I was recently at a gathering of people who don’t often get to see each other. If a woman walks in and she’s looking particularly good, one of the other women will likely comment, “You look great! Have you lost weight”? This may lead to further conversations about how good the person now feels and about the method she used to lose weight. Note: This could happen with a man as well, of course, but it’s not as common. This exchange interests me because in our weight conscious society comments about weight often reflect deeper beliefs about health and wellness. Is it true that losing weight means that your health is better?

On the one hand, it seems clear that losing weight can have many advantages. Physicians commonly advise patients to lose weight. This is because among other things, weight loss improves mobility, reduces strain on joints, lowers the amount of medication you might need to take, lowers your vulnerability to a host of chronic illnesses, like Type 2 Diabetes, and it can contribute to lower blood pressure. And of course, it leads to improved self-esteem.

From my training with Master Nan Lu, I’ve learned that this picture may not be as promising as it appears. For one thing, there are many hidden factors contributing to excess weight (and to illness) that are usually not addressed when people lose weight in the traditional manner. For example, if you look closely at it, you’ll see that most decisions to lose weight are based on fear or other negative or self-critical beliefs. Your doctor’s advice is aimed at helping you be healthier, but the motivator to make this change is to avoid a potential problem lurking over the horizon. Decisions people make to lose weight on their own are often made based on a negative self-assessment. “I don’t like how I look”, or “I can’t fit into those clothes anymore” have at their base negative and critical judgments.

Losing weight in these circumstances becomes a way to change what you (and others) see, while what’s behind the picture hasn’t changed. I believe that excess weight is a communication from your body that a variety of relationships within us are out of balance. So, this kind of change aimed at the physical level only, would be like turning off the smoke alarm in your house when you don’t see fire, then leaving your home vulnerable to a fire inside the walls caused by an unseen electrical problem.

Stress is another hidden yet significant factor to excess weight. Living with so much fear, worry and negativity is very stressful. This stress interferes with the ability of key organs, like your Kidneys, Liver, and Stomach to function harmoniously. When these organs are out of balance, many health problems follow, including weight gain.

There are the stresses of everyday life, and if you’re following me, even the stress of losing weight can all contribute to causing these hidden imbalances.

The real remedy for building better health would correct these internal imbalances and reduce stress. Then the body’s alarms would not sound.

This is what the Dragon’s Way program offers. A supportive, non-fear based approach that strengthens the body from the inside so that your organs can regain their function and cooperate as they are designed to. Visible results, like the many health improvements, weight loss, and reduced stress that Dragon’s Way students experience, are the outwards signs of many significant but hidden changes that happened inside.

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