9/1/11 Peter Clifford – http://www.petercliffordonline.com : BEING OVERWEIGHT – DEATH BY STONING – AVAAZ….
In the United States 70% of the population is suffering from being overweight and obesity, i.e. more than 30 lbs overweight from the perceived norm.
Even more worryingly, child obesity statistics indicate that a third of children between the ages of 2 – 19 are in the same category (at a time of life when we expect to be slim), the rates having tripled since 1980.
In the UK, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia the statistics are heading in the same direction.
The reasons are usually listed as lack of physical activity and eating fast foods. However, I think the reasons are deeper and much more subtle than that. Truly happy and contented people don’t let their bodies or their lifestyle deteriorate – why would they, it is not in their best interests?
If you really love yourself, you don’t overeat and underexercise, put excessive amounts of alcohol in your body or pollute it with drugs. For the truth is that these are all addictions that are indicators of deep seated discontent. So is overshopping, oversexing (if you see what I mean), overworking and compulsive gambling.
My thoughts on this (and maybe yours as you consider yet another New Year resolution diet) were prompt by the story of Paul Mason, who last year achieved the dubious accolade of becoming the UK’s fattest man at 70 stone (980 pounds).
Yes, it’s a terrifying picture. Poor man.
After living on a 20,000 calorie a day for years (normal average recommended intake for a man is around 2550 per day) he was unable to move, have a social life or any fulfilling relationships, or even go to the toilet or clean himself without outside assistance.This is not living and Paul, in the Channel 4 documentary aired this week, admits to hating himself for not controlling his eating.
The cost to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) of caring for him over 15 years is estimated at £1 million.
Fortunately for Paul, he is still alive. After a major operation some months ago he is down to 52 stone (728 pounds), on 1200 calories a day and able to get out and about on a powered mobility scooter.
UPDATE 18th May 2011: Paul Mason has reportedly now lost 37 stone (518lbs – 3 times my weight!) and is back home in Ipswich in the UK. Last seen outside the Fish and Chip shop where a friend was buying him food!
However, my view is that is that the reduced diet won’t help him (or any of us that are overweight) if he is not helped to tackle the underlying lack of self worth that exists in the first place. Unless that happens, instead of overeating he is just as likely to replace it with another addiction.
The same applies to the rest of us. If you are overweight by any significant amount or have any of the other addictions mentioned then it is time to take a long hard look at your lifestyle, your primary relationship, your job, your direction in life and most of all, a long, hard, deep look at how you feel about yourself and your place in the world.
Getting to the bottom of those deep seated fears, anxieties and low self esteem, that we all have to one degree or another, will change everything about your life. And turn you into a not only more contented human being but a more effective and creative one as well. This should be our New Year’s resolution for 2011.
Death By Stoning:
In my previous post I highlighted the case of Sakineh Mohammidi Ashtiani who is threatened by death by stoning. This week Iranina officials indicated that it is “possible” the stoning sentence may be dropped. That’s nice of them. It doesn’t mean she won’t be hanged or shot of course. This despicable farce has been going on since 2006.
In December, Sakineh was returned to her home temporarily to take part in a “documentary” in which she “confessed” to killing her husband.
The part of her husband was “played” by her son (also held in prison along with Sakineh’s lawyer).
Governments and individuals around the world have taken up Sakineh’s case. If you would like to support this go to
You might also consider supporting AVAAZ http://www.avaaz.org/en/index.php which has also previously run a petition to support Sakineh. AVAAZ is a very interesting international organisation, currently with 6.5 million members in 171 countries.
They are particularly skilled in using modern technology in a very powerful way to petition governments, companies and influential individuals to get effective, rapid results on issues such as human rights, protecting the environment, lack of democracy, poverty and climate change. Give them a look!
Until the next time,
Peter Clifford: www.petercliffordonline.com
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Peter Clifford has worked for almost 40 years as a counsellor, psychotherapist, lecturer and workshop leader empowering people worldwide to be the best that they can be.
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