I expected Chip to feel at least as disgusted with my body as I did. While my body size was not his preference, his love for me never waivered. Instead of rejecting or badgering me to lose weight as I was doing to myself, he was kind, empathetic, compassionate, and curious. As a highly educated professional fitness trainer, he was surprised and intrigued by how easily my body gained weight.
It was as though we were sitting together in a movie theater watching what was happening with my body on the screen. He would objectively point to interesting things in my experience, fascinated and curious because it defied much of what he’d been taught in school. He genuinely wanted to know what was going on. Like a compassionate researcher, he helped me make space to be curious, to experiment, and to discover what was really true for my unique body.
Chip was one of my greatest teachers of compassion and curiosity and very, very slowly, over time I began experiencing these life-changing qualities for myself. My transpersonal psychotherapist, Lisa, was another wonderful teacher for me. She provided a powerfully loving and insightful space for me to experience and understand the emotions I had previously numbed with food and work. After a bad experience with psychiatry in my teens, I was surprised and profoundly grateful to encounter such a sweet soul to expertly support the unfolding of my inner life.
Allowing myself to be supported by caring others freed me of both the painful isolation of trying to fix myself all alone and the frustration of being stuck within the very perspectives I was trying to change. It became clear to me that it is the nature of the human psyche for us to be unable to see ourselves as kindly, clearly, and objectively as we must to know who we truly are. Without help it’s almost impossible for us to see the truth that the very parts of ourselves we are relying on to help us get free are the ones keeping us stuck.
Losing weight for good is less about focusing on weight loss as the primary goal and more about learning to work through what’s false so we can live what’s true.
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