Meditation For Weight Loss, Everything You Need To Know To Get Started!
We have heard the term ‘ meditation ‘ being bandied around for some years now, it has made its way into mainstream conversation, and we come across it almost daily on digital media, talk shows, podcasts, via adverts for apps on our phones, in movies and even on the radio.
This relaxed acceptance is a profound change in attitude and general misconception that was widely held by most people in many countries around the world until at least the late 1960s, when global culture underwent massive upheaval spawning the emergence of social consciousness, the civil rights movement, not only in America but across the globe.
Added to this were the rise of feminism, environmentalism, the beginning of gay rights, and the burgeoning hippie counter-culture. The schism between the socially accepted norms of the more conservative 1950’s clashed violently with the curiosity of the new generation. It was from this cauldron of mistrust and distaste, born out of fear of change that the practice of Meditation was unfairly considered and labeled to be either satanic, for ‘those weed smoking hippies’, a form of mind control used by the enemies of the West from the cold war or even as something only slightly dodgy foreigners or cult leaders used to lead good, clean living youth astray. Thankfully, how far we have come, although perhaps still not far enough.
What Then, is Meditation
I can think of at least 12 “types” of Meditation off the top of my head. Still, to break it down slightly, there are forms of philosophical Meditation, religious Meditation, transcendental Meditation, mindfulness meditation, visualization meditation, and focussed Meditation. Perhaps another way to understand what Meditation is. To put it in a simple, pure form would be to call it contemplation, pondering, directed or focussed thought, or reflecting. After all, a rose is still a rose by any other name.
What is the Point of Meditating?
If nothing else, learning most forms of Meditation will significantly help you to manage your stress levels (which could reduce your raging cortisol levels, a good thing for weight loss), bring a sense of calmness, and induce relaxation, which in turn frees your body to sit in resting homeostasis, a wonderful treat for your bodies various systems to balance, repair and to be more functional. Alas, Meditation alone is unlikely to offer you a miraculous weight loss solution, but it can be highly effective in supporting and enhancing your weight loss journey. Meditation practice aims to facilitate a sense of peace and calm, helps you slow down your racing thoughts, plus you learn to be still, look at, and understand any of your negative thoughts, and then let them go.
The use of Meditation by Holistic Practitioners to Potentially Assist with WeightLoss:
Excess weight and unhealthy lifestyles are not only physical problems; they are often symptoms of deeper, underlying emotional issues that need to be looked at, healed, and then let go of.
In this regard, regular meditation practice can significantly help you move towards a more happy, stable, and integrated version of yourself. For example, if you believe that you are not beautiful but that you are also unworthy of being loved for who you are, you may struggle to shift those extra pounds as you need emotional support to heal and learn to love yourself. Once that happens – and it is not always an easy or quick process, you would be amazed at how your body, mind, and soul respond, and everything else just starts to become easier for you. There are so many options available if you want to investigate this yourself. You can download various apps for your phone, there are often classes at community centers, and you may decide a mindfulness retreat would suit you or see a private teacher or therapist.
Here are a few styles of Meditation that could be helpful in your weight journey:
- Guided Meditation: This is led by a guide or teacher who uses descriptive word imagery to lead you to form mental pictures that you find helpful or relaxing. You could use this to ‘see’ yourself as slim, healthy, and happy.
- Loving Kindness Meditation: is usually practiced sitting comfortably and relaxed. You would breathe deeply and then say the words, “May I be happy, May I be well, May I be safe, May I be peaceful and at ease.” You will direct this loving-kindness to yourself for a while and then repeat the mantra, replacing the “I” with “you” while picturing a loved one who needs kind thoughts. This Meditation works towards being kind to yourself, which is helpful when you are dieting and have perhaps had a bad day or overindulged. This works well as once you have learned this form, you can use it anywhere and anytime you want, although I suggest perhaps saying the words in your head should you be in a public place!
- Visualization Meditation: could be uniquely aligned with your weight loss goals, as you will learn to be still and calm before learning how to visualize yourself with your desired outcome. You can create a movie about You and the life you want to lead!
- Mindfulness Meditation: is perhaps one of the forms that may take slightly longer to master but is very well worth the time and effort for the benefits you will derive. Mindfulness Meditation is the process of being fully present with your thoughts. Being mindful means being aware of what we are doing and what we are, but not reacting to what’s happening around us. You observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment. This can be done anywhere, at any time of day, even on your commute to work. This can be so helpful when you are feeling discouraged regarding your weight loss, and it will help you understand what is going on within your mind and emotions, thus giving you the chance to overcome blockages that may be slowing your progress.
There are, as previously mentioned, many forms of Meditation. However, it is such a vast and interesting subject that you would only benefit from further research, plus your dinner conversation could get a lot more interesting!
On a more serious note, any form of meditation you choose to try for yourself, either through apps. Podcasts or teachers will only enhance your daily life, which in itself will make a start to your weight loss journey so much easier. If this is all utterly foreign to you, chat to people about it, ask questions and try to find a teacher or guide who can help you on your way. It is often gentler on yourself to take lessons from an experienced guide or therapist as sometimes deep, painful thoughts and memories rise to the surface, and you would benefit from the presence of an empathetic coach. If this is not possible, perhaps reach out to a trusted friend or family member to join you and support you.
Using Meditation For WeightLoss
Meditation no longer carries the same stigma that it did in those dark old days of ignorance, which means that these days you can go boldly, bravely, and with enthusiasm towards an engaging, enlightening and essentially an adventure to discover who you are and who you want to be. Use the guidance of Meditation to lead you to create the new version of yourself that You want to live, your new reality. See yourself as the healthy, slim, active, and happy person you will be after all of your hard work and lifestyle changes that you are learning to implement.