Are you struggling with the Quarantine 15?
That’s the 15 extra pounds many people report they are putting on right now due to being stuck in their homes with nothing to do, tempted by the stocks of junk food they tossed into their shopping carts during their final visit to the grocery store.
There’s no question we turn to food for comfort when we’re feeling bored, anxious, and empty. And then we hate seeing the number on the scale rising, with seemingly no power to stop it.
But we do have the power to stop it if we remember certain inner-life truths about eating, and have some simple practices to help keep us from over-indulging.
Let’s start with facts about food.
Facts About Food
The first purpose of the food we eat is to provide us with the best possible fuel needed for our interior and exterior work. This is especially important during this time of crisis, which is also a time of great possibility for our inner development.
The second purpose of food is to remind us that whatever we’re given to nourish ourselves with should always be taken in with a measure of gratitude. Being grateful for our food helps us eat mindfully, instead of unconsciously stuffing ourselves without satisfaction.
The third purpose of food is for the pleasure it can provide. No one would deny the pleasure food provides, but again, mindless eating is not even enjoyable.
So those are three purposes of food, and having them out of order — as they so often are — is one of the chief causes of our physical misery.
Why Is Mindful Eating So Important?
There is no question that the kind of food we eat, as well as our relationship to it, when we eat it, impacts us. The body is a factory capable of producing an extraordinary product—however, junk in — junk out. The body breaks down, and the mind loses its capacity to consider even its own condition.
Eating a healthy diet and doing proper exercise is essential for allowing maximum inward possibility. In these days of the pandemic(1) that means eating healthfully so we can use these unprecedented times to develop our inner strength and understanding.
The more consciously we eat, the more we begin to contact (and be contacted by) higher energy. This relationship is what we really want. It is the source of the inner strength we need now more than ever. Unconscious appetites keep us from developing a love for this one relationship that can actually fulfill our need for love, security, happiness, and peace.
3 Practices to Avoid the ‘Quarantine 15’
With that in mind, experiment with these practices as you eat, and as you feel tempted to eat what you know, you should not:
1. Eat Consciously and Watch What Happens
If you do that, you will know what you’re supposed to eat. Whole, fresh foods – vegetables, fruits, and grains – are the most nourishing diet. Eat as healthfully as you possibly can, not for the sake of some image of yourself, but for the purpose of increasing your ability to be quiet and whole.
[Read: Healthy Meal Plans During Quarantine ]
2. Don’t Punish the Body With the Stomach’s Desires
Overdo nothing. If you are alert to yourself, you’ll be aware of how strong our appetites can be. Don’t be discouraged! Strangely enough, it is our awareness of our own resistance to doing what is healthy that speeds us along the way.
The wrong parts of us seize our discoveries, and in an effort to get us to turn back, we may accuse us of being weak and unable to follow what we know we should. Stay with the awareness, and don’t fall for the accusations. Do the best you can at the moment, and if you fail, start over.
3. Work at Developing Your Love for Truth
Why does that have anything to do with healthy eating? Because you become devoted to whatever it takes to make your body, mind, and heart more receptive to the spirit you love.
At that point, you don’t want to sit with a body that’s uncomfortable to you — not because the body is uncomfortable, or because you think about yourself as having an unpleasant body, but because the body itself is interfering with your ability to deepen your relationship with the truth.
Then you stop eating foods that upset you because you don’t want that. And when you go to bed at night, your body rests naturally because you have allowed the truth awakened in you to begin to shape you.
The only way for us to know there is a world above us, that wants to perfect us is if we will put ourselves in relationship with its powers by practicing them. There is an integration that takes place when we practice what we love. As we work to embody these higher powers in our life, we are united with them.
Never let darkness, dismay — any of the things that attend the mind, especially in times of crisis — be your guide. If you are sincere in your wish, and willing to work with these practices to help you discover what you must do to be in alignment with a higher order, you will gratefully enter into a whole new level of understanding about the true purpose of your life, and all that sustains it.
Do that, and you will come out of this difficult time with possibly a lighter body — and definitely with a lighter spirit.
About the Author:
Guy Finley, Self-help Writer & Internationally Renowned Spiritual Teacher
Guy Finley is the Founder and Director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for transcendent self-study located in Merlin, Oregon. He also hosts the Foundation’s Wisdom School — an on-line self-discovery program for seekers of higher self-knowledge.