Why would anyone want to work with people like me?

It was hard to judge the emotions behind Cee’s question. I could hear concern, despair, futility and curiosity in her voice, all blended into a heart-wrenching question.

She was saying that the world had branded her an abject failure, someone to ridicule for being fat and lazy, lacking self control and pride in her appearance. She was a slob, no matter how nicely she dressed. We live in a world of superficial judgement, where youth and beauty reign, and your worth is determined by your weight.

To me, it was amazing that she even had to ask the question, but I also understood the validity of her concern. She was used to being pushed aside and overlooked, by her family and her peers. It sucks to be fat. The shame of it causes insecurity that is almost insurmountable.

To her, it was inconceivable that any normal person would care enough to treat her gently and help her find answers.

Lipedema therapy involves so much more than compression. It needs to also involve DECOMPRESSION of closely held beliefs about self, about appearance and self worth.

How do we go about helping our loved ones reverse years and years of conditioning, or emotional abuse? The process is long. Our minds are hard wired with a negative bias that makes bad seem real and causes us to doubt anything that “seems too good to be true”. It will take incredible patience and understanding, constant reinforcement that your loved one has value, is beautiful, and contributes to your life just by being herself.

How do we go about helping our loved ones reverse years and years of conditioning, or emotional abuse?

The process is long. Our minds are hard wired with a negative bias that makes bad seem real and causes us to doubt anything that “seems too good to be true”. It will take incredible patience and understanding, constant reinforcement that your loved one has value, is beautiful, and contributes to your life just by being herself.

12 comments

  1. Although I do not have this condition I do have a personal view of myself that I have been told is completely wrong. I see myself as fat, too big here, too big there…I see people and I wonder if that is what I look like. Why do I even care? I have been told that if I am so concerned why don’t I do something about it. I wish life were that easy. I realize though that being told I was less than perfect for so long has ultimately affected my confidence. This then snowballs, as most people with confidence issues know, until you just say forget about it! Anyhow, I am now with someone who constantly tells me I am beautiful and perfect the way I am. I do catch a few glimpses of it in the mirror. I hope some day to see that person all the time!

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  2. Most of my adult life, I’ve been anywhere from overweight to really fat. I’ve gotten a lot of backhanded compliments: “You are so good at your work, I sometimes forget you are fat,” and ” For a fat girl, you really dress well.” I actually think the people saying that stuff thought it was complimentary. Then I got very very thin for about 10 years and everyone said I looked like a prisoner of war. By the time I was having cancer and heart surgery, for the first time in my life I stopped caring about my weight. It didn’t matter anymore. Surviving was my issue AND I was past the age where “looking good” had much relevance. I did wonder why Garry picked me rather than one of those pretty people he worked with. But I knew the answer. He could talk to me and he couldn’t talk to them. I was not only attractive (he LIKED the weight), but I was smart enough to keep up with him.

    Looking back, I realize what a waste of time it was worrying about my weight — a complete waste of energy and emotions. I just didn’t know any better.

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  3. I hope this helps. Maybe you’ve heard someone mention “the Desiderata”.

    Many, many motivational quotes I think are garbage. Far too much just-looking-good or sounding good politically-correct FLUFF.

    But to me, the Desiderata is more believable than many other things out there. It may not be the ultimate answer but i find it very useful. Here it is:

    Desiderata
    GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
    Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
    By Max Ehrmann © 1927
    Original text

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