Originally Posted by ScrubJ
Wonderful post! Thank you.
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Last year a monument to human gullibility was published. Rhonda Byrne's silly nonsense tome The Secret made the best seller lists and proved once again that no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American public. The book, which I have not read, discusses a allegedly universal "law of attraction" and how the power of thinking positive thoughts makes them happen for you. (It sounds like US policy in Iraq.) An excerpt of the book is available online, and in it Ms. Byrne gives advice on weight loss:
"Make it your intention to look for, admire, and inwardly praise people with your idea of perfect-weight bodies. Seek them out and as you admire them and feel the feelings of that-you are summoning it to you. If you see people who are overweight, do not observe them, but immediately switch your mind to the picture of you in your perfect body and feel it."
If this is so, perhaps you shouldn't read this blog. But while Ms. Byrne's book is bound snake oil, there is a point buried under the bunkum. Weight loss is about changing the associations you have with food, but also with people. Some of my friends with weight problems I don't see as often because I no longer do what fat people do - watch TV and eat to excess. I don't have the time, and I don't have the interest. I turned down an invitation to a Christmas party last year simply because I didn't want to be in an environment that encouraged gluttony. I could have resisted the excess food and drink, but I didn't want to look at it, and the gluttons who consumed it.
I'm not the only one reevaluating a friendship during my metamorphosis. I've lost at least one friendship as a result of the weight loss. As far as I can tell, my former friend, very fit for his age, was used to me being 385 pounds and not very active or able. Once I began to lose weight our friendship became strained. He no longer returns my emails or phone calls. It's been suggested that the friendship was based on my weakness; in other words, I made my former friend look better, stronger, healthier in comparison to me, and that as I improved, nothing was left to sustain the friendship.
There's another factor at play here, one common to the 'super obese.' You have to get used to people liking you for you, and stop assuming that friendship is being motivated by pity or charity. My friend "Miranda" has observed that my disposition is greatly improved from my 385 pound days. Aside from the fact I feel much better physically, I no longer question if friendships are motivated by any factor other than common interests and the strange undefinable magic that governs friendship. Weight loss is more than losing weight, it's gaining self-worth.
Wheels keep turning. Exercise, and bicycling, are bringing me new friendships to replace old ones, bringing me in contact with fit, and fitter, people than myself. And these people seem to be accepting me. Since people, despite the claims of some, are social creatures and mirror others, I am changing myself by looking at fit people and not looking at fat people. Not for Ms. Byrne's stated reason, of course.