Happy New Year everyone, I hope this year is your best one yet!
One of the things that I have been working on over the last number of years is becoming more healthy – particularly I want to lose weight and I am bringing a renewed sense of determination to it going into this new year.
For most of my life I have been overweight, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, but it has always been an issue with me. Since I gave up nicotine I have put on a further two stone or so. It has become a constant companion to me in many ways -a hateful one – so bad that it has more than once in the last year stopped me from attending particular social occasions, and has made me feel shit and too self-conscious to enjoy the ones I did attend. I have noticed recently that it is the thing that occupies my mind more than anything else.
Now, there may be some of you saying that I should love myself as I am, and forget about losing weight – just accept yourself as you are! And I want to say that I do feel there is a lot of truth and healing in that – there is plenty of me to learn from self-acceptance. My response however, is that I have noticed that when I bend over to tie my shoelaces I find it harder to breath. In fact I notice a lot of times that my belly fat is restricting me from breathing correctly and no matter how much I love and accept myself this is an issue that needs to be addressed now before I am much older or before it becomes an irreversible problem.
But it’s not as if I have been doing nothing to address the issue. I have been Weight Lifting on and off for about 6 years now. I am not particularly strong and it was only in the last year that I really made any gains. The problem is that my gains came without my fat disappearing so I just look fatter.
I love Walking. There is an amazing walk along the river beside a wood very close to where I live that myself and my wife do a lot. But again, no matter how much I walked (we were doing a minimum of 5k a day 6 times a week at one point) it made zero difference to my weight. If I walked or didn’t walk my weight wouldn’t change. Walking wasn’t it either. I still do it though. Jogging just killed my feet and knees. I felt I was doing actual damage to myself, so I gave that a miss.
Same for giving up drink. I usually drink wine 3 nights a week minimum and giving that up for two 12 week periods made no difference to my weight. In fact, at that same time I had also given up bread, potatoes and pasta. Zero weight loss. I then did the “high protein -high fat – no carb” diet and put on weight, so that sucked.*
Also, I spent nearly 6 months of last year doing Intermittent fasting. First I did the whole 8 hour feeding window every day. That made no difference to me in any way. So I started doing two 24 hour fasts a week, I’m not doing this long enough to know how effective or not it is.
I have been a vegetarian for, I guess, 25 years now and my diet is good in general. I do the protein shake thing and eat lots of greens. I can’t actually remember the last time I had A Take-Out and I don’t really have a sweet tooth. I do enjoy savoury food though- bread particularly. I reckon I could quite happily live on bread, cheese, eggs and milk for the rest of my life.
I am telling you because I want you to know that I have tried many things, and I am in no way looking for diet advice, nor a new workout or exercise regime, or any sort of fat loss tips or anything like that, because I just don’t think diet and exercise is my issue.
As usual, I am.
I am either self-sabotaging unbeknownst to myself, or I am holding on to the fat as some sort of defence mechanism, or maybe it’s a sort of victim mentality were it’s easy for me to blame my failures on being fat rather than face up to my own personal shortcomings. Or a mixture of all of those and others. But now is the time for me to find out.
THE DEMON FAT
I have this idea in my head that being fat negates any other talent or abilities I have. Good guitarist? Doesn’t matter you’re fat so it doesn’t count. Smart? Doesn’t matter because you’re fat. Funny? Doesn’t matter – you’re fat! Good artist? So what? You’re fat so it doesn’t count. All that counts, in my head, is that I am fat. I don’t think I am totally alone in thinking this, I do believe there is a huge social stigma to being overweight, but for my purposes I am just going to concern myself with my views and outlook. The bigger picture can look after itself.
Being overweight, I have come to realise, is the first thing I define myself as, and I allow the guilt/shame/disgust to tarnish and diminish any other qualities or traits I may have. In my own head I am first and foremost FAT with everything else a far second to that. It doesn’t matter what I do, achieve or become as I feel less worthy, deserving or relevant than everyone, not just people who are thin and healthy.
So as diet and exercise doesn’t have much impact, it seems to me that my weight issue is most likely psychological, and therefore I won’t lose weight until I deal with the issues, learn the lesson and pass the exam of whatever it is that FAT is trying to teach me.
So, this time rather than just doing the diet and exercise I am going to try to solve all the issues and insecurities I have around FAT too. Because if I don’t, I feel that even if I do manage to loose weight in 2017 it would just be a temporary thing. The underlying cause and issues must be addressed and I have never really delved into those seas. I am also 40 in July and I want to kill this fucker and stop him coming with me into the second half of my life.
This is a big dragon for me, but I feel good about the fight. Which brings me to the Magick…
Weight Loss for the Soul
This post is a major part of the Magick. As I said before, FAT has made me feel shame and embarrassment and I hope people don’t notice it. It’s my biggest shame. So talking about it all in public is part of breaking FAT’s spell over me. The hardest demons to beat are the ones that you never talk about or acknowledge. The first step is saying it out loud.
The second step is to stop resisting it. This was my major lesson and theme form last year and one I really want to build on again this year as it was a hugely powerful catalyst for personal change for me.
The third step is going to be all about shadow work and looking deep into my thoughts and beliefs I have embedded in my brain. I will be enlisting the help of some of The Forty Servants in this. Particularly, using The Healer and The Carnal in regard to physical healing and feeling better about myself, The Devil for overcoming personal restrictions and The Contemplator for the self discovery.
Along with the Magick elements I will be continuing my “real world” efforts by limiting myself to 1800 Calories for five days a week, with 600 Calories for the other 2 days (Tuesday and Thursday). Yoga every day** and the long walk along the river at the weekend. As my weight goes down, I will start adding the weight lifting back in too.
The first six months of this year are going to be hugely transformation for me, all going to plan, and the health issue is only one aspect of it. I feel that my overall current Magick theme is self-acceptance and that, I feel, is a worthy goal and good use of Magick.
So, if you too are starting to kill some of your own demons heading into the new year, i wish you luck, courage and success. May your road be easier than you expect!
- When I was in my mid twenties I did the Cabbage diet for a week and put on 2lb. Yea, I know that’s not even possible.
**On day one of my new Yoga work out I slipped, badly twisted my knee (it made that horrible sound) and then feel and banged my head of the wall. So I knew I was off to a good start and that is some serious resistance to change right there. 🙂 I had picked a far too advanced Yoga for me to start with. So next day I switched, here is the one I am now using, it’s really good:
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