Is Counting Calories, Fat, or Carbs the Only Way?

Low-Carb Breakfast: Eggs with Salsa, bacon, and salad
Counting calories, dietary fats, or carbohydrates
are not the only way to carve off the pounds.

Almost all dietary programs look at weight loss through the lens of the physical body. What would happen if we dumped all of that and started to look inside the mind, instead?

Are counting calories, fat grams, or carbs the only way to ditch those excess pounds?

Or could there be another way?

A better way to do it?

All weight-loss diets zero in on one thing: what you put in your mouth. They tell you what to eat if you want to be saved from the pain and ridicule of being overweight. They tell you what not to eat if you want to regain your health and stamina.

Sometimes, they even tell you how much to eat or how much to exercise to achieve and maintain your ideal weight.

While the details of one diet plan will be different from another, most weight-loss programs focus on:
  • food
  • exercise
  • or behavior modification techniques
These are the physical steps you can take to achieve your weight-loss goals. It's said that you will experience pleasure from being at ideal weight and escape:
  • rejection
  • lack of attention and approval
  • insecurity
  • and lack of appreciation
These benefits or rewards come to those who are fat.

That is the promise. 

But is it TRUE?

No matter what diet scheme you choose to follow:
  • carbohydrate restriction
  • calorie restriction
  • or fat restriction
The above promise is what it all boils down to.

The author promises you that you'll go from ugly to beautiful if you just believe and do what they tell you to do. Do what you ought to do and all of your problems will go away. Your problems will magically dissolve because you won't be fat anymore.

Or, will you?

Diets Encourage a Physical Perspective

Is taking a physical perspective and focusing on various physical abnormalities the only way to reach your weight-loss goals?

I don't know anymore.

We are not just the physical body.

Human beings are far more complex than that. We have a couple of intellectual centers, a couple of emotional centers, and a huge part of the mind that we haven't even learned how to tap into yet.

In fact, if you want to get technical and biologically accurate about how the body works, it's the unconscious part of the brain that tells the body what to do to achieve what you think is true.

Don't believe me?

Okay. Just sit there and move your arm then. But wait . . .
Before you do that:

Think about which part of the brain to use to contact the right muscle groups to move, which body systems to use to get your arm to move.

Man Raising Up Both Arms
It is the unconscious part of the mind that knows
how to do things. Our conscious mind does not.

You can't do that?

That's right. You can't.

It's the unconscious part of the mind that knows how to do things. Not our consciousness.

As Above, So Below -- the Spiritual Aspect of the Mind

Body functions are kept in balance and good repair in exactly the same way -- through the direction and lordship of the unconscious mind.

The unconscious mind is the aspect of ourselves that is in control of our physical body and its processes. It creates habitual loops and takes over many functions that we've done so many times in our lives, that we don't have to consciously think about how to do them anymore.

Doing the dishes is a good example of this.

Do you pay attention to what you're doing when you wash dishes, or like me, do you allow yourself to drift into a mindless sleep and do the dishes on automatic? Many of our everyday chores are simply habits.

Boy Washing a Sink Full of Dishes
The unconscious mind takes over when we
don't pay attention to what we're doing.

This esoteric principle is known as: "As Above, So Below."

Given that the spiritual aspects of ourselves are reflected in our physical body, and the physical body and world we perceive is a direct result of what the mind believes is true, why do we think that we can manipulate the way the body was designed to function?

Isn't dieting a form of interference by our conscious mind, an attempt to manipulate normal body functions and adaptations to stress?

Now, I'm not saying that's wrong; it's just something to think about.

Looking at Ourselves Realistically

I have been playing around lately with some of the principles found within Western Mystery tradition to see how they might pertain to:
  • diets
  • weight-loss plans
  • exercise programs
  • behavior modification techniques
  • and other forms of self-improvement
Western Mystery tradition uses certain images, such as:
  • windows
  • mirrors
  • and light
to refer to the activity of looking at ourself realistically. Instead of projecting what we don't like about our self onto others, we take off the blindfold and give our self a closer look. Instead of placing our full attention on what is happening outside of our self and looking to biology for answers, we turn our awareness inward and focus on what is going on inside the mind.

Thoughts and beliefs are powerful.

They control our behavior, as well as our body systems and functions. They can even be stronger than desire.

And yet, most people are used to going about their daily lives without taking any time throughout the day to look into the mirror at their reflection or look through the window pane to see into their soul or inner condition.

We spend all of our time perceiving ourselves to be the very center of the universe. Everything we come in contact with is only seen in terms of what's in it for me?

A dirty window
Western Mystery Tradition uses symbols such as windows
to hide the meaning of what they're talking about.

Instead of accepting our self and focusing on creative pursuits, we chase after:
  • various diets
  • exercise programs
  • nutritional regimens
  • behavior modification interventions
and other ideals because we think those outer changes, how we appear to the world at large, will bring the security and approval that we seek.

We believe that being thin will fix our problems FOREVER.

If we just looked the way we believe we ought to look, if we just felt better than we currently do, if we could just reach a state of non-disturbance, then everything in our life would suddenly be comfortable and enjoyable.

We'd be:
  • content
  • satisfied
  • and happy
This is the way that most people think. They chase after pleasure and do everything in their power to avoid being disturbed. In most, if not all of us, this is the ideal that drives us to do anything at all.

Now, think about that for just a moment.

Why Do You Really Want to Lose Weight?

WHY do you want to lose weight? 

WHY do you really want to lose weight?

And be honest with yourself.

Isn't it to experience the pleasure of being thin? The pleasure of receiving:
  • attention
  • approval
  • acceptance
  • and the sense of importance
that thinness will bring? Isn't it to avoid the experience of discomfort that being overweight causes? The discomfort of being:
  • rejected
  • ignored
  • unapproved of
  • or looked down on
because you are fat? Isn't it to avoid the conflict, pain, and suffering that is going on inside of your self right now?

If so, then how will a diet help you to accomplish that?

How will a new diet plan, a different diet plan, fix what's going on in your troubled mind? If your mind is troubled, won't it still be troubled even if you reach the ultimate ideal of thinness?

Do you really believe that your inner chaos and anxiousness is just going to suddenly dissolve because of what your physical body looks like?

If not, then maybe there is another way.