The new weight loss regime does not involve losing weight

It happened again. Another client that came to me for weight loss and even though, at the end of the program, they had NOT lost the amount of kilos that they wanted to, they still left satisfied. This is a trend I am noticing and something I want to share of my experience because I've seen enough now to feel like I can make a fairly bold statement.

Weight loss has nothing to do with losing weight. 

When I work with a client in Ayurveda, we focus on the person, not the disease. This means, that I look for the things that make that person vibrant and alive, and it could be anything in their life. Such as - Where do they like to spend time? What are the activities they are not giving themselves the permission to pursue? Do they really not have enough time in the day, let's look at that. When was the last time they felt good, and why? Which part of the day do they like best? 

And from here I unravel a story, I start to see which activities they really love, for example roast chicken on a Sunday brings the family together and there's so much fun and laughter at the table. Right - leave the roast chicken alone.

Christina Hendicks - that lady from Mad Men that finally brought back full figured as something to be proud of.

Christina Hendicks - that lady from Mad Men that finally brought back full figured as something to be proud of.

There is this idea that Ayurveda means I'm going to ask you to eat dahl from now on. I might just for a cleanse sake, but it's not part of the education. The education is to learn about the signs and symptoms and where you are truly and sincerely content and happy. For example you might eat roast chicken every day because you think it makes you happy but then secretly feel like shit when you look in the mirror each morning. So signs and symptoms means let's lay off the chicken except on Sundays.

What I've found is the best way to look at weight management is to look at every other part of the clients life but the weight issue, to begin. Weight has associations. And it has heavier associations than the actual food. The food is the carrier of the associations, meaning you think something and then you take that thought, like cream cheese, and put it on whatever food you're about to put in your mouth.

You've heard the joke some folks say of themselves ' I just need to look at it and I put on weight'. They've nailed it. It's the self worth issues that's the problem, NOT THE FOOD. They just ate their own thoughts of themselves.

Clients will often come to me with a particular amount of weight they had in mind and it's usually associated with a time in their life. When I was 60 kgs I was the happiest they would say, and therefore, in their mind, being 60 kgs means being that happy person again. It should all come as a package. 

My approach is this. Instead of focusing on the 60kgs and being miserable because those health food shortcuts are just bloody awful to eat and are not real food, how about focusing on those things that made you happy first and foremost. Introducing lifestyle changes with diet, and I mean food habits, in mind to create a health system where you have a strong and REAL appetite (not emotional), have healthy bowel movements, have a stable mind and no digestive issues AND you're doing things in your life that you love and you don't remember the last time you were pissed off or afraid to go out in public or depressed and sitting on your couch.

You've tried the direct method (diets, over exercise) for most of your weight conscious life and it hasn't worked. How about trying the indirect method of focusing on YOU instead (or what we call Prakruti in Ayurveda) and watching how the weight balances itself around you.

As client said to me "I don't seem to have lost that much weight off the scale but my clothes fit better and I feel skinnier and I'm getting compliments from people asking if I've lost weight. I just feel good and I think I look good."

Bingo. She told me that of HERSELF. She didn't wait for my validation. Bingo.

I had another client have a doctor tell her, whilst she was going in for a pap smear, that her BMI index was too much for her height. She didn't request information about her weight but was told anyway. She told me "Ordinarily that would have bothered me but these days doing my yoga and eating the foods I'm supposed to eat, I just ignored him and thought, I feel good about myself."

In both instances, I want to qualify, the clients were of a healthy weight for their Pitta/Kapha frame and their signs and symptoms showed that they were healthy in their daily bodily affairs. Comparing yourself to averages is going to yield comments on that average scale. And we all know you're unique. 

All I can say is that perception is a funny thing. We really do create ourselves by our thoughts and I sincerely believe this because I've seen it with my own eyes. Ayurveda is about shifting your perspective. It's about the realignment to your true nature. 

You can be happy at any point in your life.

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Sandra Radja

Established in 2012 The She Oak aims to provide healing through diet and lifestyle counselling as well as educational programs. I believe in teaching others to not only know their inherent constitutions that will best serve them but also how to help themselves should they mis-align with their true nature. Ayurveda treats the individual not the disease.