Guiding Light of The Month

THERE is a great difference between being in the midst of active work, of external action, while keeping one’s thought constantly fixed on Thee, and entering into that perfect union with Thee which leads to what I have called “absolute Consciousness, true Omniscience, Knowledge”. - The Mother

Walking in Light

In this issue of our newsletter, we examine some of the other causes of fat accumulation in the body and how weight gain and loss is to a great extent, in our hands, in our life-style.
There are a few other causes of weight gain besides over-consumption of calories-rich food coupled with a sedentary life-style. Hormonal imbalance in the body has been often cited as a possible cause of weight gain. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and polycystic overy syndrome are some examples of conditions resulting from hormonal imbalance. In the case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid glands fail to produce sufficient levels of thyroxin, resulting in a lowered metabolic rate. A low metabolic rate results in less expenditure of energy, and hence a slowed rate at which fats are burnt, leading to an increased rate of accumulation of fats. In the case of Cushing’s syndrome, the body tissues are subject to a prolonged exposure to the hormone cortisol. This results in fat accumulations in the upper part of the body, while the hands and legs thin over a period. Polycystic ovary syndrome refers to the presence of increased levels of the male hormone, androgen in the female, characterised also by missed menstrual cycles and occasionally, with multiple cysts in the ovaries.
The consumption of certain types of drugs also contribute to weight gain. These drugs belong to groups such as steroids and anti-depressants. Medications for psychiatric disorders and seizures also contribute towards weight gain, according to some studies. The drugs affect bodily functions by either slowing down the rate of metabolism and hence the rate at which calories are burnt or stimulate appetite or cause increased water retention in the body, all of which contribute to weight gain.

Lack of sleep as well as hereditary factors have also been related with weight gain.

While some of these factors that contribute to weight gain may be more difficult for an individual to control, such as hereditary factors, very often weight gain can be attributed to life-style practices. Life-style is something we form for ourselves over time. The element of choice is there and hence, control and therefore, hope. Here are some questions that could get us to think about our calories gain and expenditure:
• Do I opt out of cooking my own food, preferring to eat out often?
• Do I consume large meals and high-fat foods?
• Do I put taste and convenience above healthy food?
• Do I involve myself in sufficient physical activities?
• Do I opt to drive than walk to places?
• Do I consume soft-drinks often?
• Do I snack often on high-fat food?
• Do I consume high quantities of alcohol?
The effort of losing weight or maintaining one’s weight at a healthy level is one that requires, as in all other endeavour, a clearly defined goal or aim along that line, a constant aspiration to reach one’s goal and lots of discipline in following a healthy regime towards a healthy Body Mass Index. A healthy BMI contributes to a healthy body that can fulfil wonders in the plane of physical existence. - Jayanthy

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