Dr. Dean Ornish once said that, “lasting weight loss is a by-product of deeper healing.” Have truer words ever been spoken?
The other day I was filling my sister in on the details of my visit with the surgeon and I told her about what I thought was going to be the moment of truth. The doctor seemed ready to call our little consultation to a close and wondered if I had any questions for him. Besides the most pressing question (When the heck can I get this surgery???) the main thing I wanted to know was how much weight I have to lose BEFORE the surgery. I held my breath, waiting on his response.
“No,” he says, “I’m not requiring you to lose anything; we usually reserve those measures for our larger patients.” Larger patients? He saw my eyebrows go up in question, so he continued, “I mean, those who are 400-500 pounds.” Aha. THAT was an eye-opener for me on perspective. It’s kind o t like the way I consider myself short because I’m shorter than almost everyone else I know. Then, once or twice a year, I meet someone who is 4’11” and then I think, now this person is REALLY short. Suddenly, despite my morbid obesity, I didn’t feel nearly as large. Interesting.
Still, no one weighs what I weigh without having some sort of underlying emotional issues. So when my sister asked me how much weight I was going to attempt to lose on my own before the surgery. I told her that to be honest, I’ve decided to do the internal work necessary to support permanent weight loss. If I don’t deal with what got me to this point, then I have the feeling that the surgery will only do me some temporary good, at best. When I say goodbye to the weight I want it to be forever. For me that means truly dealing with the spiritual issues that affect healing and wholeness. I’ve got some work to do and I’d like to take the summer break from teaching to FOCUS on that; to devote all my attention and awareness to it. If Dr. Ornish is right–and I suspect that he is–then if I get my inner healing taken care of, then weight loss cannot help but be a by-product. I intend to put this theory to the test.