In today’s world, getting in shape physically is a more popular topic than how to get in shape mentally. Many people treat weight loss as one of their most important goals. Sometimes, the “weight loss” is associated with things that are unhealthy and even harmful. Yes, there are many weight losing plans and products that can harm your body, losing weight itself is not something evil. Imagine if you are 30 pounds overweight, wouldn’t it be good to your healthy if you can lose that 30 pounds in a healthy way at a healthy pace? Yet, up to this point, what does meditation has to do with losing weight? Let’s not explore whether meditation can play a role in weight loss and whether there are good and healthy ways to do it.
Does Meditation Have Anything to Do with Weight Loss?
First of all, let me clarify that I am focusing on losing weight healthily if you are overweight. In other words, this is not about losing weight quickly. It is about losing weight at a healthy pace in a healthy way. To do that, it is simple but not easy. I am pretty sure many people already know the right way yet they are just not determined enough to walk that path until they push through to completion. The method is simple: eat healthy and exercise more. Both eat heathy and exercise more are principles that cannot be wrong yet they require discipline in order for you to follow the plan consistently. Now, you may be able see a little bit of connection between getting in shape and meditation. Losing weight takes discipline and meditation indirectly gives you more discipline. Let me explain why.
The Struggle of Eating Healthily
Let me give you a few examples that you may be able to relate to regarding why we fail to eat healthy and spend time to exercise. Let’s talk about the eating part first. Let me cut to the chase. Unhealthy food are tasty. That’s sadly how things are. If we don’t have a clear mind, we can easily get attracted by the immediate benefit of eating a tasty and fat cake and ignore the related harm that comes with it. Logically speaking, we are valuing the first order consequence, the feeling good of eating the tasty cake, over the second order consequence, our body gaining weight. A clear mind can help us look at things more clearly and make it less likely for us to fall into this trap. Meditation is one of the most effective ways to make our mind clear and that’s why it can help regarding losing weight.
Exercising isn’t Difficult, You Just Don’t Do It
Exercising takes discipline. Let’s assume that you want to use running as your primary exercise. Let’s say you want to run 30 minutes a day. For those of you who have tried this type of plan before, you should already know that the running part isn’t that difficult. You are basically jogging or running at a comfortable pace anyway as you are not running for a competition. The difficult part is the “getting out of your home” part. Do these following excuses sound familiar to you. It’s too cold outside. It’s raining outside. I work too hard yesterday so I need more sleep today. We human have mental biases that cause us to believe our own reason (excuse). With a clear mind after meditation, you should have a higher chance to catch what are excuses and what are facts. The excuse is that it is only 10 degrees outside, while the fact is that you have a nice sport jacket that can keep you warm. The painful truth is that: if you don’t go outside and run right now, you are just simply lazy.
Meditation Helps You See Things as They are
Let’s briefly summarize my argument of why meditation can play a role in getting yourself in shape. Meditate can help clear your mind and therefore allow you to see things clearly or see things as they really are. By being about to see clearly that the tasty cake is going to cause you some weight and see that running is not tough and only the getting-out-of-home part is tough, it does increase our chance to eat more healthily and exercise a little more.
Having a North Star
There are a lot of times when you think you have a clear goal, but the fact is that you don’t really remember them so clearly all the time. If people can remember their goal and take action according to their plan, New Year resolution would work. I don’t know about you, New Year resolution has never worked on me. I have never seen it work on anyone. I consider it as one of the biggest myth in life. In order to truly move ourselves towards our goal, we need to have a very clear goal and we have to remind ourself about what the goal is and what actions are required for us to achieve that goal. That goal is your north star. You need to remind yourself everyday. One of my most useful habits that you can develop is to reflect on your goal and your process after your meditation. Meditation can help make your mind clear and strip away your egos. With such a clear mind, spend 5 minutes or even less to answer the following questions everyday. What are my goals? Are the goals clear? What is my real current status? What actions do I need to take today to move me towards my goal?
The Power of Habit Can Eventually Make Things Easier
It is very difficult at first to make ourself eat more healthy and to exercise more. We will need our clear mind and determination to help us push through. But things don’t remain that difficult forever. Over time, eating healthy and exercise daily can become your habits and it will take you much less mind power to stick to your plan and move towards your goal. In my case, it usually takes me about two months to develop a habit if I do it daily. Some people believe that developing a habit takes around 3 months or more. The actual length doesn’t matter that much. I can guarantee you that things will get easier.
In conclusion, meditation does help a lot if you are planning to lose weight in a healthy way at a healthy pace. Meditation can make your mind clear and it is very useful when you have to act logically instead of emotionally.