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Author Topic: Obesity?  (Read 2258 times)

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FairyQueen

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Obesity?
« on: July 22, 2012, 11:56:13 AM »

So apparently obesity has become a hot Pagan topic. I have seen blog posts and surveys plastered on Facebook regarding obesity and fat Witches.

Now I totally understand how being obese is a bad thing, an unhealthy thing, and in some ways a totally embarrassing thing. Me and my doctor often talk about weight loss and its benefits. BUT is it something a spiritual movement should become obsessed about? Aren't people already hammered by the media, their peers, and their doctors enough about it?

I personally feel it is a topic that should stay out of the Circle - shouldn't we all feel safe and beautiful when trying to be one with the Divine?

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Fox

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 12:23:43 PM »

I don't think that weight should be an issue for any kind of spirituality.  Overall heath is another thing entirely and I can absolutely see how that can be tied into a person's spiritual path.  Like anything else spiritual, though, it depends on the path and the aspects of that particular path as to how that all fits together.
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BronwynWolf

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 12:35:21 PM »

I'm with Fox. Pagans in general tend to believe their bodies are sacred temples... something to be taken very good care of. Healthy is happy. Obesity is rarely healthy.

That said, I don't believe the current standard for determining what is "obese". I had one doctor tell me I was obese at 160, and needed to drop 50 pounds then. The GP who had been caring for my family from the time I was 4 told me if I ever dropped below 130, he'd force feed me. He was thrilled when I was 145: I was healthy, energetic, and balanced. I may be short, but my bone structure is not lightweight, and anything under 135 would make me look sick.
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dragonspring

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2012, 01:20:12 PM »

Personally, I find what is inside a person to be the measure of their spirituality, not what is outside.  What a person looks like or how they care for the temporary vessel of their own body is irrelevant, it is the care of their spirit that matters.  If one requires a thin body or a healthy body to be fulfilled, then they should work towards that.  But judging someone on something so superficial or assuming that we know best how they should conduct their personal care is wrong.  Personally, I am overweight; obese by the standards Bronwyn mentioned.  However, I am able to do all the things that fulfill my spirit and could care less what someone else thinks.
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FairyQueen

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 01:28:52 PM »

I think I agree with everyone so far. We all should strive to be healthy, if only to be sure we can continue to do all that we require in order to reach spiritual "wholeness" for ourselves, BUT we shouldn't allow the judgement of other people to affect how we feel about ourselves either.

One of my Facebook friends made an awesome point: The issue isn't so much obesity, but how we make sure our communities have access to real and healthy foods?
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Claude

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2012, 01:48:18 PM »

Access is only part of the problem. If people aren't motivated to become or stay healthy then they won't.
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Ghost Wolf

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 07:33:24 AM »

All they have to do is go to the grocery store. Plenty of healthy foods right there. Access is not a problem.
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FairyQueen

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 10:54:05 AM »

I think "access" goes beyond just the place to purchase the healthy food. I believe "access" would include the education and information on what "healthy food" actually is. Advertising would have us to believe a lot of what we eat is healthy, when really it is filled to the brim with additives and preservatives that aren't healthy for our bodies at all. "Access" is the place and the products, plus the education to know what, where, and when. And I shouldn't forget that you can buy a lot more unhealthy food on a limited budget than you can healthy foods.
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dragonspring

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 03:15:25 PM »

Knowing what is healthy doesn't seem to be a problem with most Pagans I know.  Being able to afford it is another issue entirely. We try to avoid processed foods as much as possible (sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store is a good strategy) but it is expensive and more time consuming for whoever is doing the cooking.  I have seen Pagan sponsored workshops for couponing and  meetups at the Farmers Market around here.  Perhaps that is something that could be done in other communities to help.
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diniesaur

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 12:33:53 AM »

Knowing what is healthy and being able to afford it are--to me--the two most important issues. I have another thing to add, though; with regards to motivation, being able to cook the healthy food quickly is very important. I know this from experience. Since quitting my unhealthy medicine in December, I've lost almost 30lb, most of it in the last few months. My doctors are happy about it, but it's not as it seems! I have a problem where I put off eating even when I'm hungry because "I don't feel like it" or "I'm busy" or "there's no time to cook anything," and I end up eating nothing until my sensory problems become awful. If I were able to cook healthy food quickly, I'd be able to eat healthy food and be strong instead of just less heavy.

My mom has the other problem; she sometimes gets too hungry to wait to cook, and she'll end up eating something processed. I can see how this could happen to a lot of people when so many of the healthy meals take so much work to prepare. For a while, my mom had the family on the "Ten Years Younger" diet, and I felt great! The reason she stopped was because the meals took so much more work than everyone was used to, especially with me starting college and her starting her first full-time job since the baby was born.

I have a solution for myself; I make a quick smoothie with fruits and ground flaxseed. It won't be so easy when school starts back, though. My friends are aware of my "problems." I think busy Pagans (and others, for that matter) should all know quick, affordable recipes that are super healthy, so they don't have to resort to getting fast food or eating snacks for dinner.
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RedheadedAries

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2012, 06:43:42 AM »

I have issues with eating non processed food because of the cooking issues. I hardly ever have time! I also make quick smoothies and I also try to pick one day just to cook and prepare a head of time
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Ghost Wolf

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 07:40:14 AM »

A simple solution would be to keep salad ingredients in the 'fridge. We do that here, it just means chopping up things and putting them in plastic containers beforehand, then eaisily assembling them. Boil some eggs to go in it and have some pre-cooked meat, like ham or chicken to toss in.
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diniesaur

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 10:55:07 PM »

A simple solution would be to keep salad ingredients in the 'fridge. We do that here, it just means chopping up things and putting them in plastic containers beforehand, then eaisily assembling them. Boil some eggs to go in it and have some pre-cooked meat, like ham or chicken to toss in.

That...

That's genius! I'll suggest it to my mom. We should totally do that!
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earthmuffin

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 10:37:02 AM »

I think that the health of the body and the spirit are linked-- an unhealthy body can cause an ailing spirit and vice versa. Obesity could, therefore, be the result of a spiritual problem or cause a spiritual imbalance. I don't find anything wrong with discussions such as this one or pagan blogs that discuss these matters, especially if they are focused on personal observations or growth experiences that are meant to be helpful to others. However, I would find circle discussions that suggest that anyone who hasn't already taken initiative to address obesity needs to do so to be inappropriate.

I have made a concerted effort over the past year to switch to organic foods and those with fewer additives. While some items are more expensive, I find I save a lot of money by not eating out and preparing my own food. Time can be an issue when I don't prepare ahead (like keeping the chopped salad in the fridge as GW suggests), but it really wasn't that difficult of a switch when I got into the new routine of shopping in different places. I think it would be relatively easy to change to getting all my food without using supermarkets, making use of farmer's markets and Community Supported Agriculture instead, but I live in a state where there is a lot of agriculture and a lot of alternative lifestyles. The cost difference would not be much, IMO, and really is a matter of the priority I place on eating healthfully-- I think there are a lot of areas in which I could reduce expenses (for example, internet and cable) in order to afford a purely organic, non supermarket diet when I make that change.
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Tirya

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 08:28:12 PM »

Another thing to consider as far as the cost - in the short term there may be a cost savings as far as the grocery bill, but often in the long run, an unhealthy lifestyle will likely lead to health issues that require medical intervention, some of which can be quite expensive even with insurance. Food for thought (no pun intended).

Like the old adage says, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
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RedheadedAries

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2012, 12:58:25 AM »

There is an app for the iPhone (not sure for other smart phones) I think it is called organic diet buddy and it tells you what produce to buy organically and what you don't necessarily have to get organically. There are probably websites that can tell you that type of info as well. Helps save some money!

« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 01:06:38 AM by RedheadedAries »
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Nicodemus

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 06:02:23 AM »

I think that the health of the body and the spirit are linked-- an unhealthy body can cause an ailing spirit and vice versa. Obesity could, therefore, be the result of a spiritual problem or cause a spiritual imbalance. I
I agree, in my case I overeat or eat for pleasure when I am bored or unhappy. I am overweight because of comfort eating. When I am content and happy I am more likely to enjoy preparing good food. If my spirits are high, then I am less likely to look for food for my 'high'.

I have also noticed that there are two types of eating: 1) For the mouth: I eat for the taste, I select food I want to taste e.g. chocolate, fried food, salty food, cheese etc and 2) Food for my stomach: food that I eat just to not feel hungry and this I tend to choose based on health e.g. porridge, apple, vegies and fresh fish/mean. So I tend to eat for my stomach to loose weight, odd as that might sound.

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earthmuffin

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2012, 09:09:09 AM »

I think that the health of the body and the spirit are linked-- an unhealthy body can cause an ailing spirit and vice versa. Obesity could, therefore, be the result of a spiritual problem or cause a spiritual imbalance. I
I agree, in my case I overeat or eat for pleasure when I am bored or unhappy. I am overweight because of comfort eating. When I am content and happy I am more likely to enjoy preparing good food. If my spirits are high, then I am less likely to look for food for my 'high'.

I have also noticed that there are two types of eating: 1) For the mouth: I eat for the taste, I select food I want to taste e.g. chocolate, fried food, salty food, cheese etc and 2) Food for my stomach: food that I eat just to not feel hungry and this I tend to choose based on health e.g. porridge, apple, vegies and fresh fish/mean. So I tend to eat for my stomach to loose weight, odd as that might sound.

I do the same as you, eating for the taste or pleasure of eating a particular food and other times for nutrition. Your comments brought to mind an interesting book I just read called Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda. I had thought the book was going to have lots of skin care recipes but it was more about eating to keep your particular constitution type in balance. It pointed out that there are six basic tastes-- sour, sweet, salty, pungent, astringent and bitter. When you eat for the stomach as you call it, you are likely eating foods with the particular tastes that balance your constitution. When we are out of balance with respect to our constitution type, we will crave more of the tastes that are similar to what our constitution is (i.e., sweet earthy constitution will crave sweet foods). However, if you eat a little food with each of the six tastes each day, you are less likely to have the cravings for one particular taste and it helps to maintain a healthy body weight-- according to this book. A lot of it did make sense in terms of what I know about myself so I am going to try to make some changes based on these ideas.
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Nicodemus

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2012, 10:07:44 AM »

I do the same as you, eating for the taste or pleasure of eating a particular food and other times for nutrition. Your comments brought to mind an interesting book I just read called Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda. I had thought the book was going to have lots of skin care recipes but it was more about eating to keep your particular constitution type in balance. It pointed out that there are six basic tastes-- sour, sweet, salty, pungent, astringent and bitter. When you eat for the stomach as you call it, you are likely eating foods with the particular tastes that balance your constitution. When we are out of balance with respect to our constitution type, we will crave more of the tastes that are similar to what our constitution is (i.e., sweet earthy constitution will crave sweet foods). However, if you eat a little food with each of the six tastes each day, you are less likely to have the cravings for one particular taste and it helps to maintain a healthy body weight-- according to this book. A lot of it did make sense in terms of what I know about myself so I am going to try to make some changes based on these ideas.
That's fascianting, Earthmuffin, I have never considered eating a wide range of food to somehow satisfy my carvings. It makes sense if we take a holistic approach to our body in that we need a little of everything, most diets deny certain foods in the long term (with reason). Would you recommend the book or do you think you have captured it above?
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earthmuffin

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2012, 07:30:06 PM »

I would definitely recommend the book if you a) are all interested in Ayurveda, the ancient science of healing in India b) have any skin issues and c) like reading (the book is over 400 pages). Even for someone not that interested in Ayurveda or having skin issues, there is a lot of good spiritual advice and interesting concepts to think about. The book covers way more than what the title suggests. I just happened upon it at my local library.

http://www.amazon.com/Absolute-Beauty-Radiant-Harmony-Ayurveda/dp/0060929103

I found it really an interesting "coincidence" that according to Ayurveda, my physical constitution is a Kapha type (earth-water) while my mental constitution seems to be Vata type (air and space), which fits well with Western astrology-- my sun sign is Scorpio (water sign) while my moon sign is Gemini, an air sign. There was a lot of other information that I found useful or identified with- however, I do draw a lot of inspiration from Eastern spiritual paths.

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Nicodemus

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Re: Obesity?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2012, 05:07:36 AM »

Thanks for the link Earthmuffin. I will add it to my reading list :)
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