My kittens don’t have an eating problem. I give them food and they beg for anything they see me eating. No problem.
They are not affected by the world around them in the sense that we humans are. Every day we “walking upright” are inundated by messages that come at us from all sides leading us to need to be acceptable externally through our appearance. I don’t need to tell you what these messages are, everyone recognizes them, but hardly anyone admits how harmful the constant barrage of negativity is. I will use a few examples. Watching TV last night, I see a new angle is being used by marketers to sell oatmeal. ‘Weight control’ is what the large print on the box says. In smaller print, the word ‘oatmeal’ resides near it but the message is loud and clear. You are to start the day with your inequities (those extra pounds you’re packing) glaring you in the face from the very minute you open your cupboards.
The CEDRIC Centre publications refer often to the “Drill Sergeant”, that voice we carry inside our heads, which runs a constant dialogue of our shortcomings when we are feeling less-than already. That critical voice undermines us if we let it, and some days we are not as strong as others. CEDRIC’s philosophy of addressing the issues and not the weight do wonders for silencing that voice at a time when we need to stifle negativity more than ever. CEDRIC teaches us to walk away from the scale, to compassionately reeducate our ‘Drill Sergeant’ and to do the work in the small, caring steps that one needs to, in order to find the hurt and heal it. Once our deep inner demons are put to rest through this loving, self defining process, it is the CEDRIC experience that our weight naturally rebalances to where it is meant to be. Our relationship with food and body becomes much more efficient and we are much less interfered with by those external influences that try to gang up on us. Ultimately, we emerge better equipped for the next onslaught of attempted external diminishment that our lives invariably have to deal with.
Imagine, 300 years ago before we had to contend with voice mail, internet advertising, billboards, print media etc. to tell us how to feel about ourselves, weight was not an issue. There were no fast food restaurants feeding the masses empty calories disguised as food and countries had indigenous genres of food that were untouched by ‘fusion’ because they had to depend on what was available in their region, in consideration of the time of year and access.
Today, we live in much more complicated times. TV advocates that if we don’t lose weight we are losers, and if we do, shows like The Biggest Loser still leave those of us who defy the odds and actually drop pounds, to believe that we are still losers. Great. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. Why bother?
I have watched this show and been unable to tear my eyes away, not unlike the proverbial traffic accident. The contestants make a serious ‘game’ out of their weight issues and almost completely ignore the complex issues that caused them to grow to such a size in the first place. Some come to the show because they have become Diabetic and that shot across their bow has humbled them into action, some come because of the money ( a cash prize ). Not one contestant has focused on the issues that created the need for them to seek comfort in their use of food as a distancing or coping agent.
This is a loud message for the masses that echoes again and again that our society deems it necessary to measure ourselves by the mass we displace, and to diminish a person who is dealing with emotional challenges. The belittling that goes on in the show is that same as that experienced by new “boot camp” soldiers. How can anyone believe that bringing people down to their lowest self esteem before ‘rebuilding’ them is in any way an answer?
In complete opposition to the media messages, “biggest losers,” and myriad boot camps, the CEDRIC philosophy addresses the need for the body, the mind AND the spirit to be considered when one is dealing with issues that leave a person in a place where they are struggling with their physical body, size-wise. Be it over-eating through stress or under-eating so as to ‘measure up’ to self-perceived external expectations, people use food and body image focus to try to solve their own problems and in doing so, develop habits that work completely against them. These ingrained behaviors are then coloured by the world around them as they travel to and from work, reading bus signs and billboards that expound the virtues of the young, slim and perfect over the woes of the old, fat and imperfect.
Through our days we are stewed in confrontational and critical opinions that seek to undermine our self worth and then in the evening, when we are finally able to put up our feet and relax a bit, away from the ‘mortal coil’, our habits lead us to the internet or tv or both, where there is a constant stream of advertisers and text revolving around the superficial external perspective of humanity with shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’.
A few days ago, I opened my morning newspaper, or ‘oldspaper’ as I call it, since the text is rarely news anymore, my internet contacts providing me with up to the minute developments that the paper can only ape. Reading the paper has become a habit since my hubby bought me a subscription for a present. As a closet sociologist, it has become a habit that I entertain with religious fervour as it allows me to get a bead on where the collective consciousness is being led today before I head out.
There, on page 2 in the first column, I read the headline “Carb Addiction is making us fat, researchers say”.
Wonderful. I have mixed feelings about seeing it there, but read on.
The article alludes to researcher’s conclusions that it’s the fat in snacks that are being removed, replaced by tampered carbohydrates to make them more addictive.
Isn’t this what I was saying the powers-that-be were doing with the High Fructose Corn Syrup additive being added to absolutely everything (not just corn syrup) as a three pronged addiction deliverer? (See blog article: Caving to the Craving) http://www.cedriccentre.com/blog/tinas-journey-caving-to-the-craving-complications-afoot/ First, it causes one to hunger for the particular product the stuff is in, second, it gives the product a longer shelf life, and third, as a heightened sweetener that has been biologically tampered with, it makes the recipient grow more dependent on it while constant ingestion weakens their physical condition through an immediate forced increase in insulin production. This then tells the body to produce and store fat, which plays directly into the hands of the pharmaceutical companies who are connected to those corporations who are responsible for growing the corn and processing it either into fuel, food or other ingestables such as medicine. Fast, empty food is replacing slow, nutritious fuel for our bodies.
This article on Carbs made second page not because it was a slow news day, but because the message within was so valid as researchers in New Zealand expounded on how the daily ingestion of high glycemic index foods such as white rice, bread, bagels and highly processed breakfast cereals was creating a vicious circle that resulted in people become increasingly fatter.
Statistics in the article outlined that 7 million Canadian adults were currently overweight with another 4.5 million actually obese. Another statistic is also astonishing in that it says that obesity in adults has nearly doubled since 1978.
The cause of the epidemic of overweight is that people are making poor choices and not sticking to their diets, according to the professor of Medicine, chairwoman for Cardio-Vascular obesity research and management at the University of Alberta.
What this says to me, though, is that the body is a mere mechanical entity that can be healed or harmed simply by tampering with its components or by the managing of what is physically required to maintain those components to render it healthy again. We are being taught by articles worded purely from the scientific to disallow that there is so much more to us than the mere mechanics of blood, bones and sinew. While it is true that our bodies respond to the kind of care / nutrition we provide them, there is a question that articles like this one on Carbohydrates just don’t ask: Why? Why are we as a society producing such harmful foods? And why, as individuals, aside from the addictive components in those foods, are we eating when we’re not hungry or choosing foods that we know don’t help us to feel our best and live our longest?
Why, in the past 30 years, have people needed to reach for food to placate their other hungers they cannot touch? Why are we, in the millions, unable to dig into ourselves, to identify the complex experiences that lead us to being hurt, and heal them?
This, then, is where the CEDRIC Centre comes in.
I’m rewarded daily by the way my own life has turned around since addressing my own issues that brought me to coping with obesity through the gentle, loving lens of the CEDRIC way of self perception. As I work with Michelle Morand at the CEDRIC centre, even in my short time there, I am happy to see people benefiting from the counseling that is provided by Michelle and her team.
If you have come across this information because you are seeking some new answers for your questions, consider the Mind/Body/Spirit way of healing as a new and extremely efficient, viable option. Sign up for the CEDRIC Centre’s on line newsletter or, better yet, join CEDRIC founder Michelle Morand for an intensive weekend workshop or some individual sessions. (Visit www.cedriccentre.com)
Myself? I’m off to cut up some fresh peppers and eat them with the humous I made yesterday in my new regime of enjoying raw foods and delicious accompaniements to it. Already my heart feels lighter and my pants fit better.
And here come my kittens. Chow and Bella keep me grounded. It matters not if they are fluffy or sleek, they still play, eat and sleep without a care in the world about what others think. I need to be more like them.
More on that soon.
Tina Budeweit-Weeks is a member of the CEDRIC Success Team in the role of staff writer and executive assistant for Michelle Morand. Her philosophy has always been one of self-nurturance and dignity. In support of the complex difficulties clients may experience around regaining a healthy balance, Tina’s writing is designed to sympathize, support, encourage and inform. Although there are many similarities in Tina’s process, she is not a client, but a hard working, behind-the-scenes member of the team, dedicated to helping the CEDRIC Centre stay current and effective.