From fat to fit using Zen Motivation to lose weight. Lawrence considered himself an average American, a few pounds (70, to be exact) overweight, but fitting right in with his peers, for the most part. Who doesn’t throw back a few brewskies in the evening and put away a couple of cheeseburgers a week?
Sure, Lawrence had slowed down a bit and taken on some aches and pains since entering his 40’s, but again, all of his friends were in the same boat. “We’re all going down together!” they’d joke with each other, then laugh it off and chug another round of beers.
After his wife put her foot down, Lawrence underwent a comprehensive medical evaluation and was diagnosed with type II diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep apnea, fatty liver, Wilson’s syndrome, low testosterone, high estrogen, high cholesterol, chronic fatigue and morbid obesity. By the end of the process his light-hearted attitude came crashing down.
“I’ve seen it all before,” his doctor generalized. “Guys like you haven’t learned, really, that life is fragile. You have to respect it and you don’t even come close. Your health is in the toilet ready to be flushed, my friend, and it is a direct result of a self-abusive lifestyle. If you don’t turn things around quickly, you’ll die 20-30 years younger than you should.
“And when they are sawing off your legs because the diabetes has killed your lower extremities, the doctor continued, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you don’t do it for yourself, by the way, do it for your family. Think of what you’ll put them through by leaving this earth so soon. Do you really want to NOT be here for your daughter’s college graduation? Her wedding?”
Lawrence drove home from that appointment, hugged his wife and kids, then went into the bedroom and wept. He knew what he had to do, but didn’t really believe he could pull it off. In spite of a growing sense of determination, he couldn’t control his voracious appetite. How was he supposed to just transform himself from fat to fit? Each failure brought more despair, which he compensated for by pretending he didn’t care even though deep down he was really scared. Now what?
Learning Zen Motivation was a key element in his fat to fit journey. Zen Motivation turns off the autopilot, habitual, cluttered and reactive mind a product of the brain’s Default Mode Network and grounds us in the present moment so that we can make the very best choices possible. When we are present, really present, we lose our facade and our compensatory tendencies. We stop obsessing about problems, regretting past decisions, and have no need to pretend or deny. We are merely here.
Guide yourself into a Zen state by tuning into a mundane sound, like the hum of your computer, the refrigerator or the sound of a fan. You could also tune into the sound of distant traffic or running water any white noise will do. Don’t choose music, people’s voices or the television, things that generate inner meaning. Choose white noise.
Now, focus on that white noise for up to a minute. Really tune in. Tuning into the mundane sounds in the environment grounds you in the present moment and sets aside your reactive mind. After listening to white noise for a bit, you will feel yourself settle. Medical research on the Default Mode Network using fMRI technology confirms that this phenomenon is not a conscious choice, but an actual switching of brain networks.
After settling, consider what you need to do right now. With a settled, grounded mind, you don’t need to play tricks on yourself, pretend or deny anything. You know what needs to be done. Doing it becomes the obvious choice.
Fat to fit – the daily regime. Every morning, midday and evening before each meal. Lawrence did a slightly more complex, but similar exercise. Firmly grounded in the present, he considered how he would approach food on this day. When he ate, he stayed connected to the moment, smelling, tasting, feeling and enjoying every bite.
When he had cravings between meals, or social temptations, Lawrence took a few moments to practice his grounding techniques. More often than not, his motivation to stay the course was the obvious choice. The cravings turned out to be manifestations of stress, rather than true hunger.
Over a remarkable period of 16 months, Lawrence lost his jolly facade and his jolly belly as well. Standing 6’2″ tall, he reduced from 270 pounds to a trim 193. Every medical diagnosis reversed, including the type II diabetes, thanks to a raw food diet and a serious herbal protocol, according to Lawrence. He did it – from fat to fit in just 16 months!
He was also rewarded with a promotion at work, not for losing weight, but because he began to take his work more seriously and had the energy to implement some original ideas. Last and certainly not least, he got something else back that he had conveniently neglected to tell me about. It had something to do with libido, as I recall.
Of course, Lawrence’s success also had a lot to do with sound nutritional and fitness strategies, but he sums it up as follows: Nothing heals like the present moment.
Lawrence’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.
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