Why do I still struggle with food issues 18 years after going raw? I lost about 45 lbs. in the first few months of being a raw vegan. 18 years later I’ve put back on about 15 of those pounds, which isn’t bad, considering I’m now 43, have had 5 children, home-school and run a business. Also I’ve built some muscle, which weighs quite a bit more than fat. But what I don’t like is my often erratic relationship with food.
Sometimes I cruise along eating 100% raw for months at a time, and I’m really grateful that I have those times! I’m grateful for the days I don’t think about food, and for the times I’ve managed to do a water fast. I’m grateful that I enjoy exercise more and more as I get older, that I enjoy movement, and that I like a lot of things about my body. I’m grateful that I am happy with who I am and learning to fully accept myself, the whole package, inner and outer, as I am.
That acceptance and self-love is a new development, on this level anyway, for which I have in part to thank the book “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson.
I mentioned that for periods of time I do fine with my relationship with food. But then there are also times of stress, whether financial or emotional stress, or whether related to my children or my work, or times when I may stagnate in my spiritual growth, or I experience disappointment, low energy, or depression. During these times my relationship with food is not so healthy. Sometimes I will eat constantly, eat too much, eat things I know are not good for me, indulge in cooked foods and even junk foods, stay up too late, stress too much, stop working out, stop drinking water. It would puzzle me that after all this time, I could still be battling these demons. It would puzzle me that being a raw vegan for so long did not heal my food addictions or my self-destructive behaviors.
Through working in this field and talking with hundreds of people online in my 21 Day Raw Cleanse and 28 Day Transition-to-Raw Program, and through my own experiences, I had begun to realize that going raw was not the complete answer to healing our relationship with food. It is the greatest diet in the world, no doubt! And plants are obviously the most natural and most nourishing foods available. But I realized that if we do not desire to live, then we will find ways to hurt ourselves even on the best diet in the world.
So, I began to focus on the things that brought me the greatest joy and peace and “life”. These included love, positivity, happiness, forgiveness, pleasure, time out, and dedication to doing my best work in the world. To anchor these things in my life took a lot of journaling and a lot of praying. And I began to write about these things, and developed a motivational “happiness” or “well-being” program to go along with our diet and exercise programs.
I so much enjoyed writing this program, that I thought I would like to write a book called “Spiritual Weight Loss”. I googled it to see if anyone else had done it, and “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson came up. Marianne is a best-selling author of many books based on “A Course in Miracles”, including “A Woman’s Worth” and “A Return to Love”. After she started reading “A Course in Miracles” she automatically dropped all her excess weight without particularly trying to. “A Course in Miracles” is a spiritual teaching about the nature of God. The main philosophy of “The Course” is that love and fear are opposites, and where there is fear there can be no love, and where there is love there can be no fear. They cancel each other out.
Hence the teaching in “A Course in Weight Loss” describes our excess weight, our dysfunctional relationship with food, as a manifestation of our fears. To be free of these fears, we simply need to love ourselves completely. So a lot of the exercises in the book are designed to help us love and accept the unloved places within us. And as you practice this, you stop counting calories and thinking about food and playing the hate games with yourself, and your whole life just starts to come in to balance and harmony, you find meaning in your life, everything makes sense and you become whole. And all the reasons you abused food are gone, and the habit of abusing food simply dies away as if it never was.
Many of the chapters in “A Course in Weight Loss” mirror my own daily exercises in the motivational section of our Go Raw Programs. Marianne Williamson and I both write about conscious eating, loving yourself, surrendering, allowing yourself to feel your feelings, allowing yourself to feel pain, putting together a support network, finding ways to embrace discipline, the importance of and methods for forgiveness, and doing your true work in the world.
Here are some of the beautiful concepts you’ll find in “A Course in Weight Loss”
“Love is that which both created and sustains you. It’s both your connection to your true reality and your alignment with the positive flow of the universe. Remembering this Divine truth – that love is who you are – is key to your healing, for your relationship to food is an area where your nervous system has lost the memory of its Divine intelligence. As you remember your own Divine truth, the cells of your body will remember theirs”.
“Reconnection to your spiritual reality is achieved through a force called here Divine Mind. It is a gift from God that will return you to your sanity, whenever you choose to call on it. Your compulsion is a place where, in your spiritual forgetfulness, you go temporarily insane if even for a moment – just long enough to open the bag of potato chips that’s the trigger to your binge food mania”.
“The consciousness of the human race is dominated by fear, which has coalesced in your life in the form of a particular behavioral pattern: compulsive overeating. In doing this course, you will command the spirit of fear to depart”.
“The power of love is perfect, creative, self-organizing, healthy, self-healing, and abundant. The power of fear is insane, destructive, violent, disease producing, and lacking. It expresses itself as an impostor self, perverting your true nature and making you behave in a way that is opposite of who you truly are. It is spiritually immature to underestimate the power of either of these two forces. Both of them are active, and both of them have their eyes on you. One wishes you well, and the other wishes you dead”.
“Whether or not you are a food addict is something only you can say. Every food addict is a compulsive overeater, but not every compulsive eater is an addict. The principles in this course apply to both”.
Jinjee’s note: In my opinion this course/book would benefit anyone who experiences any kind of self-destructive behavior, ever!
“It’s all right if this part of your journey is not pleasant. Part of your repatterning is learning to be with unpleasantness in a healthy way. The mature and sober person knows that on some days things simply feel rotten, and that is okay. You are learning to move through distress by simply being with it, without the need to overeat or to act out in any other way”.
“The weight you are seeking to let go of was added to your consciousness before it was added to your body. Your body is merely a screen onto which is projected the nature of your thoughts. When the weight is gone from your consciousness, it will be gone from your physical experience. In asking God to remove the cause, you automatically remove the effect”.
“A Course in Weight Loss” contains 21 chapters with 21 Exercises to help heal your relationship with food. I am recommending this book as an additional and optional study aid for our 21 Day and 28 Day Go Raw Programs. In the online forum for these programs, in the next sessions starting March 14th 2011, we will have a “Group” in the community for those who would like to do the 21 Exercises day-by-day together, and discuss them in the online community. If you would like to join in you can purchase “A Course in Weight Loss” here…
You can participate in our 28 Day Transition-to-Raw Program starting March 14th and/or our 21 Day Raw Cleanse starting April 11th and work through “A Course in Weight Loss” in a supportive online forum while eating a 100% raw vegan diet! I believe that Marianne’s book will help our participants stick with the program, and that eating a raw diet while reading “A Course in Weight Loss” will give readers the mental clarity to fully absorb these incredible lessons!
Click here to register early or find out more: The Garden Diet “Go Raw” Programs