If obesity is an epidemic, an illness, then there must be identifiable causes that we can point to. It’s simply part of our worldview that we live in a precarious world, each of us vulnerable to attack either from our faulty genes or some nefarious external cause. In the case of food, that could be sugar, or saturated fats, or whatever the villain of the day is. I heard a physician once say that her perspective regarding health and illness is that we walk through life all the while the arrows of fate are launched towards us. We’re going to get hit (cancer, heart disease, stroke, serious accident, dementia, etc), it is just a question of time.
Speaking of arrows, here’s a funny bit by the great comedian Mitch Hedberg (“got hit” by heroin) that’s relevant to our search for the underlying causes of the obesity, food and body image problems:
“Imagine being killed by a bow and arrow, that would suck– an arrow killed you? They would never solve the crime. ‘Look at that dead guy! Let’s go that way.’”
The point is we only see what we want to see. And we want to see a villain, need to find something outside ourselves, something bad that we can blame.
It’s much more difficult to stop this blaming and instead take a serious look inwards. If we do this, we’ll see how much we mistrust our bodies and how powerful and prejudicial our judgments, grievances and criticisms of ourselves are.
And yet, if we are intent to make lasting change, this change must begin with us: with me, with you, each of us doing our own inner work.
The reason I’m passionate about teaching the Dragon’s Way® Program is because this program allows us to gently rebuild our relationship with ourselves based on a foundation of love and compassion. Within this supportive framework, we begin to relax and this rekindles our body’s natural healing abilities. Healing flows naturally then from the inside out.
And the interesting thing is, once you stop villainizing yourself, you won’t see villains lurking around you.
If you’d like to read further, here’s a comment I sent to the NYTimes today in response to Mark Bittman’s Op-Ed, What Causes Weight Gain: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/opinion/what-causes-weight-gain.html?comments#permid=12004778