By Aruna Ladva

Recap: If you find yourself thinking too much about your weight, constantly looking in the mirror and feeling disgusted, or weighing yourself after every meal, then you have some inner work to do. If you can’t accept yourself, then why should others? It’s a dynamic which gives birth to a vicious circle.
Self-worth comes from spending time with the self – do you care enough to sit and get to know your real, inner self, or are too busy looking in the mirror, and running away from who you think you might really be? Once we get in touch with our inner beauty through meditation, then we are less obsessed with the outer shell. Of course the same underlying reasons of a lack of self-understanding and lack of self-love are also responsible for another scourge of society that is particularly evident in the western world, that is, the rapidly escalating incidents of obesity. It is the other side of a very uneven coin.

Emotional eating is the tendency to eat in response to negative emotions. Studies showed that overweight individuals are more emotionally reactive, experience negative emotions and more likely to overeat when distressed than people of normal weight.
The hunger that the overweight person is trying to fill is an absence of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-worth. It is an inner hunger that will never be satiated, and the person will always feel empty, no matter what. Self-control and discipline are never strong enough to overpower the need for comfort or the urge to self-sabotage. If we look for these things outside of ourselves, then we will always be a slave to society’s or to other people’s opinions, and we can never feel fully happy with ourselves.
Thoughts are the seed of everything. If I am telling myself the story I am big, fat and ugly, then my life experiences will reinforce those beliefs. If I can revise my storyline to read, I am special, I am beautiful, I deserve, I am important and valuable, then life will confirm that back to me.
Of course these deep-seated beliefs will take more than a few affirmations to shift – and that is where meditation comes in. The first lesson in Raja Yoga Meditation teaches us that we are already beautiful and complete – we just need to connect with that inner beauty. As souls we have all of the resources that we need within ourselves already, and the realization of this through deep understanding and experience is the secret to real self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect.
It’s time… to finally understand that the body is simply our costume and an outer reflection of the inner being and that beauty comes from within. When we rid our self of the negative baggage, we become truly light and ‘weight-less’! When we nourish those inner qualities the resulting sparkle of happiness, peace and contentment appear in a person’s face, demeanor and attitude. This is authentic beauty!

It’s Time… by Aruna Ladva ©