Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Go Ahead! Eat Those Christmas Cookies!

Are you one of those people who feels guilty after every bite of a Christmas cookie? Do you already know that one of your New Year’s resolutions will be to lose the ten pounds you gained over Christmas?

What if you could eat all the goodies you like and wouldn’t gain any weight? Recently my friend Carol’s sister visited from out of town. Carol made several batches of cookies and her sister scarfed them all—humungous amounts. When her sister went home, she found that she’d actually lost weight. This is a person who has struggled with her weight and is about 50 pounds overweight. Carol noted that her sister had been eating the cookies with joy, rather than guilt.

A Stanford University study had volunteers eat rich chocolate desserts. They then measured the immune function levels of the participants. Those who ate the desserts with total pleasure and no guilt had a surge in their immune functioning, while those who felt guilty saw their immunity levels decrease.

Your weight and physical health come from your mind, not what you eat. A Course in Miracles states, “At no single instant does the body exist at all.” (T-18.VII.3:1) The body is simply a projection of the mind. A Course in Miracles tells us that guilt is the root of all our problems. Guilt is the thought that makes us think we are bodies and separate from God. Once we let go of guilt, we recognize that we have no problems, because we are perfect, whole and one with God.

Last week I made a batch of turtles, those phenomenal cookies with pretzels, Rolos, and pecans. I ate the whole batch in four days. In the past, my guilt led me to believe that chocolate caused migraines, zits, irritability, and rage outbursts. I’ve learned that those were just false, guilty beliefs, so I didn’t get any of those symptoms.

However, I still felt guilty for eating so much sugar, so the guilt had to manifest somewhere. I stepped on the scale to discover that I had gained seven pounds. I freaked out, then remembered that it was just a false image. I realized it was the guilt finding another tricky avenue to express itself, one that I hadn’t expected since I don’t have weight problems. But the ego voice said, “You’re over 50 now, and you can’t get away with it anymore.”

I decided to be happy and not worry about the weight, knowing it would drop off if I just let go of the guilt. Three days later I stepped on the scale again and the seven pounds were gone.

ACIM tells us, “You think you must obey the ‘laws’ of medicine, of economics and of health. Protect the body, and you will be saved. These are not laws, but madness. The body is endangered by the mind that hurts itself.” (T-W-76.4:3-4; 5:1-2). It goes on to specifically mention the “laws” of nutrition, immunization, and medication. Since this entire world is an illusion, then, too, are all the thoughts we have about physical form.

You are not bound by your thoughts. In fact, your thoughts do not mean anything. (W-10.h) However, you will experience the effects of whatever thought system you choose—the ego’s system of fear and guilt, or the Holy Spirit’s vision of love. If you eat cookies and feel guilty, or if you believe that you have a body that gains weight easily, then you probably will gain weight or get sick. But you can ask the Holy Spirit to help you see things differently. With a loving perspective, you can actually enjoy the food you share with family and friends—without guilt—this Christmas.

So, go ahead and eat those Christmas cookies—just eat them with delight!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah! Love, Lorri Coburn

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