(I made an interesting observation today, and I cannot wait to hear your feedback. I think I’m onto something.)

I love bookstores. In fact, when I die, I would love to have the “sitting up,” a Southern thang, in the window of a small boutique bookstore. It would definitely draw in some business. However, my mortality is not the point of this post. I want to discuss energy.

Bookstores are full of all types of energy, ranging from depression to over the top excitement. As a coach, I’m really good at reading the energy of others, and today, I was like a kid in a candy shop, tapping into the diverse moods and spirits that pervaded the place.

I walked from section to section – fiction, World History, poetry, children’s, New Age – but when I rounded the corner to walk through the dieting aisle, I felt a sudden drop in energy. I didn’t just feel it on a superficial level, but it was a feeling that started in my gut and rose into my throat.

I watched a few women pick up different books that presented opposing theories. One woman held a copy of Skinny Bitch in one hand and The Atkins Diet in another. Her face screamed desperation and confusion. Another lady was holding a book on eating disorders. (It is not a coincidence that the dieting books are adjacent to the recovery/addiction section.)

I began to think back to my days of dieting, and the toxic cycle that I was caught in. With each failing diet, I became more desperate to find the next promised miracle. On a 0-10 energy scale, dieting was about a -99.

I quickly walked through the aisle and rounded another corner to the shelves that were adorned with beautiful cookbooks from all over the world. What I experienced was fascinating. So fascinating, that I could not wait to get home and write about it. When I started walking down the cookbook section, my spirit lifted. I became lighter amidst the covers of beautiful, artisan breads and bountiful fruits and vegetables.

I also experienced other shifts in emotions:

-fear to peace

-heavy to light

-lack to abundance

-sadness to joy

-self-consciousness to confidence

-negative self talk to self-love

-frustration to calm

-confusion to trust

I also noticed the difference between the women perusing the cookbooks compared to ladies who were trying to decide whether to go raw or eat right for their blood type. The “cookbook” women seemed relaxed with a bit of excitement. I listened to a couple of them discuss their favorite recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I picked up one of my favorite cookbooks, Country Cooking in France, and felt the excitement in my stomach, much different from the nauseating feeling that I had felt earlier when I was caught between the addiction and dieting shelves.

Interestingly, the women in the cookbook section were all thin. Yes, the women who were thumbing through recipes made with real butter, sugar, and flour were all thin, while the women who were looking for their next diet were not.

So, what does my observation mean? I believe that if a person allows herself to enjoy all types of foods that feels good in her own body, she will operate at a much higher energy level, which attracts a naturally slender body. She does not possess the fear of deprivation or lack as those who are living from diet to diet or those who don’t diet but live with low energy levels.

Women who are relaxed don’t usually binge. Women who allow themselves to enjoy the occasional treat don’t feel the need to eat the whole bag of Oreos. Women who love themselves find other ways to feed their hungry heart. Women who possess higher energies, such as happiness, joy, excitement, optimism, and love, attract more of those powers into their lives.

The universe is abundant, and she relaxes into this abundance, not feeling like she must devour whatever comes her way, whether it is food or her self.

She simply listens to her body, feeds it a variety of delicious foods and trusts the natural process of eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full.

If you struggle with your weight, ask yourself the following:

-Do diet books excite me? -Do I gain clarity or collect more confusion from diet books? -Would I rather cook (and eat) from a beautifully crafted cookbook with fresh, delicious ingredients or adhere to a strict plan that requires rigid rules and keeping up with a bunch of numbers?

If your answers were not positive, then your body is most likely telling you that dieting is not your answer. In fact, science has proven that dieting leads to more disordered eating and, in most cases, weight gain. Dieting is very low energy, which conflicts with the energy required to lose weight.

Here is a hint: weight loss comes when you learn to connect with your body and make peace with it. That means providing it with delicious foods, dropping the rules of others, and loving yourself as your ideal body emerges.

After making my bookstore observation, I grabbed a new cookbook to add to my collection and went out of my way to avoid the draining dieting aisle that continues to suck the energy (and life) out of women.

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