Friday, January 13, 2006

Diets, Diets, and More Diets

In January, there are usually adverts galore encouraging people to go on diets to lose the excess fat they accumulated over the Christmas period. This is based on the belief that food can make you put on weight, make you ill or whatever. If you buy into this belief, this means that what you ate a month ago is still with you as fatty deposits on your hips, thighs and stomach. Most of these adverts are aimed at women; though of course men are expected to want to look fit and healthy.

There is a mad rush for those who feel they need to lose weight to get new keep-fit videos, try new diets, alternative therapies, or whatever to attain their ideal weight. The problem with losing the weight is there is usually excess skin holding on for dear life. People either have to do exercises to get themselves toned up or those who can affort it have the excess skin removed via cosmetic surgery.

Last night I watched a programme on television about a woman who had gone from being a size 20 to size 8. I can't recall how much weight she had lost. She had all this excess skin on her stomach and her thighs and bottom. The television programme carried out a survey for people to guess her age; they guessed her average age as 55. The woman was actually 42 years old. So the programme got her to have cosmetic surgery to get rid of the excess skin, have cosmetic dentistry, get her hair seen to, and a new wardrobe. Then they did another survey for people to guess how old she was. Her average age was now 41.

Imagine going through so much pain for what, so you can look good? There's nothing wrong with wanting to look perfect. But to go under a knife? I have to draw the line somewhere.

A friend once told me about a woman who had been trying to lose weight for years. She went to a Christian Science talk about how God is good and the substance of all. Something in the woman clicked. When she got up, she found she had lost all the weight she wanted to lose without any excess skin.

Sometimes, there are people who want to gain weight so they try all sorts of diets. In the book, Autobiography of a Yogi, the writer, Yogananda, describes how his guru helped him put on weight.

One afternoon during my early months at the ashram, found Sri Yukteswar's eyes fixed on me piercingly.

"You are too thin, Mukunda."

His remark struck a sensitive point. That my sunken eyes and emaciated appearance were far from my liking was testified to by rows of tonics in my room at Calcutta. Nothing availed; chronic dyspepsia had pursued me since childhood. My despair reached an occasional zenith when I asked myself if it were worth-while to carry on this life with a body so unsound.

"Medicines have limitations; the creative life-force has none. Believe that: you shall be well and strong."

Sri Yukteswar's words aroused a conviction of personally-applicable truth which no other healer—and I had tried many!—had been able to summon within me.

Day by day, behold! I waxed. Two weeks after Master's hidden blessing, I had accumulated the invigorating weight which eluded me in the past. My persistent stomach ailments vanished with a lifelong permanency. On later occasions I witnessed my guru's instantaneous divine healings of persons suffering from ominous disease—tuberculosis, diabetes, epilepsy, or paralysis. Not one could have been more grateful for his cure than I was at sudden freedom from my cadaverous aspect. Years in My Master's Heritage
God's ways are beyond human beliefs and understanding. This is why I do not pay any attention to diets. I know God sustains me and keeps my body in health.

I trust only in God.