I have been every clothes size from 4 to 18 in my nearly 36 years. I'm 5'8" and have a large frame. By the time I was in 5th grade, I was just a few inches shy from the height I am today and I weighed 145lbs. I'm used to being a "big" girl. That is part of my genetic makeup and who I will always be. That is ok. What isn't ok when it comes to our size is how it affects our life. If being "overweight" creates for us an unhealthy situation and puts us at risk for disease, then we must become determined to change that reality.
After my second pregnancy, I lost over 100lbs. by taking back my health. I found the beauty of yoga and traditional foods. I became the smallest I have ever been since becoming an adult. At that time, my focus was on having a thin body and eating healthy food. It worked. I have come to find, I have tremendous willpower when I set my mind to something.
At this time, my third pregnancy (daughter) is two years old, and I am three pounds away from a realistic and reasonable goal weight. I couldn't believe it when I got on the scale yesterday! I have been working once again to regain my health because I have been experiencing some depression and other health issues. I had almost completely let go of my "healthy" lifestyle. Yet, what I have come to realize is that approaching our health and weight is as much a spiritual practice as it is one of making goals and working our tail off.
Since coming to learn and utilize Sacred Birth Work, I apply the same spiritual principles to all aspects of my life. What I have come to understand is that it is important to take literally the statement once made by Jesus the Christ, "Neither will they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21) There are a very many things that we experience on this earth that is completely our choice. There are yet other things that we cannot control, but we can put those circumstances into a context which will allow us to better deal with them. The amount of heaven we experience in this plane is reliant on our willingness to turn to God.
My motivation for losing weight now is a healthy body and mind that is better prepared to do the work of God. It is a healthy body and mind that is better able to raise confidence and strong young women (I have three daughters.). It is a desire to break a cycle of disease that is hereditary. It is a desire to be fully myself - my best self.
Along with my doctor, I picked a goal weight that was achievable and maintainable for my body type. I, then, began to approach my reclamation of health as a spiritual practice. For in regaining health, I am doing no less than seeking God more wholly and in turn an experience of heaven within. A body and mind in harmony or seeking to be in harmony will know God.
It took me awhile to find this knowing. When I originally undertook losing weight and addressing my health issues, I went about it like I always had. I quickly learned that my body is not what it used to be. And the exercise I had chosen exacerbated my problems. Sometimes though, we are dealt a heavy hand in order that we may fall back on the Truth. I picked my yoga practice back up (first, releasing all the excuses as to why I couldn't do yoga) and my exercise became a prayer. I re-embraced my traditional foods diet and do my best to imbue my food with love. The process became my worship of the Divine. The Divine in me. The Divine in my family. The Divine that is Truth.
It isn't the easiest process. There are days when I feel like I'm not up to par. However, it is a practice. It is a road that doesn't end. There is opportunity for more practice. In every practice, there are those moments when I feel God in, through, and all around me. I have let go of expectation, and have determined myself to practice. Then, I get on the scale, just to see, and I'm three pounds away from the goal.
Kelli Hansel Haywood is the mother of three daughters living in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. She is a writer, weightlifter, yoga and movement instructor, chakra reader, and Reiki practitioner.