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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, February 5, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesCoaching Paradise: Overweight and Overly Self-Conscious

Coaching Paradise: Overweight and Overly Self-Conscious

Dear CP,
I am very overweight and have been that way for most of my life. I have been on diets and yo-yo'd up and down — but mostly up. It’s not that I have given up, but I am tired of feeling guilty about my size.
I let what other people think keep me from doing what I want. I love the beach, and I love floating in the sea and feeling the sun on my body. I try to go really early in the morning when there aren’t many people.
I’m sick of feeling bad because people are looking at me and snickering to their friends. Like I said, I haven’t given up on trying to lose weight. But do I have to wait until I am thin to start living? What if I never get thin?
Bigger than Life
Dear Bigger than Life,
Thank you for your letter. It takes a lot of courage to put your feelings on the line and speak from your heart. You do everyone a great service by reminding us that the packages we come in do not tell the whole story. There are people who are overweight (as you say you are) and people who stand out in all kinds of ways because they are "different" on the outside. The saying, "Don’t judge a book by its cover" comes to mind.
The world is not kind to people who don’t fit the mold, and it is often difficult to navigate physical and emotional landscapes, such as finding a bathing suit that fits and dealing with people staring. I am sure that people who know and love you, see you for who you are, and even though you don’t tell me much about yourself, I know that you have talents and hopes and dreams.
I can tell that you enjoy life (floating in the sea) and want to show up now, not later. Good for you.
You have no control over other people. The best way you can influence them is to show up as the powerful person you are — someone who accepts and loves herself now, just as she is — in all her abundance, literal and otherwise. The starting point of all change is acceptance and appreciation of present reality.
How you show up will determine how others show up. People are mostly curious and insecure and can be mean, but they are also compassionate and loving and have better things to do than stare and comment.
As you go about living your life, just as you want to, they will go back to living theirs. By being true to yourself, you may also change some of their preconceptions about people who are heavy and inspire others who are in hiding to come out and “test the waters.”
With admiration,
Coach Paradise

Editor's note: Coach Paradise (AKA Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker-psychotherapist and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 774-4355 or email her.

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