A Cup of Assertiveness, Anyone? One Lump or Two?

A fun Photo: Barkerville old gold rush town. Summer 1966

I know.  The photos have nothing to do with the post.  But they are fun photos taken by my folks the summer after our wedding. Enjoy!

Assertiveness.  Yes, I would admire the skill. I remember years ago during a state inspection of a nursing home where I worked, feeling like a balloon,  air swooshing out of the stem, when someone gently said, “I can see you are upset.” Why did that calm me? Where does one find such a statement in the face of another’s anger?

Where does one draw the line between asserting the needs and wants of the true inner you, versus giving to loved ones or others when it brings you pleasure to give?

Whether or not we follow a doctrine or a religion, our culture is influenced by spiritual ideals.  Older women grew up during a time when expectations for women or wives were different and struggled either for or against women’s lib.  I chuckled when I read the home economics class advice given to girls in the fifties. We’ve come a long way.

As a caveat for having gastric sleeve surgery, a tool to assist with weight management, after my psych evaluation, the doctor agreed with the assessor and mandated psychological therapy for a year.  I’ll honor one more of six group sessions, and then I’m back to being me.  They can’t take the surgery back, (done Aug 11) so I’ll practice the assertiveness they so much encourage me to learn, and say, “I wont be attending any more sessions for a while.”

Barkerville old gold rush town - Dad beside stage coach. Summer 1966

Counseling can be about issues surrounding poor self-image, not being true to who we are (assuming folks know who they are), always yielding, and unsatisfying relationships—all believed to be the villains in the battle against obesity.

Recent research reveals the scientific basis for obesity, and society hasn’t caught up with the evidence. Yes, resulting psychology issues are involved, but genetic structure, hormones, and brain chemistry—shown through modern pet scans—tell a different story. The villains unmasked are dieting, yes dieting, and/or junk food—both guaranteed to set up folks genetically disposed, to experience obesity running full steam ahead.

Don’t misunderstand.  I believe counseling can help many if they are ready. (Can I see heads nodding?  ‘She’s not ready.’)

I am content, often living in the moment, connecting, giving, loving, not judging, (except against group therapy for me) and occasionally exploding under the self-generated pressure of needing 36 hour days.  I leave the re-shaping of my soul in the hands of the creative power of the universe—and inevitably I see growth and change according to life experiences.  Why would I tinker with the plan?

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diana Murdock
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 21:08:09

    Group stuff is not for me – unless it involves a lot of wine and cheese! Everyone’s journey is their own, manifested by our thoughts. Marion, you are one strong lady and I bow to you. Simply amazing what you are doing. You are so on the right track! Do what resonates with you – you’ll never go wrong!



  2. Tameri Etherton
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 13:04:01

    Hey Marion,
    I think being able to say, I need this surgery, was assertive and good on your for doing it! Interestingly, I’ve recently realized in my own weight loss journey that I DO need some counseling. My issues are deep and have nothing to do with food, except how it can be used as a means to keep me looking a certain way.

    You’re doing amazing and don’t we all wish we could have 36 hour days! Keep living in the moment and being content. Your life is opening up in new ways and it’s only going to get better. Congrats on your weight loss and decision to skip group therapy.



    • Marion Spicher
      Nov 08, 2011 @ 19:06:08

      Tameri, thanks for the praise and the encouraging words. I understand the need for counseling, and readily agreed at first, but it is now time to move on. Finding a good match is like panning for gold. And always, there is the fact that resistance signals a trouble spot. I’m aware of my trouble spots and at this time am not willing to change them. Remember chemicals and genetics can be involved. Obesity is not totally about issues. Marion Spicher (Life is a treasure hunt)



  3. Kate MacNicol
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 09:49:31

    Not everyone is cut out for the group thing. It would have been nice if you’d had other options, a one on one with a good nutritionist could help you with food issues of the past or help you adjust to your new body. I wish you all the best on your journey.



  4. Laurie Ryan
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 07:35:12

    We all grow as people, I think. It’s a part of life. And I respectfully disagree that you are leaving your growth in the hands of the universe. The step you’ve taken (surgery) is a huge step forward for your psyche as well as your physical presence. Well done! And best of luck!



    • Marion Spicher
      Nov 08, 2011 @ 08:31:05

      Thanks for your input, Laurie. Yes, growth as people is a given. For me, it comes down to the way I understand choice. Choices seem self generated, but going along with the universal rule of three, my choices are influenced by what I have in my heart, combined with circumstances surrounding me, and my hope for the desired outcome. Unable to predict the future, the outcome of choices unravels and is not always as I had hoped. But for me every choice rides on the wings of internal growth, circumstance and hope, the result always adding to my insight, whether bumping into a wall or sailing along toward a dream.



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