“Either stop living or get fat”
Updated and graciously reposted from Gurze Publications…In an interview at the close of Paulo Coelho’s
The Witch of Portobello, he explains that his goal in this book was to elaborate “on the feminine side of God.” I find myself drawn to Coelho’s novels because he “writes to understand himself.” In reading his words, I often come to greater understandings about myself as well.
Towards the end of the book, Hagia Sofia, the protagonist’s “alter ego,” finishes a lecture to a gathering of spiritual-questing people while in a sort of trance (“alter ego”/”trance”: concepts in the book too involved to explain here). She spoke beautifully the message that has been the topic of many of my blog entries:
Today, before we close we’re going to talk about diet. Forget all about slimming regimes. We have survived for all these millennia because we have been able to eat. And now that seems to have become a curse. Why? What is it that makes us, at forty years old, want to have the same body we had when we were young? Is it possible to stop time? Of course not. And why should we be thin?
We don’t need to be thin. We buy books, we go to gyms, we expend a lot of brain power on trying to hold back time, when we should be celebrating the miracle of being here in this world. Instead of thinking about how to live better, we’re obsessed with weight.
Forget all about that. You can read all the books you want, do all the exercise you want, punish yourself as much as you want, but you will still have only two choices—either stop living or get fat.
In a talk at a mother/daughter health faire I told the audience, “[My body’s] size will continue to change as I grow older—that is just a simple fact of life that I refuse to expend my life energy in battle against.” Coelho’s words provide a more succinct and far simpler version: “Either stop living or get fat.”
Hagia Sofia continued to explain:
Eat in moderation, but take pleasure in eating: it isn’t what enters a person’s mouth that’s evil, but what leaves it. Remember that for millennia we have struggled in order to keep from starving. Whose ideas was it that we had to be thin all our lives? I’ll tell you: the vampires of the soul are those who are so afraid of the future that they think it’s possible to stop the wheel of time. …Use the energy and effort you put into dieting to nourish yourself with spiritual bread. …Instead of artificially burning those calories, try to transform them into the energy required to fight for your dreams.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Until next time,