I am young, overweight, and feeling depressed about my body. Please help.

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EATING PLAN & EXERCISE
You should go to your doctor and come up with a plan for exercising. It’ll be something along the lines of running/jogging/swimming for 3-5 days out of the week for maybe 20 minutes the first few weeks. Around the 3rd week or so, increase to 25 minutes, and keep running for those 25 minutes 3-5 days a week for 3 weeks. Then go to 30 minutes etc. The more days a week you can run, and the longer you can run each day will be better. But you HAVE TO REMEMBER: take it slowly. You didn’t gain your weight in just one week, so it’s going to take more than a week to lose it.

Go slow at first, don’t stress your body, that’s bad in two ways:

1) It’s just bad for your physical health if you over exert

2) If you over-exert and you can’t finish, then you’ll get frustrated and quit. So you have to keep small goals, meet those goals, and then make your goal just a little bit more. Believe me, it WILL work.

GURMAT PERSPECTIVE
So how does this relate to Sikhi? Well, I can think of at least two ways. First, it has to do with greed. You say that you can’t control yourself and you have to eat junk food. That is being greedy. Don’t eat something that you don’t need. You don’t need to eat chocolate bars and sweets etc. Don’t eat! Snack on fruits. They are very healthy.

Controlling yourself goes beyond just greed and eating. The Gurus tell us that to be better Sikhs we should control our five emotions: Kaam, Krodh, Moh, Lobh and Ahankaar. Think of controlling your eating, and controlling your exercise program, as a jump start on becoming a better Sikh. If you can control what you eat, you will become less greedy. That is a good thing. If you can control your greed, you will start to be able to control other things.

Second, it has to do with discipline. To exercise regularly, to control your eating, you have to be well disciplined. Similarly, to be a good Sikh, you should paath (Nitnem) regularly, Jap Naam, help others, do good deeds and be a good person in general. All that takes discipline. So if you can make discipline in one area in your life, it will be easier to make discipline in other areas of your life. Another great way to build discipline is to start doing paath everyday. Just do a little bit whenever you get the chance. But make it a regular habit, and try to increase it when you get used to it. And I swear, after a while you will actually start yearning for the moment that you can get your Gutka out and recite and reflect upon Gurbani!

CONCLUSION
So you see, Sikhi is a way of life. When you control yourself, you feel good about yourself. Sikhi will help you. Make your discipline doing paath, eating less, and exercising.

It will take some time, so don’t get discouraged. Definitely let us know your progress, and ask again and again if you have more questions.

One last thing, please go to your doctor first, so you can figure out an exercise program that is the best for you.

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