From: Gratitude Girl Carolyn
“Breathe. Give Thanks. Repeat.”
I woke up this morning knowing that it is my turn to post on the blog. I love this! I also woke up this morning obsessed with an idea about being overweight. About me being overweight! I figure I have to talk about being grateful, and I want to talk about being overweight so how can these two topics merge?
So, let’s start where we are:
Over two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.
Over one-third of U.S. adults are obese.
Less than one-third of U.S. adults are at a healthy weight. (Journal of the American Medical Association. 2010; 235–241.)
Only 31 percent of U.S. adults report that they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity. (National Center for Health Statistics)
That’s interesting, isn’t it? Almost the same percentage participate in physical activity as those who are at a healthy weight.
When I woke up with this topic on my mind, I immediately began to consider, “How can I be grateful for this extra 30 pounds I am carrying?” That’s a hard question. But a valid one. We continue to put forth the idea here and in our lovely little book, 30 Days of Gratitude (www.daysofgratitude.com), that everything that happens is worthy of our gratitude. Everything? Are you sure?
Shall I be grateful for this extra weight? Shall I give thanks for my jiggly butt and my wiggly triceps? Should I give thanks for the hip pain that accompanies my decreased mobility? Will I choose to be grateful for the clothes that seem to be getting smaller every time I wash them? And for the silhouette I glimpse as I walk past the picture windows of the stores downtown?
I say a resounding “Yes!”
Give thanks for the pain in your lovely earth body that alerts you when you are hurting it. Give thanks for your body’s response to all that extra food. Give thanks that you live in a society that has abundant food that is readily available. Give thanks that you can see and feel your shape. Give thanks that you really do know it is a simple matter, usually, of eating less and moving more to regain or stay at a healthy weight. Give thanks that somewhere in your mind, you remember how to have a healthy weight and a healthy body. Give thanks that your body reminds you to eat healthy food. Give thanks that you have a brain that can make decisions about food and exercise.
Give thanks that we have wonderful, instant access to valid health information available on this magnificent instrument called the internet. (www.mypyramid.gov) Give thanks that you can read this blog. Give thanks that your body still does respond to what you eat and how you move. Give thanks for the ability to shift your thoughts to health and well-being. Give thanks for the support groups that exist solely to share information and assistance and wisdom on this journey.
Give thanks that when you overeat, your body lets you know by feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes, really uncomfortable. Give thanks that you have ample hints to let you know your ideal weight. Hints such as the inability to climb a couple of flights of stairs easily. Hints that encourage you really to love yourself and get out for a walk. Give thanks that if I am in a grateful mood, really… then I can hear the chatter in my mind that keeps urging me to “take a walk, buy healthy, toss out the chips and the sugar laden junk, drink a glass of water, call a buddy, make a list, read a book, join a group, meditate, laugh, smile, be grateful.”
Our friends, Esther and Jerry Hicks and Abraham, make it very clear. “What you focus on increases.” As I laid in bed in the early morning and contemplated this blog, and you my friends, this sage advice became crystal clear. As if a beam of brilliant light was shining on this whole gratitude idea. Of course! Gratitude is the answer.
What we focus on increases. I can remove all resistance by focusing with gratefulness on every moment, every part of my body, on every thought, and on all the alternative ideas for my health that cross my mind. Instead of focusing with resistance on my weight, “I hate being overweight.” I can begin to focus my gratitude on the same thought. “I am grateful that I am overweight. My weight is a perfect indication from my magnificent body of what I am eating.” This thought, while focusing on the same theme, completely turns it towards the light. And it is true. My weight IS the perfect reflection from my body of what I eat, how much I eat and how much I move. Can you see the difference in these two thoughts?
One is painfully focused on shame and revulsion. The other is focused on celebrating the wonderful mechanisms in my body that respond to my actions. There is no blame or shame in the second sentence, just a celebration of the magnificence of my body’s ability to let me know I am overeating. So if I focus on the celebration of my body and its unerring reflection of my eating and physical activity level, I naturally will begin to be more grateful and more focused on its messages to me for health. And as I become more focused on my body’s perfect messages to me about my diet and exercise, it will naturally increase the celebration and the messages. “What we focus on increases.”
Consider the different messages we give our bodies.
“I hate my body. I look disgusting. I will never be thin.” And the universe increases the flow of hate and disgust and overweight. We are ordering from the storehouse of the universe exactly what we want through our words and thoughts. I think the universe might be saying, “Wow, dear one, I really hate that for you, but you are the boss, and what you just ordered for today’s experience is ‘hate, disgust and pain’.”
Or we might say:
“Thank you, my perfect body, for letting me know when I eat too much to maintain you in perfect health. Thank you for giving me pain in my joints to alert me to the need to exercise. Thank you for storing all the extra calories as fat deposits so I can clearly see and feel when I am not at a healthy weight.” And the universe might say, “Wow, dear one, we are so pleased to hear you praising the magnificent body that you have. We shall increase your willingness to heed the wonderful messages of your body to let you know when you are eating more than is necessary and when you should get up and move about. We shall increase your joy with the ability to decipher the perfect messages you body is giving you, and we shall easily and effortlessly help you pay attention to your diet needs and your physical needs as you are eating and planning your meals and your activities for the day.
So, am I grateful for this extra 30 pounds? You bet I am! Each extra pound is a perfect message from my magnificent body. Each extra pound and every aching joint is a perfect love letter from the body I came forth with to experience this world. Not only am I happy to have the ability to see and feel my diet and exercise choices so clearly expressed, I am grateful to have this space to explore my thoughts. And I am ever grateful for you, dear reader, as we journey together.
“Breathe. Give Thanks. Repeat.”