AuthorsDen.com   Join Free! | Login  

     Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!

SIGNED BOOKS    AUTHORS    eBOOKS new!     BOOKS    STORIES    ARTICLES    POETRY    BLOGS    NEWS    EVENTS    VIDEOS    GOLD    SUCCESS    TESTIMONIALS

Featured Authors:  Tom Kitt, iWayne Anderson, iBonnie Milani, iOdyssia Learning, iGary Rodriguez, iLinda Alexander, iIan Irvine (Hobson), i

  Home > Psychology > Articles Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Robert Levin

· Become a Fan
· Contact me
· Books
· Articles
· Poetry
· Stories
· 11 Titles
· 5 Reviews
· Save to My Library
· Share with Friends!
·
Member Since: Before 2003

Robert Levin, click here to update your pages on AuthorsDen.




   Recent articles by
Robert Levin

On Turning Sixty
Stupidity: Its Uses & Abuses
No Stars For The Eclipse
Recycle THIS
Everything's All Right in the Middle East
           >> View all

You Don't Know What You're Doing (Or Why You're Still Fat)
by Robert Levin   
Rated "R" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, March 04, 2011
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2007

Share    Print   Save    Become a Fan


Obese people are playing a game with themselves.

(Note: Obese people with authentic medical issues are exempted from the following discussion.

Awhile back I wrote a short humor piece in which I poked fun at a grossly overweight woman/

The piece was called “Peggie (or Sex With a Very Large Woman)” and it elicited a fair share of irate mail from women who identified with the title character.

"I hate you," went one typical response. "How could you write such hurtful trash? Do you have any idea what it's like to struggle all your life with an obesity problem? Do you know what it is to be forced to endure incessant jokes and insults, to torture yourself with one failed diet after another—to think, sometimes, that you might actually have the problem solved only to lapse and have to begin again? Do you know what it is to live with a constant sense of guilt and shame? How could you be so insensitive?"

Okay. I'll admit to an indulgence of my juvenile side (and, as several other readers felt the need to point out, to producing less than ageless prose as well), but I have to say that I remain unmoved by the suffering I'm accused of inficting.

Why? Because the "obesity problem" of which my correspondents speak is actually their solution to a deeper and more urgent problem. What's more, it's a solution that, to judge by their obvious absorption in it, is working very well for them.

Now in order to grasp what I'm driving at it is first necessary to acknowledge something about guilt and shame. To feel guilt and shame is built into our essence—IT'S A NATURAL CONSEQUENCE OF BEING MORTAL. Guilt derives from the sense that we must we have done something terribly wrong to warrant the fate we’ve been assigned. Shame is rooted in our inability to alter our fate, to change the given—we’re incompetent where it really counts.

It's also necessary to remind ourselves that our natural feelings of guilt and shame, accompanied as they are by the simple terror our mortal condition causes us, make for an intolerable burden that must be relieved if we are to function in the world with even a modest degree of equanimity.

And finally it's necessary to recognize the last thing we want to recognize, since to recognize it can undermine what we're trying to achieve: in one way or another virtually everything we do is designed to mollify our existential dread and anxiety.

Bearing such truths in mind, I'm saying that people with perpetual obesity issues are playing a game with themselves.

Look. One of the myriad ways with which we accomplish the mitigation of our natural guilt and shame is by finding, and becoming obsessed with, OTHER things to feel guilty and ashamed about, things that (to assure them an authentic gravity) are culturally certified as real and legitimate faults or deficiencies and which, at the same time, are potentially REDEEMABLE, that are within our capacity to overcome or transcend. What we do is make them what is essentially wrong with us—indeed, we make them, in our minds, the very reason for the death sentence we've been handed. Implicitly, these fabricated problems also embody a way to secure our salvation. If they are what is fundamentally wrong with us, by defeating them we will be absolved of what is fundamentally wrong with us. If we still must die we will survive our death in heaven.

But here's the thing. If we succeed in beating the problem we've concocted for ourselves we're returned to where we began. Once the flush of victory wanes we discover that our basic dilemma is still there, that we're left to nakedly confront the void once again.

So what do we do?

Well if (and exploiting, of course, an innate predilection) we've made weight our problem, and if, with dieting and exercise, we've managed to overcome this problem, what we do is find an excuse to quit exercising, to go off our diet. Then what we do is renew our struggle and when the process has run its course again we repeat it.

Unless we find another game to play, we play this one into infinity.

Yes, each time we gain weight again the pain and humiliation we experience is devastating. But the size of our anguish serves to validate the size and legitimacy of our manufactured problem. In order to make the problem feel real and significant enough to work its purpose we need to experience real torment. At bottom, however, for all of the misery it causes us, our weight problem functions as the palliative for a larger misery. The more we flagellate ourselves with it the more we succeed in suppressing our deeper horrors and the more we achieve a measure of peace where it matters most to us.

Say all that to say that for making their weight troubles even more painful, I think fat people should regard "Peggie" as a gift.


 



Want to review or comment on this article?
Click here to login!


Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!



Going Below The Water's Edge, Past lives, Reincarnation, Inner Self by RONALD FEHRIBACH

Rediscover the SECRETS of your mind. Your conscious and unconscious is more powerful than you ever imagined. Find out more about life, rebirth, and the real meaning of life..  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members


You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too. by William Cottringer

This book reveals the main mental mousetraps in life with some practical solutions. It is based on the original conspiracy between chaos and order...  
Featured BookAds by Silver
Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us


Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.