I dislike it when people come to us for a “quick fix” when it comes to losing weight. When I first started working at Mandala last year, I really had no idea all the things we as a society are up against when it comes to maintaining better health. I didn’t realize or even think that my parent’s health and even my health had anything to do with what how the environment and the media were influencing us. There are so many mixed messages out there telling a consumer the do’s and don’t(s) around eating. If I were to do a search on the Internet and look for all better health or how to maintain a healthier lifestyle I get so confused about everything.
The Perfect Body Image
I recently had a baby five months ago, and the truth is I am a bit self-conscious about my body right now. The weight is slowly coming off, and there is a part of me that would like it all off yesterday! However, I realize thinking this way about my body is counterproductive. If I had the same mindset I had even two years ago, I would be hitting the gym five days a week and jumping on the weight scale everyday making sure the weight is coming off. These days, I am conscious of the weight; I am just not that concerned about it. It’s slowly coming off, and I am taking conscious steps to work it off, but I am not driving myself, my husband or even the baby crazy over trying to take it off. I have come to realize that there is no perfect body image, and once I have let go of this belief; I am so much happier. I know the media is interested in getting me to buy things to lose weight fast – why? To suggest that I will have a better love life with my husband, or if I’m thinner, I will have all of the things to make me happy. But to be happy I should follow “this diet” or this exercise regimen.
In the end, I need to do what’s best for me. This means turning off that morning show, or putting down that Glam Magazine in the Grocery Checkout lane, or not reading another Facebook post on how someone lost a gazillion pounds.
Why we all love the Biggest Loser and Why no one loses weight that way
It’s fun to watch someone else break free of their old selves and turn themselves into someone new, but is that happening there? Are they are making themselves into a new person? The harsh reality is no they are not. Why? Because when the camera lights go off, and the big name personal trainers go away, all those individuals are left with is themselves. If those contestants never changed their mindsets and a lot of other things when they got home, then they were bound to gain all the weight back. It’s very similar to a lottery winner that wins a ton of money and then goes broke. Why do they go broke time and time again? I would argue it’s their mindset towards money and how they felt about money caused them not to have money in the first place. When they won all that money, they were not equipped with the tools of managing it or even what to do with it when it was coming in.
Forget about weight loss. It’s not the answer.
It’s not about weight. It’s about living the life you want to live. It’s about your mind and body working together. If I am at the Starbucks line and arguing with myself about buying a cake pop, then that’s my mind and body working against each other. That event in itself probably ended up being a stressful event even if I didn’t buy that cake pop because I wanted it so badly. Raising cortisol levels are never a good thing, and that’s what would have happened at that moment. Increasing cortisol levels also causes impedes weight loss so so much for avoiding that cake pop. It’s one thing to be “tough” on myself, and it’s another thing altogether to be in tune with my body.
It also means living the life live I have envisioned for myself. If I live my life the way, I have always wanted to then I would have unmuted my dreams and tried to make them more reality. Do you think having the perfect body type would be a priority for me if I were living the life I wanted? We live in a social media society where people get likes for great selfies or “looking good”. I think the social media world and the media, in general, takes our eye off the ball. I think if I surrounded myself with the people I wanted around me, I had a career that was gratifying and lived life each day with energy and vigor then I don’t think I would ever really have a weight problem. To be completely honest, for the past few years I have tried to create this sort of life for myself, and it has yielded some pretty great results. I certainly never thought I would end up in the Quad Cities after living in Los Angeles for ten years.
If you would like more information about our Lifestyle Program, then visit our clinic every Wednesday at 6 PM.
Rumaisa Rahman Khawaja
Director of Outreach & Media Relations
Mandala Integrative Medicine