As I was driving to the station on my way to French class this week, I heard a news item about some offensive cards targeting fat people on the Tube in London. As I had missed the details, after I boarded the train I googled the story to find out what had really occurred.
When I read what the card had said, I thought it was rude and disgusting, and decided that it was another case of ‘us’ versus ‘them’, as I talked about in my blog last week:
I had taken my usual seat in the corner of the carriage, and the train filled up pretty quickly. A few stations later, a large plus-sized man came to sit in the only remaining seat just in front of me, beside a man of average build.
I noticed that the large man was encroaching on the space of the average man, and I could see from the way that he tried to shuffle himself closer to the wall that the average man felt a little uncomfortable.
I realised that this morning’s train journey was giving me a look at both sides of the coin.
Whilst the offensive cards on the London Underground never mentioned it, I wondered if such discomfort had been a catalyst for some of the strong feelings displayed by the Overweight Haters’ message.
Whilst I still judged the message as rude and insensitive, I began to understand that there is always two sides to every story.
I have had a glimpse of both sides of this issue.
About ten years ago, I was about 20 kilograms heavier than I am now. Whilst I was never huge, I did have someone call me fat in a derogatory way on more than one occasion. I know how painful it can be to be seen as inferior in some way.
Yet, I have also had a huge man sit next to my now-slim body on the train. Although he was doing his best to avoid it, his hot heavy legs and arms against mine left me feeling very uncomfortable, as I squeezed myself as close as possible to the train carriage wall.
I can also understand how someone could become upset that a group of others are consuming more of the NHS pie, but I wonder if Overweight Haters, themselves, have changed to a vegan diet, which is a proven way to maintain health and reduce the need for any NHS intervention.
A lot of people think that it was my becoming vegan which allowed me to lose my 20 kilograms of excess weight. They are often surprised when I tell them that the thing I found most effective in producing weight loss was meditation.
My weight loss was a gradual process.
The first part of the process involved my recognising that I needed to change. This only occurred after I had a heart check, and discovered that I had a mild build-up in my arteries. At this stage I was still eating a few meat products and a lot of fatty fried foods, and I rarely exercised.
I realised that I needed to love my body enough to improve the quality of the food I was putting into it, and get regular exercise.
The second part of the process was learning to meditate.
As I learned to meditate, I had a closer relationship with my authentic self. This relationship led me to the food I needed to eat, to the people I needed to meet, and to the desire to reduce my impact on animals. My intuition and spiritual helpers became easier to hear and easier to follow.
The third part of the process involved learning a method of energy healing. Like Reiki, Quantum Bioenergetic Energy Healing, along with my balanced mostly-organic diet, allowed me to maintain balance within my body.
The fourth part of the process was becoming vegan.
From the time I began to love my body and improve its intake, my diet had become more and more vegetarian, but I still hadn’t taken the final step. I finally realised that I could never be fully healthy whilst I continued to consume the products of pain and suffering.
It was only after becoming vegan that I could look back and realise that I had been storing guilt in my body in the form of fat. I had stored it there as a way to protect myself. It was only after becoming vegan that I could truly forgive myself for all of the suffering that I had caused to other beings. With this forgiveness, I was releasing my guilt and the last of my excess weight.
I still feel guilty from time to time, when I eat too many chocolates or desserts, but I know that any weight that I regain is not a result of my eating those things, but of the guilt which I begin to store in my body.
I have been re-reading a book written by the founder of the Meditation Society of Australia, sunirmalya symons – The Simplest Book God Ever Wrote, which I think should be compulsory reading for everyone on the planet. This little book reminded me that the answer to every question is love, and that the cause of any problem is lack of love.
This applies equally to the problem of obesity as it does to the problem of cruel and insensitive haters. The cause is lack of love – the solution is more love.
So if anyone asks me for a recommendation on how to lose weight, my answer would have to be: “More love”.
But you don’t need to look for love outside of yourself. You have all the love within you that you will ever need, and the best way to find it is through meditation.
Once you discover the love within yourself, you need only to apply it – first to yourself and then to others. As you begin to want to share your love, you may find it possible to love those who encroach on your space in the train, or even those calling you derogatory names.
Each of the processes I went through involved applying love – firstly – loving my body enough to nourish and exercise it properly, secondly – finding the love within during meditation, thirdly – loving myself with energy healing, and fourthly – loving myself by loving other beings and not contributing to their suffering.
Love is the answer to all questions.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net