7 Magical Things No One Tells You about Losing Weight

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

Okay, this may not seem like a very witchy topic but I discovered it to be so only by delightful accident.  As a bit of backstory I’ll say that I have spent the past 10 months giving my body the kind of attention that it should have been receiving for 30-plus years.  From this I’ve lost 45 pounds the hard way—cutting down on portions, watching calories, and rigorous exercise every day.  I have finally arrived at my ideal BMI (the top end of the range, that is).  So, needless to say, I’ve gone through lots of changes in a fairly short amount of time.  But some of it really took me by surprise and I wanted to share these observations with you.

I know that weight problems affect a great many people--emotionally as well as physically--and the magical community is no exception.  In fact, because the magical world puts so much emphasis on the realms of the mental, spiritual, and emotional, the physical is often neglected.  I have never been to a circle, festival, or meeting composed predominately of fit persons.  Now, to be fair, I have been overweight since I was about 12 years old (and termed “obese” my whole adult life) and a practitioner of magic since I was 16, so I hope the reader will understand that I mean no disrespect by any of my statements.  When I say I saw witches who were out of condition, I’m including myself first.  I have spent a very long time in some hefty shoes, and I would only like to relate what it feels like to finally kick them off.

So, to cut to the quick, here is my list of 7 Magical Things No One Tells You about Losing Weight:

1.    It will enhance your magic
I guess this sounds like a gimmick, but it is true for several reasons.  In the beginning, the effort that I had to put into working out just to make it another day was so great that I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment from one repetition to another.  Everything was incredibly strenuous so my only choice was to only be aware of the moment.  I didn’t think about the next set, nor the 30 minutes yet on the clock before I could collapse on the floor; my mind was all about right now.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have managed to hold on until the end.  But this made my focus incredibly strong, much more so than any mental exercise in the book!  As I went, not only did the workout become easier, but it became easier to think only in terms of this one movement, this one footfall, this one push of the bike pedal.

Also, exercise moves a tremendous amount of energy around.  Your body becomes less like a sluggish creature eking out an existence in the underbrush and more like a great predator marching through it.  Energy comes in (food, water, air), energy flows out (movement).  It becomes a constant tide moving in you, rushing forward to give, sliding back to receive.  So when you call up energy for a spell, it’s right there and waiting for you at the water’s edge.   Put together, focus and energy are the foundations of powerful magic!

2.      You’ll finally get the whole “sky clad” thing
Honestly, I used to have a complacent attitude towards nudity in witchcraft.  Part of me felt that it was just a cheap thrill for adherents to early Pagan-revival groups, part of me saw it as a psychological game or a hurdle for the ego to leap, and the bit left over scoffed at the idea that magical energy could traverse the world and penetrate any structure…except my clothes.  But all of me, every chubby inch, said no damn way am I stripping down for a public ritual.  I saluted the boldness of others who did but I was more than ready with many excellent reasons why I wouldn’t be joining them. 

But now I get it.  Yeah, I knew before this about the concept of equality in the circle and not letting physical trappings get in the way of your focus.  But for me it was the physical trapping of my very flesh that was getting in the way.  You see, it’s not about being nude or clothed; it’s the recognition of the raw power of You.  And you are most yourself when nothing else is there, when you’re stripped of all the stuff of society and class and status.  Then the very core of your self is exposed and you can feel the immenseness of being a living, breathing, thinking being filled with power and potential.  That’s what they’re getting at.  But you have to dump the hang-ups in order to see it.

3.       You’ll learn the art of stealth
As time wore on for me as a witch, I learned the Big And Bad magic that had thrilled me long before I discovered that magic was real.  I stopped influencing and started forcing.  I grew impatient at targets who wouldn’t behave and clients who didn’t do as instructed.  When a little rainfall would do, I would sent a tsunami.  People either did what I wanted or they were washed away by sheer force of will.  I became the Veruca Salt of the magical world: “Don’t care how, I want it now!”  And in my haste, I believed this to be great power.

Well, I suppose it was great power…for a while.  The problem is that when you consistently go at everything with the biggest weapon you own, you will wear yourself out until you can hardly bear to pick it up at all.  That is a fine way to get burnt out, and can lead to quitting altogether.

Instead, I have begun to take cues from my workouts: great change happens by making the right adjustments at the right time.  Instead of berating myself for bad habits and forcing a stern regimen upon myself, I gave it a little bump.  A little less here, a little more there; “I feel just fine without dessert tonight,” “I know I can do three more push-ups.”  Nudge a situation into place, go at a problem with grace and care.  Those small actions will create change that ripples outward and realigns everything around you.  Before long, you’ll see that it has all been set according to your desires and you retain the calm to really enjoy it. 

4.     Like magic, fitness isn’t something you do until it’s done…
…It’s a part of who you are, it’s a lifestyle.  I have actually become one of those people who cringe every time they hear someone say “Oh, no, I can’t eat that—I’m on a diet!” So, you mean that one day you’ll be off the diet?  You’ll somehow cross the dieting finish line and go back to eating whatever you please?  Then what?  I’m assuming you’re just planning on gaining it all right back, because that’s pretty much what happens. 

It’s the same with magic.  You’re not just accessing an occult power until you don’t need it anymore; you’re tapping into a current.  Sometimes you direct it and sometimes it sweeps you up and carries you someplace new.  But always you’re a part of it.  You made a conscious decision not to play at magic but to live it.  Prepare to do the same with your health.

5.      Less really is more
I remember back when I first began casting spells and I had only a few books and a couple of recycled jars of herbs I picked in the woods.  That was such an exciting time!  Everything was fresh and new, and the world was mine to explore.  Now I have all the trappings: shelves packed with books that I’ve read cover to cover, five racks of herbs from around the world, tools purchased and made, and spell components both common and rare.  And yet sometimes it seems a little…blah.  But I still have a tender spot in my heart for those days when I had so little.  Everything was a wonder then and I made the most of each experience.
In contrast to this, I once had a friend who could afford nearly anything she wanted.  She had fine robes, loads of books, and subscribed to a witches magazine (which I could not afford to do at the time).  I admit I had a twinge of jealousy.  But her robes were seldom worn because she didn’t know much ritual magic, she’d never more than leafed through the books in her library, and the magazines laid on the coffee table more than in her lap.  In short, she consumed a lot but benefited very little.

As you can guess, I liken this to food.  When I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, it was never that impressive.  But now that I have a precious amount of calories to spend throughout the day, I’m actively aware of where they’re going.  Before I go to bed (and especially if I find myself with late-night cravings), I pause to plan my breakfast in delicious detail.  “I bet I’ll be really hungry so I’ll make oatmeal and brown sugar.  And if I still want something else, French vanilla yogurt.  Mmmm!  I can almost taste it!”  And when I wake up the next morning, that breakfast is just exquisite.  It may not be impressive by anyone else’s standards, but it’s extra delicious because it was carefully planned, longed for, and enjoyed.  I don’t need to have the most of everything, nor the biggest or best.  Fully enjoying your own share is wonderful.

6.      Power is more important than appearances
Of course, when we begin learning magic it is all about results.  We want things—a good job, a new love, more money, more happiness, etc., etc., etc.  But as we go, the source of pleasure switches from the things we get to the fact that we have the power to get them.  You have what it takes to do anything you want with your life.  Where would you like to go today?  Maybe you don’t feel like changing anything; that’s fine, you’re the boss. 

The same goes for your body.  It starts out that you want to be skinny.  You want to look like a magazine: tight, lean, and smoking hot in whatever you choose to wear.  Being “in shape” is secondary—you just want to look good.  That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Well actually, it’s not nearly enough to ask.  And you find it out very quickly.  In a short amount of time, every little accomplishment on the road to getting fit becomes a source of immense pleasure.  You did another lap around the block today?  Rock on, you beautiful beast!  The exercise video felt a little easier this time?  You are the king of ass-kicking!  Pretty soon it’s not about looking good, it’s all about feeling good.  Then when you see your clothes getting loose, you’re almost surprised. 

 7.     Getting what you wished for is seldom what you expect
Yeah, we’ve all heard it before: “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”  I always rolled my eyes, too.  When I cast a spell, I completely expect to get my desires fulfilled.  When they do, I am always pleased, even if it was not in the same way I had envisioned.  Whatever gets you where you’re going, right?  Who cares about the little differences?  You might be surprised.

Now this gets a little personal.  Straight out--the first thing I lost was my chest.  At first, it was no big deal but as I whittled away at my silhouette, it seemed that nature wished to take an inordinate amount away from my upper half.  I got a little depressed.  I was never all that well-endowed to begin with, and this new lifestyle was taking its toll on what ladylike curves I possessed.  

Then I noticed all the spots that used to be filled out were, happily, now slimming but not with the precision I’d envisioned.  Anyone who’s lost a significant amount of weight will tell you that loose skin is something you’ll definitely have to deal with.  But what you may not know is that it happens to a certain extent at any size.  And it may or may not bounce back.  You’ll just have to live with the cards that time and genetics deal you.

When you see the ads for weight loss drugs, the spokesperson is always good looking, smooth skinned, perky, and, like, 15 years younger than you.  Know right now that his/her story is probably wildly exaggerated and (from the reports I’ve read) often painful and dangerous.  But, from just an aesthetic position, it’s also impossible. You’re not going to turn into big bosomed vixen with a flawless figure.  That’s okay.  You’ll be you—an even healthier, happier version of you—and that’s better.

Now I look at my reshaped figure and see the marks of my hard work.  They stand testament, alongside my pale stretch marks from two pregnancies, to my strength and perseverance.  They’re signs of an aging form, fragile and subject to a changing world, yet bold enough to brave it.  I can’t bear to think a bit of it ugly.


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About Me

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My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at QuillsOccultSupply.Etsy.com) full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

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