The value of this type of therapy was testified to by a study led by Dr Marian Tanofsky Kraff at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. The researchers worked with overweight girls, who reported that they binged and lost control over their food consumption. Tanofsky Kraff reported the therapy classes helped prevent these girls from gaining excess weight. Another important study also looked at how interactions play a role in eating disorders, especially behavior that led toward anorexia. Instead of turning to a higher power, they turn inward. Even if they didn't cause the situation they're in, they assume the burden for making it better. They take agency over their own transition. In what I found to be an unexpected twist, many people described how this act of agency meant acknowledging that their bodies understood change was coming before their minds did. Charles Gosset knew something was wrong with his life long before he started drinking and knew something was wrong with drinking long before he was able to quit. Naomi Clark perceived something was askew in her body for years before she even heard the concept of transgender. Nisha Zenoff felt sick and started dry heaving over lunch at what she later learned was the exact hour her son fell off a mountain in Yosemite. The Nobel laureate Pearl Buck describes a similar sequence in her memoir about her husband's death. Years ago I had learned the technique of acceptance. The first step is simply to yield one's self to the situation. And perhaps because he had relaxed a bit due to the arrival of his friends, Bogabante, who had been violently rampaging until a few minutes ago, started to yawn. One of the beef cattle folded the knees of its front legs and laid down. But Bogabante would not follow suit. So I took a gamble. I proposed to the owner and the staff that I would stand at the protective fence used by the bullfighters near the arena and wave my hands and a towel. If Bogabante charged me, I would lose, but if he didn't, I would win.

They agreed, and everyone except the owner ascended to the upper levels of the stands. I began my final showdown. From behind the defensive barrier, I faced Bogabante and waved first one, and then both hands. Next, I provoked Bogabante with a towel. It was piloted by Dr Eleanor Mackey from the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and her colleague Dr Annette La Greca from the University of Miami. These researchers found that girls from ages thirteen to eighteen were highly influenced in their eating patterns by the type of groups they hung around with or considered the norm. So, those who identified with athletic peers were less concerned about their own weight and seemed less likely to be trying to control their weight, than outsiders who identified with fellow nonconformists, and the rebellious, who skipped school and often got into trouble. Still and all, those who were the most likely to use drastic slimming strategies were those outside of interaction altogether, girls who did not belong to any particular peer group. The indication here is that while interaction, which is helpfully dealt with in interpersonal therapy, can push a person toward eating disorders, lack of interaction, which occurs when a youth is isolated and friendless, is also a key stimulator of these problems. This makes a fit ending point for this whole article in that throughout these articles I have emphasized how significant a role psychological factors play in the genesis of obesity. Sweet Suicide In our discussion of obesity, we had occasion more than once to allude to the dangers of sucrose, one particularly noxious form of sugar. As we saw, while blood sugar is itself a needed element of human metabolism, if sugar that comes from food, such as a candy bar, enters the bloodstream in a big swoop, rather than in the gradual way it would if it were contained, say, in an apple, there is hell to pay in the sense of a disturbance of the distribution of insulin. Repeated stress to this system leads to diabetes. It is a process of the spirit but it begins with the body. Psychologists call this the James-Lange theory, after William James and Carl Lange, who stumbled upon it independently in the 1880s. They found that in matters of emotion, the body acts before the mind fully identifies what's happening. James came upon this insight while hiking in Alaska. His aha moment: I am running from this bear; Recently, this body-first mentality has gained currency as scientists have been able to show how the body becomes both a vessel for registering crises and a starting point for overcoming them.

A number of people I spoke with described feeling they were undergoing a massive change even before they had vocalized it to themselves. They had a gut feeling, heard an inner voice, felt something in their heart of hearts. Somehow, I just knew. The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio says such feelings are our wake-up to a problem that the body has already begun to solve. And rather than charge me, Bogabante actually retreated. The power of Ki had completely erased his warlike instincts as a fighting bull. The owner of the bullring, who had watched all this unfold, told us he'd never seen a fighting bull yawn in the arena or retreat when provoked with a towel. This must be a miracle! In this way, my showdown with a fighting bull ended in victory for me. It was a magnificent proof of the Ki energy chain reaction. Kenya, Africa (Aired December 22, 2001) On November 27th, 2001, at 6:10 a. The air in Kenya was brilliant and clear, and it was neither too hot nor cold. Despite having just been on planes for about 20 hours, I wasn't particularly exhausted. This problem of the over consumption of sugar is the heart of the rising trajectories of both diabetes and obesity, and has so many hidden angles (such as the ads I mentioned that suggest drinking concentrated apple juice is healthy), that I want to spend some time covering the problem in depth. The association of health problems with sugar has long been known to doctors. Indeed, going back to the beginning of the last century in England, doctors lamented the ever-increasing amount of sugar being consumed and its relationship to various illnesses. When having heard someone mention the interesting discussions that went on in the medical journals concerning these issues, I decided to flip through a few of them. I was surprised not only at the intelligence of the debate, but at the amount of concern over sugar consumption in the scientific community. The British were annually consuming approximately five pounds of sugar per person in those days.

By contrast, in 1999 according to Department of Agriculture figures, Americans were consuming 158 pounds per person a year! So if the British doctors were alarmed then, our doctors should be in an uproar. Perhaps because the profession has been concerned with this issue for so long or perhaps just because they were astute observers of society, I found many doctors in Great Britain honing in on the diabetes/sugar connection a few decades back. I visited England circa 1972 to meet with three leading medical specialists: Dr John Clease, Dr John Yudkin, and Dr Dennis Burkitt. The point is: We may already have entered the transition before our mind even realizes it. Here are some ways people overcame their resistance and accepted their new reality: For some the switch was instant, like an epiphany. David Figura, a sportswriter from Syracuse, had grown so unhappy in his marriage that he was in the middle of driving to a nearby hotel to sleep with an old flame when he realized he was about to destroy his life. I actually broke down in tears, he said. I started thinking, What am I going to tell my son when I get home? That was the moment when I said, I cannot do this, and turned the car toward home. Lisa Rae Rosenberg, who struggled with addiction, was confronted by her sponsor, who said, Look down at your feet. See where you are. And start there. In the parking lot of the airport, some Asahi TV staff had already begun preparing for the shoot. I changed into my usual robes, and we began the six-hour journey to the Maasai village that would be the setting for this program. Upon leaving Nairobi, we entered the vast savannah. I noticed how wonderfully gently the grass on these plains waved in the wind; Though they were at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, these savannahs were the perfect habitat for countless different animals. As we passed through these plains, where the sky and earth meet, I could feel with my very body the grandeur of nature.

I recalled a manga with which I was enthralled in my youth called Young Kenya, and I realized that my long-held dream of coming to the wilds of Africa had finally become reality. However, the rough car ride took its toll, and the five-day shoot was tough. Finally, the time came for me to begin Ki exchange with the animals. Whenever I stand in front of animals with the aim of performing Ki exchange with them, I always wonder if they'll actually fall down or not. These men opened my eyes to the epidemic of diseases that were related to our over consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugar. I was particularly impressed by Dr Yudkin, the first professor to hold a chair in nutrition in England. If he wasn't a scientist I would suspect he was a magician in the tradition of Merlin, because the predictions he made in '72 have all been proven true about forty years later. He forecast the rising occurrence of type II diabetes. He could foresee that as a nation becomes increasingly obese, with their traditionally healthy diets being replaced by fast or highly processed food, diabetes would emerge in alarming numbers. He even guessed what the food industry's house scientists would say. They would seek to convince the public that the cause of the increase in diabetes was in the genes not the foods people chose to eat. Furthermore, he predicted, all of the medical conditions associated with diabetes (ie, weight gain, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, inflammatory conditions and arthritis) would be presented by house medical specialists as genetic ailments, to which fast food, sugar, and so on, made no or insignificant contribution. All these predictions came true--too true. He made them over forty years ago when people in the United Kingdom and the United States were consuming approximately 100 pounds of sugar a year. There was something about the specificity of the language that made the difference, Lisa said. Those are my feet, these are the shoes I happen to be wearing, this is the floor I'm on. She hasn't used drugs or alcohol since. For others, acceptance comes in the form of a mental calculation. When I first learned I had a malignant tumor in my left femur, I quickly created a formula in part to put myself at ease: I'd have a lost limb, a lost year, or a lost life. Karen Peterson-Matchinga, a model and psychic in California, did the same thing when she got a phone call that her husband, an art director, had fallen off a ladder on a film set.