|I was recently cleaning out my computer photo folders and came across a picture I took when I was writing the article
on soy. It made me smile. I think it tells a story. The story of Kathleen wanting to bring you healing. Today I want to write about that some.|
You know, sometimes a new person will come in, ask about soy protein powder for their kids and I will say, *don't use soy with kids, it is estrogenic.* Sometimes, I think it sounds sort of curt and they might think I am being dismissive. I know that I am known for being to the point, LOL.
But we don't really talk
about what is behind it. When I was looking at this picture, I was thinking about the whole box of citations I read for the soy story. There they are, with highlighters and notes and trying to make sense of something so complex and contradictory. This is what I want most to give you - a trustworthy, informed and thoughtful response to these issues. I want to offer a way to ask questions reflectively and then to sort through understanding how to make choices. I guess we might call it
Let me show you what I mean. Many of us deal or struggle with being fat. The first level of looking at this was why. Why is it that some of us have to work so hard? Why is it that what *they* tell us does not fit, does not work? So I put up the original YLD program which was kind of an outline of the questions and the things I knew at that time. It was more behavioral, and an adaptation of the sugar sensitive story based on what seemed to make sense.
Then my publisher
said, *Ok, let's do a book.* I adapted that original material and wrote Your Last Diet. It was very substantive. A year of my desk looking like that picture. But it was not sexy, nor did it lend itself to sound bites. My editor left and the new person assigned to the book was slender, into exercise and not particularly invested in fat people. But we were still doing the program.
I started a little pilot project. We played with some of the ideas. We dug deeper to find solutions and
practical stuff. But it was really grim and really rather boring. So we didn't talk about it much. I kept thinking, there has to be more. It wasn't having *information* - that didn't grab us.
So I figured I would design a class and look to the experiential to see what might emerge. We started off and I asked people to share how they felt about being fat. The stories blew me away. I have run groups for twenty five years, I don't usually get dumbfounded. But those stories were full of so
much anguish, so much pain, and such consistency that I literally could not talk for days. I felt I was swirling in the pain of a people, people who do not speak this pain, people who are hidden and silent and desperate and trying each new diet.
We kept going. I asked for a list of every diet. The list grew and grew and grew until we were laughing so hard it hurt. People began to see that this is not a personal story, a story hidden in shame, but that somehow there was more to it.
Something bigger than we understood. Then I said, what if this list was about skill rather than failure. The class said *WHAT!, Whatever do you mean?*
We began to talk about what is there underneath the pain. That it wasn't failure, it was biochemistry. We just didn't know. And now we do. And just like sugar sensitivity, the stories started to transform. Instead of spinning, spinning, we could ask, what is here to learn, how can I make sense of this? How can I understand the biochemistry
of being fat and then use that to craft a way of healing?
So, the research became in service to the lived experience and the lived experience became the way to make the research come alive. Instead of a bunch of mice in a lab, it became our friend, the C57s who are teaching us why we have fat stomachs and why exercise might not work for us as we expect. It is this marriage of science and life that makes this community so alive and vital.
You guys make it burst from the pages into
real life. You make the highlighters shine, even sing. Your stories, your truth, your lives make the citations come alive. And my oh my, is it exciting. It feels like Holy Moley, Batman, we KNOW this story, we LIVE it. Watch us rock!