Eric Butterworth Speaks: Essays on Abundant Living #9
Delivered by Eric Butterworth on May 7, 1975
Download the PDF for How To Reduce...Mentally
It is a paradox that one of the major concerns of our fellow man today is that of losing weight—at the same time that many around the world suffer from the problem of not getting enough to eat. Yet, as this is a matter of serious concern, I have some suggestions that may be helpful in the mental control of this and many related physical difficulties.
Some time ago I received this letter from a radio listener:
Dear Eric Butterworth:
I would like to ask you about a very tenacious subject of negativity in my consciousness, and I would appreciate any light you may be able to offer.
I have always had a problem with being overweight.
And even though I am now rather slender, I still tend to think of myself as a potentially fat person, rather than as a now-slender person. The worry that I may change from being a potentially to an actually overweight person is, it seems, always lurking in my consciousness.
I have been praying about this, but I strongly suspect that thought levels in this area need to be raised to a higher level of consciousness so that I can gain a new perspective on the whole matter. I would be grateful for your insight and guidance in the direction of discovering the Truth of this situation.
We’re always happy to receive letters from our listeners, and, when possible, to devote our morning broadcast to the issues that are raised. Certainly, one of the major concerns of our day is losing weight. And this listener’s letter immediately goes to the heart of this widespread problem. She is not only concerned with losing weight, but with how to get the image of one’s self as being slender.
Medical science has reached a consensus that what we have always considered to be a normal weight is also a “wellness” sustaining weight. When we increase our bulk, we also increase the possibility of various kinds of physical disorders. It is absolutely imperative that we keep ourselves in balance in terms of weight. But knowing this, how do we go about it?
Certainly, there is more to losing weight than just dieting. As many of us have discovered, the key to successful dieting is determination and self-discipline, and you can often exercise these traits as successfully even without a prescribed diet. Oh, diets are good. And, leaving nutrional controversies aside for the moment, they can serve a useful purpose. But by dieting alone, we can accomplish little of lasting effect. We need to go within ourselves for real change, as with any problem.
Why do we experience a nagging hunger for food? What controls our appetite? The control is in our mental state. When you crave for certain foods, it is because your mental attitude has created a demand for the food that will make your body reflect your present state of consciousness.
When my children were young, I experienced the typical parental concern about their eating proper foods, and often we would ask the doctor what we should do when the boys wouldn’t eat what we thought they “should”. He would say, “Don’t worry about it. A child has a natural guidance within his body, and he will naturally be led to eat the right things when he needs them, so leave him alone.”
It’s marvelous to know that we are born with an inner intelligence that tends to draw to the body the things it needs, when it needs them. But when the body matures, and there is no special need for extra amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, then the body tends to follow the pattern that we set for it in our consciousness. And that is where the problem starts.
Each of us has a mental image of ourselves in the subconscious mind, and the foods we eat are used by our body to outpicture this image. Our body cells are willing servants of the mind. And if the mind sees itself in a certain way, the body is going to do everything it can to live up to that image. If necessary, your system will cause you to crave whatever it needs to reproduce the image.
This is why dieting seldom produces the desired results. You may starve yourself and lose a few reluctant pounds, but if your image is stout, you will eventually give in to your appetite and eat what you crave, becoming again as stout as ever.
Remember the nursery rhyme? “Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean; and so betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean.”
You can be sure that Jack was skinny as a rake and his wife was pleasingly plump. Thin people usually do not eat enough of the fat-producing elements, and may even dislike them altogether!
This is not as naive and Pollyanna a concept as you might think. Science has proven that meditation can change physical functions. So, think thin!
When you are thinking fat, the craving for rich foods only increases as you eat them. But when you think thin, the craving disappears. You will be satisfied for a normal time between meals. Simply think thin and you will find yourself eating less than you did when you worked so hard through a diet to do without the things you craved for.
Take time to be still and actually visualize the weight being sluffed off. Visualize yourself gradually becoming slim and trim, sylph-like, and the very image of the person you would like to become. Take this into your consciousness, and in a very few weeks you will be able to forget about the problem of weight. Because you will have changed from within, and that is the only place where change can ever be effective in any lasting way.
Here is a spiritual prescription that will help you to think thin. Take Once a Day. It is your new mental diet!
I am a strong, confident, disciplined child of God. I am established today in the awareness that my body is the Temple of the Living God. All the functions of my body are harmonized and every organ is doing its perfect work in a perfect way. I am receptive and responsive this day to Divine Intelligence within me which knows the needs of my body temple. I will eat sensibly, exercise regularly, and rest sufficiently. I am free from hidden hungers that might lead to excess in eating or drinking. God’s love deep within me satisfies my longing heart, and fills my soul and body with all that it requires to make my life full and complete. My appetite and assimilation of food are in divine order, and my body manifests the symmetry and perfection of God, whose expression I am. I see myself in the mirror of Truth, beholding the perfect, ideal form and shape that I desire to express in my body. I see myself thin and healthy and satisfied. Today, I will think thin!
© 1975, by Eric Butterworth