An Edge Interview with Debbie Johnson, one of the documentary’s teachers

We have all heard the statistics, about how America’s children are dramatically overweight. We’ve seen British chef Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” campaign against the use of processed foods in schools. And we continue to be flooded with diet plans, diet pills and even testimonials on how you can lose that unwanted weight.

Enter Dr. David Smiley, a clinical psychologist who arrived in Hollywood with $200 in his pocket and a desire to create a film that reveals not only why dieting does not work, but exposes the true secret about how to lose weight. After experiencing an epiphany, that our lives are created by our thoughts and beliefs, he brought together holistic and spiritual teachers and experts who could shed more light on the subject and teach him more. The result was the loss of 55 pounds and the creation of the documentary, The Inner Weighâ„¢.

Debbie Johnson is one of many authors and experts profiled in The Inner Weigh.

“His dream was to make this film for love, just for love,” says Debbie Johnson, author of Think Yourself Thin and one of the many expert contributors to The Inner Weigh, a film about changing the way that you think about yourself. It is about tapping into the power of your subconscious mind to create the body and the life that you want.

Johnson wrote her book after losing 40 pounds without special diets or exercise regimens. She has kept the weight off for over 25 years, strictly using “thinking thin” techniques that are at the heart of The Inner Weigh methods. She will be at the Minnesota premiere of The Inner Weigh at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19 at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 Upton Ave., Minneapolis. She will answer questions, lead a brief discussion and offer a short writing exercise after the film to help people get started on The Inner Weigh.

A former Twin Cities resident, Johnson recently relocated back to Hot Springs, SD, where she enjoys hiking, dancing, cooking, swimming and exploring. She spoke with The Edge about her participation with The Inner Weigh.

Debbie, thanks for sharing The Inner Weigh with the Twin Cities and the world. How did you become a part of this film and why did you want to participate in it?
Debbie Johnson:
Dr. Dave Smiley, the creator and producer of the film, called me when I was just leaving Santa Barbara, CA, to move back to South Dakota. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was leaving California and I was being asked to fly to L.A., just south of Santa Barbara, to be a part of this amazing project!

Dr. Dave had a truly sincere, caring voice. He believed so much in this project and I could tell it was all about love. So of course I said, “Yes!”  I knew it would be the next level of consciousness for bringing compassion and hope to people who hate their bodies, but who realize diets don’t work and beating themselves up doesn’t work.

What is the message of  The Inner Weigh?
DJ:
Love yourself. You are Divine Spirit. You have an inner compass that will steer you through the morass of dieting hype and whisper the truth to you. It will tell you what you need to eat, how you need to exercise and even more precious, how beautiful you really are, just as you are right now. You don’t need to think, you just need to be yourself and listen to your own precious intuition.

What did you — as one of many authors, spiritual leaders and experts who were brought together in the creation of this film — specifically want to say to viewers?
DJ:
I wanted to tell people that they are truly Soul. That they don’t have a soul, like owning it, but they are Soul, divine spirit, in a body and that they can better control their lives from that viewpoint through imagination. Of course films get edited, so what came out was more about how to do that. But what’s so wonderful about the magic of this film is that we were all saying what each of us believed, sometimes in almost the same words, so someone else actually said it!

Reports have documented the tremendous increase in the overall weight of Americans, especially our children. Is there a bigger issue at play here, or is it just that we are eating too much food that is unhealthy and are not exercising enough?
DJ:
That’s such a great question, Tim! I want to say, all of the above. However, it doesn’t help to try to restrict ourselves, force or push ourselves, because then we just want more of what we can’t have. Have you ever noticed that willpower only works for a very short time? That’s because it’s coming from the conscious mind and ego. However, if we tap into the subconscious via our divine gift of imagination, we can then begin the journey, our own individual journey, to success in anything. And that includes weight-release.

If parents would tell their kids, or spouses would tell each other every day, “You look a little thinner today,” or “You look fantastic! You must be doing something right,” then you’d see a huge (no pun intended) change in people. And of course, people can do this for themselves, as well. My favorite is: “I feel a little bit thinner today.” That got rid of a lot of my weight!

How does The Inner Weigh relate to The Secret?
DJ:
In several ways. First of all, Bob Proctor, the main teacher in The Secret, is also in The Inner Weigh, along with some other very visual people in the self-help field, such as Mary Morrissey and Gay Hendricks. Also, The Inner Weigh is based on the law of attraction, which we know of as visualization, basically. The format is similar. Interviews are done looking at an actual person, though the audience doesn’t see Dr. Dave doing the interviews.

Because of this, the audience feels the connection. We’re not just talking to a camera, but a real, live, receptive and very interested human!

Is The Inner Weigh just rehashing old ideas or is it a new revolutionary way of looking at dieting, exercise and weight loss?
DJ:
Well, Tim, it’s old and new and very revolutionary. The old part is the love, the very essence of what makes everything work better in life and the trust in intuition and our spiritual connection with God, the universe, whatever you believe. The revolution is that this film reveals, through several studies shown, that this idea works and that restrictive diets don’t. I don’t know if anyone has gone to that kind of extreme…to show that diets may actually be harmful.

Many of us are old enough to remember when people started rising up against smoking. Studies were showing many illnesses related to smoking, but most people didn’t pay much attention. This all began at the turn of the 20th century. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the diet industry is finally getting examined more closely.

One of the studies on The Inner Weigh shows that a six-month starvation diet (what most calorie-counting diets are like for the body) made people horde food, binge and gain weight afterward. Also, some very restrictive diets can cause many health problems.

You are the author of Think Yourself Thin. How does your book relate to the ideas in The Inner Weigh?
DJ:
Think Yourself Thin is completely aligned with The Inner Weigh. It’s why Dr. Dave asked me to be in it. In fact, he lost 55 pounds using my methods, as well as others, relating to the law of attraction.

The idea in Think Yourself Thin is to imagine your ideal self (can be used for weight or any issue, challenge or goal) using all of your senses and positive emotion. It’s now been proven that positive emotion felt with positive thoughts or images creates things in life faster than just thought. I’ve been teaching that and using it myself (when I remember!) for years.

What lasting impressions did you have after seeing the finished film?
DJ:
I cried when I first saw it, as did many of the teachers in the film. The love and compassion just jump off the screen. It reaches people at a heart level. Even though we’re called teachers, not stars, I feel like we should be called, “the lovers on the film,” because that’s what we all wanted to share with our fellow humans who suffer as many of us have.

Many of the teachers on the film either had a weight problem (who knew Gay Hendricks was once 300 pounds?) or an eating disorder. My story was that I gained 40 pounds dieting over a ten-year period from teens on. I finally gave up on dieting, tried the methods I’d learned in my spiritual studies and reading. I lost it all thinking thin, using a technique I developed that I call “focused imagination” and I’ve kept the weight off over 25 years, even through my change of life! And as you’ll see on the film, the other teachers have maintained their weight loss, as well — it’s so amazing — without any diets!

I truly believe that this is the way people who are suffering from carrying too much weight can find a spiritual solution. Whatever they believe will be ignited through watching the struggles others have gone through. The light of God comes through many of the teachers on the film and I know it will touch people in a way they’ve never experienced before with such a down-to-earth topic. The Inner Weigh already has rave reviews on Amazon and is endorsed now by Rev. Michael Beckwith of the Agape Movement, as well as Neale Donald Walsh.

For more information about The Inner Weigh, visit TheInnerWeigh.com.

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