How Meditation Helped Me Beat Stress and Lose Weight
I was doing everything right. Eating well (most of the time!) and getting a good amount of exercise every week, yet those last 25 pounds refused to bid adieu forever. I work as a writer and go through the usual rigors of tough deadlines and hard-to-please clients on a daily basis. Then a few months back while having coffee with an old friend, I came across an interesting solution to my weight problem.
The first thing my friend said after seeing me was, “You look stressed!” Now I did have a lot on my plate that week, but was surprised that it was so obvious. My friend on the other hand looked calm and collected, with a relaxed air about her. How she manages it, I wondered, given that she was holding down two jobs and bringing up a child as a single parent. So I probed, and what I learned has changed my life forever. I am finally at a healthy body weight, and have never felt better, thanks to meditation for weight loss.
Using Meditation for Weight Loss
Yeah, I was surprised too when I fist heard about that. You can meditate and lose weight? Whoa!! How does that even work? Then again my friend was the perfect example sitting right in front of me. She is in fabulous shape, but more importantly, cheerful and showed no signs of stress at all. That afternoon she pointed out that I was doing plenty for my body, but nothing for my mind. I had no idea that stress was actually keeping the weight on me, so I followed my friend’s instructions and since they worked so well, here they are for those who wish to give it a try.
How it Works
When I realized that stress was the enemy, I knew I had to start paying attention to calming my mind. There is no denying the fact that as long as there is life and its travails, there will be stress. So I decided to consciously manage it through meditation and visualization. Meditation increases awareness, and once I started becoming more aware of raised stress levels, I was able to immediately back away from that state of mind and instead focus on doing something pleasant, like playing a favorite song or watching Seinfeld DVDs.
Meditation and Eating Patterns
Earlier I would finish a telephone conversation about payments or backlogs and immediately reach for food to make me feel better. Once I started meditating on a regular basis, I was so much more in control over my emotions! Because of this, I felt no need for just a small bite of that walnut brownie sitting in my fridge. Whenever I want food to beat stress, I am now able to step away from that feeling and instead deal with the real problem on my mind.
My study is the perfect spot for some peace and quiet, and of course the phones remain unplugged when I meditate. The lotus position works best, but do not worry about it and sit any way that feels most comfortable. Pay attention to what you are wearing. Loose clothing that lets you breathe is important. Focus on your breathing and let the thoughts that crowd your mind come and go. It will take time to master control over your thoughts so for simply ignore them. The next step is to use the strongest tool at your disposal –visualization. When I meditate, I visualize myself at my favorite holiday spot, lighter, happier and best of all, relaxed.
Long periods of meditation do not work for someone like me with crazy schedules, so I started off with 15 minutes every morning. It has been about four months now and I have extended each session to somewhere between 25 to 30 minutes. Start small, as even a 10-minute meditation session when done regularly and diligently, can work wonders for your weight loss goals. I cannot reiterate enough how much benefit I have derived from meditation, both physical as well as emotional. I feel great and those last few pounds do not bother me that much any more. Eventually, I know they will be gone too.