Thursday, 12 November 2009

Self-promotion - and a bit of life...

I'd like today to give you folks an excerpt from my forthcoming book, "THINK SLIM - 52 steps to losing weight and feeling great! (...The no-diet weight-loss revolution!)" (hopefully out by the beginning of 2010, website too). Before you sigh (because you have no need to lose those pounds) or you're a bloke and think this kind of thing is purely for women, do me a favour and read on! I don't do things conventionally - most entrepreneurial-minded people don' may - no, WILL! - be surprised.

Anyway, THIS is what I am getting up a 5am for every day...for those with goals, remember that "Your Actions are your Goals and Your Goals are your Actions" (note I'm trademarking that one!)

Here we go:
You have only one life. Sounds clichéd, doesn’t it? But we forget, in our Western world of abundance, that many people who share our universe don’t have life. They don’t have life expectancy, they don’t have quality of life, they don’t have the basics to live a life of dignity or even to survive. Here we are, fretting about physical confidence, body weight, fitness... while some people don’t have the luxury of worrying about their physical confidence! It’s barely enough for them to get through the day alive with a belly full. Others spend their so-called lives suffering horrendous physical and emotional restrictions. Their only aspiration would be to be free from pain or suffering, let alone to lose weight! And, what to tell the mother whose children are slowly starving to death? Shouldn’t we be rather ashamed that our material excesses have brought us to this excess of paranoia?
In this context, worrying about one’s physical appearance is totally trite, when in this world there are those who have real cause for anxiety: not being able to see fully, move fully, speak fully, or being fully healthy; or the life and death of their loved ones. Some people are just grateful to have life at all. Others are put through such horrendous emotional suffering by losing loved-ones or seeing loved-ones suffer. We all know of people becoming painfully thin after bereavement. Who’d envy them their body shape now?

So why am I writing this book, you may ask? Well, partly because this irony hasn’t escaped me, and I’d like to show that there’s a healthier and more balanced way of approaching the problem of overweight and obesity in the West today. And because I understand that the more happy and balanced we are as individuals -the more liberated of insecurity and self-obsession we are - the freer we are as a society to look outside our little world and help others.

This book simply puts forward techniques you can use to help yourself to make the most of yourself physically, and thereby increase your self-confidence – hopefully boosting your mood and general happiness at the same time! But, there should be a warning attached to any book which promises that weight reduction will automatically guarantee happiness. I am sure that we have all realised by now that thinness does not equal happiness, and richness doesn’t equal happiness either, and if you don’t believe me just take a look at some of the super-rich and super-thin celebrities out there who despite having the trappings of an ‘enviable’ life appear to be suffering from a lack of the basics which truly do make for a happy life: a harmonious family, close friends who love you for what you are, a peaceful life without interference, the ability to get on and make decisions without being constantly judged – and that's just for starters! Now, that’s not to say that this is the case with every rich and thin celebrity, as there are some very well-balanced famous people out there (and I take my hat off to them!) – however, it cannot be denied that some celebrities renowned for their wealth and physical beauty still find it necessary to resort to drugs and drink: not the behaviour of someone who’s balanced and content.

We all need to take a few moments out of our busy schedule each day to reflect on how our limited perspectives on life can be so restrictive, misery-making – and, indeed, dangerous. Why, just this week I read about a bride-to-be who died of heart failure: after being on a restrictive diet of under 600 calories a day to lose weight for her wedding. That’s a real lesson in perspective.

So, just get on and LIVE LIFE and appreciate what you have got and what gives richness to your life, rather than what you haven’t got! Instead of feeling that you can never measure up, remember that other people have their own problems too, and that’s everyone, rich or poor, skinny or not so skinny (why do you think papers sell well when they dissect the life problems of celebrities, reminding ordinary people that they’re not so different to us after all?) Until you are happy in yourself and with your own life, then losing weight will never make a difference. You’ll just be a miserable thin person instead of a miserable plumper person!

If you exude happiness from every pore and sing along to your everyday tasks, you will find you don’t need that chocolate fix anymore, and along the way you’ll find that you become as fit as you’ve ever wanted to! Sing along to the washing-up, whistle to work, chat happily to your friends and neighbours, and live life with enthusiasm: you’ll be so busy being active you’ll find you don’t need that glass or wine, choc bar or cookie to perk you up. Just being busy you can burn up energy to become fitter too!

Why don’t you imagine yourself, right now, being the happy, confident and energetic person we all have the potential to be? If your problems seem too great, remember that they’re nothing compared to the mother whose young and only son is dying from a rare form of juvenile cancer (and that’s another true story, and someone I know). You can picture yourself and your good fortune every day in your mind, and if you find this hard just try picturing yourself living in Afghanistan or Gaza or any of the world’s other trouble spots instead – and you’ll realise just how much you DO have. We in the Western world are overcome with bounty and opportunity: why would you need a chocolate bar on top of all that to make you cheerful?

(Note! Slimy sticky and oily calories do NOT make us cheerful, happier, or blow our problems out the window. All they do is increase the size of our problems – by increasing the size of our hips and thighs and tummies, and clogging our brains and our ability to feel happy and carefree, as well as clogging our arteries at the same time!)

Key Points to Remember:
Live with a sense of perspective. Our problems are minute compared to those of many. Instead of dwelling on your worries and bad fortune, be aware of your good fortune every day, give thanks for it and be grateful. Vow to give back to the world the happiness and joy it has given you – whenever and however that may have been, and even if you don’t quite feel it now. Remember that appearance is important superficially, but self-esteem is deeper. Being thin or being rich will never make anyone happy if that’s all you aim for in life. Stop to smell the roses and remember you are healthy and wealthy already in so many ways. As a general rule, Happy people are slimmer, but slimmer people are not necessarily happier!

So be happy: and you’ll be slimmer on it!


P.S. On the subject of perspective, here's a girl I went to school with. Actually, watch this one too: check out the video, especially: WATCH IT! Your problems will fade into irrelevance, I guarantee you... and you'll also realise that YOU have so much potential to realise: which no doubt you may not be fully, what are you waiting for?!

1 comment:

  1. I know, despite my own efforts to escape the bond between self-esteem and body shape, my weight it still an issue to me, even though I'm happier now, than I've ever been.
    I wish you well, I think you are right, happiness comes first, one must love oneself before achieving a healthy relationship with food.
    I really am conflicted between the idea that the ideal is slim, and the idea that different people have different body shapes and naturally variable BMIs.
    No doubt, though, our own self-esteem has resonance in the East, and others must suffer as we use our wealth to amass resources to increase our feelings of security.
    I look forward to more of your writing, HR