We have often heard the saying, "Treat your body like a temple". But how many of us actually do that? In today's world where sedentary jobs push us into an unhealthy lifestyle, fitness is not a norm - it is considered a chore.
Is the millennial generation in poor health? How will our mind and body heal? Garima Gupta, a wellness coach with over 15 years of experience encourages people of today to lose weight holistically and look after their bodies for their bright future. She is a regular speaker in the corporate world and her background in psychology has given her a unique insight into eating habits and how the mind has to be trained first, then the body to lose weight. Her latest book - The Body Nirvana deals with this dilemma.
We chatted up with her to know about the book and get some tips too!
Women need to show, by example, that it is OK to have a career and life goals even if you have a family and kids.
Tell us about your book - The Body Nirvana!
It's “More than just a weight loss book”. The Body Nirvana is about holistic health. It is a path of uncovering what is literally and metaphorically weighing you down. As a psychologist, I have written a book for people who reject themselves because they don’t look a certain way, or look heavier than the pictures of women they see in magazines or TV. I want people to learn two important things: One, that they are worthy, no matter what they weigh. And two, that they have gone about weight loss the wrong way.
If diet and exercise were the answer, obesity would be a thing of the past by now! But the opposite is true.
Because physical health, including body weight, is created by our emotions, our personality, our fears and needs. So this book acts like your personal therapist, it holds your hand as you uncover the reasons why you gained weight. And then through small changes in your thoughts, and in your daily routine, you come back to peak health, a state of happiness, and high energy.
What was the thought behind the book?
I come from a family of doctors. It was during our dinner-time conversations, when I was still in school, that I first heard from my father and brother that most of the patients they were seeing needed counseling more than medicines. So when I grew older, I took up psychology courses instead of medicine. As a counselor, again I came across the same pattern.
People were feeling relief in physical symptoms as they healed their emotional problems through our counseling sessions. I even saw people who were doing all kinds of expensive diet and fitness programs, yet not losing weight. But when they made emotional breakthroughs, when they achieved a meaningful goal, or when they re-created a positive self-esteem, they started losing weight too. Coupled with this, as a student of health psychology I knew very well that just diet and exercise would not yield long-term weight loss. So I knew this book had to be written.
I found it worthwhile to educate people about a state of mind and body where we are excited and energized to pursue our life goals.
You are holistic wellness coach - what prompted the choice to have a career in that field?
As a simplistic example, what would you rather have –learning how to get rid of a bad tan, or learning how you can be out and about but not get badly tanned? Both kinds of knowledge is available. I saw, in case of weight loss, that people think the real problem is that they aren’t able to keep excess weight off. But the real problem is that they have a sense of hopelessness, low self-esteem or a feeling that they aren’t good enough. I found it worthwhile to educate people about a state of mind and body where we are excited and energized to pursue our life goals.
Today well-meaning parents, schools and clubs also give subtle fat-shaming and body-shaming messages.These people are simply ignorant.
Unfortunately, there is a fair bit of body shaming in society today. What is your opinion on it? What is society's reason to continue it?
Yes, I agree that many people are fighting the body-shaming brigade. My most memorable celebrity quote was when Cindy Crawford publicly said, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford!” Despite this, children as young as 8 to 10 years are getting the message that they need to work towards a physical form that is considered ‘attractive’. Here the only change is that the message is now targeting both genders. Today well-meaning parents, schools and clubs also give subtle fat-shaming and body-shaming messages.These people are simply ignorant.
What is your life mantra?
We are energy beings and this is an energy universe. What is happening outside of us is simply an energy exchange. As conscious beings we experience this and inside our conscious mind we make decisions or judgments. These in turn create feelings within us. It is called bio-centrism. As inspiration I listen to Sadhguru Jaggi and Mooji.
Do we constantly judge our bodies?
Anything that we see, or discover, we think – how can I put this to use? How can I use this to make money? We do this with undiscovered and beautiful parts of the planet earth, and we do this with our own body. If we find something beautiful or rich, we aren’t satisfied to just feel blessed by its presence. We want to put it to our service. As long as we think this way we will continue to have environmental and moral degradation. Everything reduced to its lowest saleable part.
Just like cultural differences, body shape differences are to be celebrated, not rejected.
How can women be comfortable in their own body?
From an early age, they need to be taught that humans by design have different natural look, shape and size of our body. Just like cultural differences, body shape differences are to be celebrated, not rejected. Health and beauty cannot be measured in kilograms!
Any tips for the women of today?
Rejoice in your abilities! You are a woman, pure energy! Do what you can, and be all that you can be. Draw your boundaries without any guilt. You need to show, by example, that it is OK to have a career and life goals even if you have a family and kids. So your daughters will grow up to work hard at their passions, without feeling guilty. And your sons will know that the women in their lives have tasks to do beyond caring for them.