But when I see a fat lady, I move down a couple of rungs on the ladder of human Her New York therapist had referred her to Dr. Yalom. She’d. Section 2 > Exercise 4 > Obesity: body image and culture. The following passage opens Irving Yalom’s story, “Fat Lady.” In this story, Yalom, a psychiatrist, tells. Fat Lady. Yalom, Irvin. Primary Category: Literature / Nonfiction and “disgusted” by fat women, that his “contempt surpasses all cultural norms.

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Or maybe she is in that tiny minority who succeeded in maintaining that weight loss.

Yet, in a more reflective moment, I realized that Betty may have plunged so deeply into therapy because of, not despite, our limited time frame. A good working yakom is: If even one’s therapist finds one repulsive, what hope is there after all? I had secretly hoped that lary appearance would be offset in some way by her interpersonal characteristics — that is, by the sheer vivacity or mental agility I have found in a few fat women — but that, alas, was not to be.

She viewed, she ldy me now, my suggestion about a possible career in nursing as a putdown, and accused me of saying, “The girl’s not smart enough for medical school — so let her be a nurse!

I shuddered when I thought of her dining, can opener in hand, on Optifast liquid.

It seemed astonish- ingly fast and easy. Good Lord, what had I gotten myself into? This led naturally into the other primary reason I found Betty so boring: When Betty told me about going to a western bar where two rednecks sidled up behind her and mocked her by mooing like a cow, I felt outraged for her and told her so.


Thus her dat from two hundred fifty pounds set her spinning back- ward in time through the emotionally charged events of her life: I no longer noticed her body and, instead, looked into her eyes.

Carlos had learned that lesson — it was what he meant on his deathbed when he talked about his life having been saved.

I’ll miss our meetings. How dare they impose that body on the rest of us? I would never have waited so long with a patient I liked more.

Betty was a good student, attended the state university, went to work for a department store in Texas, and after two years was transferred to the central office in New York. One ioo Fat Lady evening in the midst of a marital dispute, she uncharacteristically drank too much, went out of control, threw plates against the wall, and nar- fta missed her husband with a lemon pie.

Nevertheless, I do hand it to Yalom for saying out lavy what I am quite certain that many therapists feel and never speak.


What a time to stop — in the midst of work on important issues and with Betty still camped outside the one-hundred-fifty-pound roadblock! Not even for a handshake!

Careful, careful, she’s getting close. I don’t know how seriously to take him— everyone in California is such oady health nut. Otto Rank described this life stance with a wonderful phrase: When she began to digress further — extending the discussion to airline seats and how seated passengers’ faces grew white with fear when she started down the aisle searching for her seat — I interrupted her, repeated my request, and defined “one” as “casual conversation at work.


Of course, I am not alone in my bias. I want to tear the food away. Yet I had little difficulty accepting those patients, attempting to understand them, and finding ways to be supportive. I was asking her to dump her entire social repertoire. Honesty compels me to acknowledge that I am a fat woman. Could it be that her thighs and buttocks are so inflated that her feet have to go farther to reach the floor? She seemed staggered by my confrontation and re- treated by sinking into her body.

We cannot say to them you and your problems. Four years earlier, her only daughter had died of cancer, one day before her 13th birthday. I can see, I c?

Fat Betty | Jung At Heart

But were an explanation demanded of me, I suppose I could point to the family of fat, controlling women, including — featuring — my mother, who peopled my early life. But when I see a fat lady eat, I move down a couple of rungs on the ladder of human understanding.

It was not her doing: Wiping her brow with a tiny handker- chief, she stalled for time. But when I see a fat lady eat, I move down a couple of rungs on the ladder of human understanding.

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