Luke Coutinho & Anushka Shetty's The Magic Weight Loss Pill shows us that nothing parallels the power and impact that simply sustained lifestyle changes can have on a person who's struggling to regain a healthy body or suffering from a chronic disease. Excerpts:
The amount of stress, both physical and emotional, that people face is so much more than what it used to be even a few years ago. Stress leads to a myriad of emotions. Some people express or talk about these emotions and thus let them out, many just bottle them up. These negative emotions, such as guilt, anger, jealousy, resentment, insecurity and fear, when not given expression, slowly weigh down on immunity, eventually making the person ill.
You cannot leave the mind out of the equation of healing or losing weight and fat. It plays an important role because your thoughts have a direct impact on your cells and health. Let's do a little exercise. I want you to be angry right now. You can't, right? You have to have an angry thought to feel anger. Let's try again. Try to be sad. Again, you can't, right? You need a sad thought to feel sad. You need to experience an emotion or feeling. How do these feelings and emotions affect our cells? Let me explain with a question. When you feel happy, sad or angry, where do you feel the emotion? You feel it all over, and not just in your heart or mind. Billions of cells in your body vibrate with the emotion or feeling. So, all these cells could be vibrating with a positive or a negative emotion and, if it's the latter, that you feel continuously or for long periods of time, it can lower your immunity and rob you of energy and health. Observe carefully how you feel in your body and mind the next time you have a negative thought and emotion.
Your subconscious has great power. I always ask people to consider the following example. Most people have the memory of tasting a lemon stored in their subconscious. Imagine biting into a lemon. You will most likely start to salivate. Close your eyes and imagine the sourness and taste. You will salivate more. Just talking about this experience brings up a memory that is inactive in the subconscious to the conscious mind, where it is experienced again. Your subconscious mind has collected so many experiences, thoughts and memories from the time you were a child, and it takes just one word, person, situation, sight, picture or smell to bring it 'back to life' in our conscious mind, which then transforms into a feeling or an emotion.
Therefore, if you bottle up sad and depressed thoughts or keep thinking about them, that's how you will be and feel.
If you keep thinking you can never lose weight and are no good, it's unlikely that you will lose weight. But if you keep thinking you are healthy, that's how you will feel.
From the time you wake up until you sleep, you are exposed to newspapers, social media, TV shows, radio shows, gossip, etc. And everything you see or hear is absorbed by your mind. If you do not live mindfully, truly aware of your feelings, thoughts, emotions and actions, it can trigger irritability or anger later in the day.
This is why you need to meditate, spend some time in silence, pray or visualize your happier self every single day. You manifest what you visualize. The next time you feel negative or angry, take some time out and sit comfortably with your eyes closed and go deeper into the space behind that negative feeling. For example, you may think a person has triggered the emotion. But go deeper still and you may find a deeper connection to that emotion and person, and that's what you need to be aware of and work with.
There used to be a time when a bad day was just a bad day. But now people tend to numb their feelings using alcohol, smoking, socializing, junk food or mindless TV watching. Instead of acknowledging our feelings, we cope by suppressing them, filling our emotional void with habits and lifestyles that work like a Band-Aid, never making us face the root cause. When it comes to weight gain or the inability to lose weight, the most common coping mechanism is to 'eat oneself out of a problem'. Unfortunately, that never solves the problem and, in fact, makes it worse. Similarly, alcohol, drugs and tobacco tend to distract us from feeling our feelings. There is nothing wrong with indulging in them, but be aware and mindful, because they can sneakily become habits that in the long run don't address the root cause and eventually depress you.
Today, like diets and exercise, spirituality has also become a fad. People jump from chanting to meditation to other spiritual practices just to tick a box. It is not done mindfully and hence people still feel incomplete. They do not let the benefits of their practice slip into the rest of their day. For example, after their 30 minutes of breathing or pranayama, they forget that they should also practise deep breathing or be conscious of their breath during the day. Emotional detoxification is important throughout the day and you need to strive to live in the present moment or at least come back to the present moment when you get caught up in the chaos of the day.
The root cause of at least 86 per cent of my breastcancer cases diagnosed over the last two years in India was found to be linked to patients' emotional issues. At the time of detection of the cancer, the clients mentioned that they were experiencing chronic stress, or something emotional or tragic was going on in their lives. These worrying statistics reinforce the need for you to look within to understand who you are and find that spiritual space and balance that help you make better decisions.
(Excerpted with permission from The Magic Weight Loss Pill; written by Luke Coutinho & Anushka Shetty; published by Penguin eBury Press. The excerpt here is a part of the chapter titled ' Preparing for the Magic Weight-loss Pill'.)