I’m fat, probably obese… and I can’t stand the way people look at me!
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
– C.G. Jung, psychiatrist
“I’m fat, probably obese…”
Bob walked into my office and carefully studied the two chairs facing him with a nervous air about him. Both chairs were sturdy, durable pieces of furniture, one a padded rocking chair, the other a ‘Mission’ style, straight back with solid arms. When I asked him to pick either one…he still hesitated. Finally, he choose the ‘Mission’ straight back, approached it and eased himself into it. Then he let out an audible sigh of relief as if he had just completed a major task.
Bob was an IT entrepreneur. He had his own business developing software systems for other organizations. He was good at it and quite successful. He had been in business for over ten years and had eight staff working for him. Bob was married to Cindy and they had a two year old daughter named, Maggie.
Bob was almost six feet in height, kind of the ‘tall, dark and handsome’ type, but also carrying too much mass. He carried extra weight in the most common places today for men who sit too much and move too little. Around his neck, across his shoulders and around his stomach was a lot of extra padding. Even his arms, legs and hands had extra cushioning not needed or warranted by the rest of his body.
After Bob told me about his family and work I asked him how I could serve him.
He twisted himself in the chair again, still struggling to get comfortable…looking a bit squeezed, and then he said,
“I’m fat, probably obese…and it has bugged me for some time. But now I think it is starting to affect areas of my life I never imagined!”
“It is either scorn or pity…and that just pisses me off!”
“Bob, everyone has every human trait, according to someone, at some time. So, for example, some of my family perceive me as obese in regard to my focus on my work and the time I spend on my health.” I said.
He stared at my slight frame with a skeptic air. Then I added, “It depends on their value system what they will notice in me. You probably have heard the recent research suggesting one third of the human race is now considered physically obese…so you have lots of company. What is it about your size that is bothering you so much you would come talk with me?” I asked.
“Ken, I am a Dad now, Maggie watches me constantly and I wonder what she is thinking and what is she learning when she sees me struggling to get out of a chair…and intimacy with Cindy is not the same now…and I think I lost a contract last week when I had my first meeting with the client…I think when he met me, even though we had talked on the phone and by email, I think after meeting and seeing me, he lost confidence in my ability to provide the service he was after…and perhaps worst of all, I can’t stand the way people look at me when I am out in public…it is either scorn or pity…and that just pisses me off!”
“So, Bob, while your current weight is effecting several important areas of your life, the experience of being rejected by others, based on how they perceive you, is the most upsetting part…is that it, Bob?”
“When you say it that way, yes…it is the rejection I feel from others, who don’t even know me…yes, that’s one of the worst part, for sure!” he replied.
“This means you can’t lose weight, you can only change it into some other form of energy…”
“Let me ask you…what do you believe about your weight and how do you explain it to yourself?”
“Ken, I have struggled with trying to lose weight for a number of years. I have tried all the classic diets and programs. And, what you see are the results.” he said spreading his arm and pointing at himself in a derogatory manner.
“And I bet you know lots of people in your situation. The reason this occurs is the thinking flaws in most of these programs…they just don’t know Albert Einstein’s equation. By that I mean, according the the laws of physics, matter and energy are constant and can’t be created or destroyed. This means you can’t lose weight, you can only change it into some other form of energy…which might be a new form of eating, a new form of exercising…a new form of something which transforms your mass. As long as you persist in the new form you create a new weight.”
“Are you saying Ken, it is impossible, by the laws of science, to lose weight? Are you saying I would have to transform my lifestyle to have a different weight?”
“Yes I am, Bob! Let’s take an extreme example to clarify this natural law. If tomorrow you decided to eat only one nutritious meal a day, so reduce your food intake by two thirds. And you also decided to walk 10 km every day. Then your body would begin a process of transforming your body’s mass accordingly. If you persisted over a period of weeks, months and years, you could not, not transform, your mass accordingly. But to do that requires you to motivate yourself which demands you first evolve your thinking about you and these laws of nature!” I said.
“When you make your unconscious nature conscious, you will design your destiny, instead of feeling a victim of it.” ― King Ayles, author
“Are you saying my weight is actually a reflection of my level of awareness of myself?”
“Are you saying my weight is actually a reflection of my level of awareness of myself and the laws of physics!” Bob asked with a perplexed look.
“Bob, that’s exactly right! Everyone has the perfect weight for them to be who they are, right now; do what they do, right now; and have what they have, right now. So your current mass is just the mass you need right now to support your level of awareness, right now!”
“Ken, are suggesting my current weight is a good thing for me, in some way?” he asked.
“Yes, Bob, I am indeed! For example, it motivated you to contact me; it motivated you to be serious about your role as a father; it motivated you to evaluate your impact on your business; …it has also really motivated you to act decisively to protect your future…and I know there is more!” I said.
“Well…!” he paused, “when you look at it that way…I guess there may be some benefits for me to my current weight.” he said hesitantly.
“There are no weeds in nature…only in human perception!”
“Bob, only, we humans, see things as good or bad…there are no weeds in nature…only in human perception! So there are no mistakes in nature, only in human perception of nature’s laws!” I added.
Bob paused and his face flushed with frustration and anger, then he said,
“Give me a break…are you saying things like war…and cancer…and death are not bad things?”
“Bob, what I am challenging you to consider is war, cancer and death follow the same natural laws. This means that while war does cause pain for us, it also helps us to appreciate our life and those around us…so it is an important learning tool to motivate us to survive!”
“Ken, are you saying world peace and a cancer cure are not achievable because of the laws of nature?”
“This growing, learning and surviving help us appreciate ourselves…”
“Bob, we might create a temporary world peace if we all believed, as a planet, aliens were going to attack us, we might cooperate for a time with that common enemy…but, we need conflicts, in some form, at all times, to grow, learn and survive. This growing, learning and surviving help us appreciate ourselves and our life. This neutralizes or dissolves our earlier traumas into gratefulness. And this growth to appreciation happens within each person, individually!”
“Why does that kind of make sense to me?” he wondered out loud.
Then he added thoughtfully, “We’ve always have some kind of conflict somewhere, don’t we, Ken?”
“Invariably! We are constantly challenged to grow and learn at all times in life!” I said.
“So what about a cure for cancer?…Is that nightmare, another of our fantasies?”
“Great question Bob! Two recent, best selling, books, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukjeriee and The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery by George Johnson, offer some interesting and compelling ideas. A couple examples…there are over 200 kinds of cancer and its occurrence is actually quite steady across time…not on the increase, as many believe. Research has enabled us to remove some kinds, manage other kinds, and eradicate still others. But, we also uncover new types as well. A case in point is stem cells which can eliminate some types of cancer, while causing others types. It is important to remember, cell mutation, which is what cancer actually is, is a natural biological process. And cell mutation is also responsible for our ability to adapt to our environment and our evolution as a species.” I added.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
― Carl R. Rogers, psychologist
“There are no mistakes in nature…”
“So you’re saying all the stuff we are afraid of like obesity, war, cancer and others also have a benefit as well?”
“Yes, there are no mistakes in nature…only we humans call certain things ‘mistakes’ when we haven’t found the benefits…yet! So when you uncover the benefits that are coming to you from your current weight…then you are in a position to make changes to another mass that reflects your higher values…like being a good dad, spouse or successful business person.”
“Ken, it sounds logical in a way. But I do I go about uncovering the other side of my obesity!” he asked.
“Bob it requires just two things of you, a willingness to learn and a commitment to work hard at what your learning.”
“Well, I am ready to do both of those things, Ken!” he said with determination in his voice.
“So I am serving them, as they have served me, eh?”
And that is where Bob began his journey to transform his weight so it reflected his highest values. He began a journey of uncovering over 100 benefits to his obesity, then to find 500 other ways to achieve the same benefits that supported his higher values.
Then he went on to identify over 200 costs to his obesity. He continued to broadened his perception of himself, and carefully transform his mass, while growing his self worth and self confidence.
During his journey, I remember him saying he had just never considered a daily walk, with his daughter in her stroller, as useful for him, in several different ways, simultaneously.
One day he remarked, “Ken, I have noticed as I grow in self appreciation, the opinion of others becomes less of a concern…I am realizing, if they judge me, it is about them, their values and them learning to appreciate their own forms of obesity, and not really about me at all…so I am serving them as they have served me, eh?”
“Bob, I think you have this figured out very well.” I replied.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are
and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu, philosopher
Until Next time…
Our ANXIETY, WORRY & STRESS themes are continuing during August. We have now dealt with five of the seven forms: spiritual, mental, vocational, financial and social (today’s topic). Still to come are familial and physical. And remember to look for the connecting videos for each of the stress topics.
Please remember to send us your feedback and topic suggestions…we love to hear from you! If you have a specific question about dealing with the worrying, anxiety or stress contact me.
POINTS TO PONDER AND REMEMBER are:
- Obesity is present in every human in some form and knowing yours is very useful.
- Obesity can be expressed in each of the seven areas of life: spiritual, mental, vocational, financial, social, familial and physical.
- Your obesity is a learning tool for you.
- Your weight is exactly what it needs to be to ensure your survival and evolution as a person.
- Your weight cannot be lost only transformed into some other energy form.
- Your obesity is a catalyst for you to gain greater insight into your values and your self.
- Your obesity is an opportunity to develop more self esteem and self confidence.
- Your obesity requires you to commit to learning the laws of nature.
- Your social rejection is a catalyst for you to grow your self worth.
- Your fear of rejection is an important motivator for building self confidence.
Further information: www.kenpiercepsychologist.com