I asked the tarot this question recently, using my Anna K deck: 'What can I do to empower myself to lose this weight I've gained?' Then I drew three cards--
The Moon represents the shadowy world of our inner being, so this card suggests that I shed some light on the murky goings-on there. Recognize patterns of behaviour. Remember things that I have forgotten. Become aware of what I instinctively want to do. Distinguish what is realistic from what is illusory.
Okay, so let's examine my pattern of behaviour. Every morning I get up filled with good intentions. (Even though the breakfast I eat contains roughly 400 calories or more--toast and peanut butter, etc). I get to work and as soon as I walk in the door I can 'feel' the presence of the table in the staff room, which nearly always has chocolate on it. It begins calling to me at once. Usually by 9.30, but sometimes before, I have had a piece of whatever is on that table. At break, I will eat whatever I brought with me, then have something from the table. At lunch, same. Afternoon break, same. If I am on late shift, I will nick bits from the table around 5 or 6 PM. Then when I get home, sometimes before I even take my coat off, I forage in the kitchen for a bit of something. A spoonful of peanut butter, it doesn't matter what it is. Some days I eat more than others, depending on what's in the kitchen. Then I do my workout, then begin making dinner. I usually do some nibbling and tasting during food prep. For dinner, I eat what's on my plate, then usually go back for a smaller portion of seconds. Occasionally thirds. Then when helping wash up, I nibble from what's left as I pack leftovers for tomorrow's lunches. Sometimes we've both nibbled up all the remains of dinner so that there are no leftovers. Around 8.30 or 9 PM, Derek will suggest coffee, and we usually have a bit of Kit Kat or whatever naughty tidbit he's smuggled home. Then quite often, I will reach into the cereal box and have a handful of cereal around 10.00 or 10.30. That is a typical day, and why I have gained 9 lbs over the last 2 years or so.
What have I forgotten? I've forgotten how to put my long-term goals and priorities above the instant gratification of stuffing things in my face. I've forgotten how to look with contempt upon things that by rights should not be called food. I've forgotten how to enjoy being truly slim above any allure that junk food might have.
I instinctively want to eat well. I know this because I have observed my body's joyous reaction when I am eating a healthy dinner. It's a completely different feeling eating a veggie tofu stir-fry filled with crisp, gloriously colourful vegtables, compared to the feeling of eating a loaded veggie burger and oven chips. The first is a zinging feeling that thrums through the body--it's purely physical, it's like it trips something in the brain that acknowledges that this is good fuel. The second is more an emotional experience, sort of voluptuous pleasure. It's often accompanied by a quick, subtle feeling of being overfull, sometimes even a queasiness, but you keep eating because something weird is happening to the pleasure centres in your brain. It's almost like they're being overstimulated against your will and there's nothing you can do about it. This is the first time I've tried to describe this, but I know from experience that this is how my body reacts to the different types of food. My body itself prefers the good stuff. It's my emotions that prefer the junk. It's that simple. Feel how you feel and I bet you'll discover the same.
What is realistic and what is illusory? For me, it's illusory to think I can be disciplined all the time and live in my culture. I am surrounded by the worst possible temptations and my culture doesn't have a clue how it should relate to food or how it should be eating. I am going to give in to my cultural training and my emotional temptations sometimes. But it is realistic for me to try to set limits on that behaviour. In the past, I would limit it to weekends and special occasions. At the moment, it's a free for all.
Death is not the scary card it seems to be at first glance. It is almost always a positive card, an archetypal energy, concerned with transition. Particularly in the Anna K tarot, you can see that Death is a fairly attractive fellow who is beckoning to lead you down a path. It's possibly a new path, and he's definitely going to pare away what you no longer need with that scythe of his, if he hasn't already done so. This card asks me to identify what I need to let go of--both behaviours and emotions.
It's obvious to me what I need to let go of. It's no more subtle than a card called 'Death'. I need to let go of mindless and emotional eating.
Ace of Coins can represent both the beginning of and the culmination of worldly or material or corporeal concerns. It represents the centering or grounding of energy, having ideas materialise, sustaining the body, getting tangible results, reward for effort. The card asks me to look at any new opportunities for work, stability, home, money or health available to me now. Identify what makes me feel secure and grounded. Identify how I am putting plans in motion. Consider what kinds of seeds I am planting with my current actions. And identify what my reward will be for my efforts.
Right. Every day is a new opportunity to eat well. I acknowledge that each morning, then proceed to behave in exactly the opposite way. Routine is what makes me feel secure and grounded. I have got into the routine of eating poorly, and because of my nature, I like to stay where I've planted myself. So wrenching myself out of this pattern and starting a new one is hard for me. But, when I consider the seeds I am planting by continuing on this path, I can see that it leads to nowhere but regaining all the weight I lost and which I maintained for so long, and I desperately do not want that to happen. I want to grow old in good health, and I want to be able to take care of myself for as long as possible, because we don't have any kids or other relatives to look after us if we get old and feeble. I want to be alive and kicking until I keel over. Fine one minute, dead the next. Hopefully not for another 40 years or so!
This reading has given me a lot to mull over. I suppose the next step is to figure out the next step! :)