Embracing Life



Thestory “Life is for the well” talks about a woman who livedChronic Fatigue Syndrome, but the meaning that she attached to hercondition affected her life more than the condition itself. A merechange in the meaning that she had attached to that condition helpedher embrace life, change her perception about her life, and reducethe number of doctors that she used to consult on a weekly basis toone.

Theinsight I get from the story is that people go through differentchallenges in life, but their perceptions about those problems mighthave more significant impacts on their lives than the underlyingchallenges. This implies that the journey of healing starts with achange in perception, which helps the affected person enjoy life inspite of facing some difficulties in life. In other words, a changein perception helps an individual see the positive side of life,instead of allowing the negative things that happen in life limittheir progress and the opportunity to enjoy life. From the story, thepatient avoided the theatre since she believed that she could notmanage to watch all episodes, but after changing her perception, shecould attend the theatre, take her time to find a seat, and watch thefirst episodes and only miss the last one in case her fatigue getsworse. In overall, the story drives the idea that the way peoplethink and see things influence the quality of life as well as theirwell being.

Thestory “Life is for the well” reminds of me my personalexperiences with childhood obesity. I was brought in a family whereone had to finish the entire portion of food on the plateirrespective of whether one felt full or not. Although my parentsthought this idea would reduce wastage and us, the children, itinculcated in us the habit of eating more than what we need. Theoutcome of this behavior was obesity that affected me for a betterpart of my childhood.

Iweighted 204 lbs at the age of 9 years, which became a worry to meand my parents. My mother tried to change the diet and limit myintake of food, but this could not work since I used to buy junk onmy way to school. She booked weekly appointments with a counselor whocould help me overcome the unhealthy behavior of binge eating. Ittook me close to three years, but my weight continued to increase. Iisolated myself from my friends and classmates because some of themcalled me a “soccer ball”, a phrase that they used to connote anobese kid. This reduced my self-esteem and I ended up withdrawingmyself from the school’s football team. I could not participate inany games or social activities (such as birthday parties) with mycolleagues for a period of about three years since I felt embarrassedin their midst. I pretended to be busy whenever my friends invited mefor a game or a party.

Itwas not until when my counselor taught me that obesity is a conditionthat is exacerbated by stress and depression. This statement allowedme to reflect on my life, after which I realized that all attempts tocontrol my eating habits failed because of the stressful conditionthat I subjected myself to after isolating myself from colleagues. Ihad to overcome the fear of rejection and have confidence in myselfso that I could present myself to my friends in a manner that theycould also accept me. This was the start of a new life and I rejoinedmy football team, which helped me avoid the negative effects ofstress and take part in physical activities. Since then, my weightstarted reducing gradually to normal by the end two and half years.This experience helped me realize that the negative perception I hadtowards my weight had held me back and destroyed my social life morethan the obesity. A change in perception enhanced my social life andhelped me overcome the underlying challenge of childhood obesity.

Frommy personal experience and the story “Life is for the well”, itis evident that what people about themselves and about challengesaffecting them can limit their chances to enjoy life. The negativeeffect of perception may exceed the impact of the underlyingcondition.