our head chatter – in other words, that which keeps us from being our best selves. Our heart will always be in a battle with the mind. Meditation helps us quiet the ego so the heart can talk.
When we approach weight loss as something we need to fight, obsessing over calories and punishing our bodies in workouts, it’s an uphill battle that’s difficult to win. An unhappy journey doesn’t lead to a happy destination. This method is exhausting and does not feel good in the end.
It’s time to try a new approach by loving yourself. When our emotions to rule us, we are ignoring our guidance system – our intuition, our inner wisdom which is the best option for our body. For example, most of us don’t eat consciously, but we eat emotionally.
Self-betrayal only leads us to more unhappiness and triggered eating. This is a painful cycle to be in, and it is important to break the cycle. The emotional weight that we carry manifests itself as physical weight. This sets a foundation for stagnation and eventually disease.
Meditation helps to stabilize your emotions. It helps you to break out of your thinking pattern, and think differently. Just free your mind and the rest will follow.
It also helps you develop self-awareness. Over time, as you allow meditation to soothe your mind, your need for comfort disappears. It enables you to realize that love comes from within and not from outside. When you understand this, you will no longer crave for it. Love is an unlimited resource located within yourself.
If you’re interested in a regular weight loss schedule, meditation is your key. But rest assured, it is not a quick fix. Regular meditation practice will automatically lead you toward some lifestyle changes that will lighten your load – physically, emotionally, and mentally. To get the hang of it, practice it and stick to it for a while. If I can do it, anybody can. Meditating daily will help you to remain connected to your inner guidance.
Looking back now, it astonishes me because I had no problem with the way I had been living and had no intention to change. I am thankful I had a teacher who led me to meditation and taught me to experience the benefits of it.
Only you realize what is best for you, and know your inner guidance – your heart, your intuition – will know the way. Meditation will help you hear that inner voice. Start a meditation practice today to become more productive – begin your best life today!