Great work so far! I hope you congratulate yourself for already beginning. In fact, doing something nice for yourself as a thank-you is healthy self-compassion and self-care. You may be asking yourself, If that's the case, then why have I not done this reformulation of self before? I always say that there are two primary differences between humans and animals: thumbs and reason. Now we know what you have been doing with your thumbs all this time. What have you been doing with your reason? I am betting that you are distracted so much of the time by just trying to keep up with the pace of life that there is little, if any, time to work on you and what is really important to you, versus just "dancing for the world." The expectancies and demands that compete for your time and energy are increasing at a dizzying rate. Result? You have lost yourself--literally--in a blur of hyperactivity and diversion. Then there is fear: the fear of change, of stepping out into the unknown. Fear is a crucial issue, and one that we will have to address together: your fears connected to your job, your marriage (or lack thereof), your health, the challenges facing your children, watching your body age, or a million other things that may be keeping you paralyzed, pessimistic, shut down, and insecure. Finding the positives about yourself can be difficult, even when you consciously focus on the task. Having done something once leads to the confidence to do it again. Gratitude is a great aid to this. Remember to tell people how much you appreciate them daily. You remember how I learned to understand the power of hugs. How grateful I was. (There is fact in the hug effect I experienced. Oxytocin is a powerful drug, actually called the hug drug.

Havening is a technique that utilises this with great effect.) That soon changed. Within a short period of time, I replaced that with a different belief. I created space for a new belief. I did not know it should be filled with something positive. That a vacuum left to its own devices can be filled with something not wanted. Tremendous joy can become ours when we surrender our logic, suspend our disbelief and come to have deeper faith in the magic of life: the unwritten law that binds us all together. There could be nothing so freeing, humbling or healing as relinquishing our fixation with knowing and controlling things, surrendering to the divinity and mystery of things unseen but deeply felt. Seeing that we are loved, and living in an enchanting world. Seeing that life is full of wonders. The precious, intuitive and subtle voice of our inner wisdom, the timeless knowingness of nature, speaks to us in our quiet moments of surrender. In these moments we touch the complete richness of all that is seen and unseen in this life, knowing that we are protected, loved and guided. Seeing through loving and wondrous eyes is a wholly free and revolutionary act. Weigh yourself when you first begin a weight loss program for a baseline, or starting point. Then hold off for four weeks before stepping on the scale again. After that, you should keep tabs on your weight on a more regular basis. I recommend once a week. (To get the most accurate reading, try to weigh yourself on the same day each week, at the same time, using the same scale and wearing the same clothes.) In fact, the scale is a reliable early warning signal that something's amiss with either your diet or exercise habits. When the numbers go up, you have an opportunity to fine-tune your diet or exercise regimen. If you know that the numbers on the scale tend to make you nutty, try using a pair of pants as a gauge instead. If they get too tight, maybe it's time to tighten the reins on your diet and/or fitness plan.

For some people, cutting calories and increasing activity as well as doing the emotional work required to remedy the issues that led to weight gain in the first place aren't enough. They just can't lose weight. In many of these cases, bariatric surgery may be an option. Bariatric surgery is a blanket term for many different procedures, including gastric bypass and lap-band surgery. I'm not recommending any of the procedures for everyone, or even for anyone who can't seem to overcome nature's will. But if your body weight poses significant danger to your health--that is, if the risks of staying obese outweigh the risks of surgery and the lingering side effects--then you may want to consider surgery. Whatever has occurred to you as you've learned about perfectly hidden depression, I hope it includes a growing sense that you're reading this book with a purpose in mind. And that purpose involves healing. Healing from trying to look and act perfectly. Healing from hiding. And healing from depression. It's only after you begin to unwrap your own tight layers of perfectionistic packaging and discover what's inside that true understanding can emerge. Think of the Russian nesting dolls, or matryoshkas, where each doll has an unknown number of smaller dolls encased within it. Consider your own healing as a careful and curious cracking open of each figurine, from the outside in. With every minor shift, with every choice to open yourself to what could lie within, with each aha moment, you can uncover an entire layer of emotional or mental experience that wasn't recognized or accepted by you before. It's challenging. It can be painful. But it's vital for a healthy life. But make no mistake: At the core of every human being is a uniqueness, individuality, and distinctiveness that demands to be expressed. You are no exception.

However deeply your individuality may currently be buried--no matter how lost or nonunique you may feel--you are in there. Through these pages I am coming, and I am coming for you. Your job is to jump into this project with a willingness to give to it your time, your unadulterated candor, and your utmost passion. You must commit to reconnecting with yourself, whether you are encouraged by others to do so or not. You must be willing to ask yourself the hard questions that I'm going to pose to you and give honest, no-nonsense answers to them, no matter how unbecoming those answers might be. Starting now, you must hold yourself to a new standard of self-examination. My promise, in turn, is to show you the fallacies of the inauthentic life, the conspiracies in which you are a hapless participant, and a way to get back to your authenticity. Conspiracy happens in the dark. It happens in the deep recesses of who you are. Monsters and ghosts work in the dark, just as our fears mount without light. And the fictional life, the mythical life, is a monster. We are going to flip the switch and turn on the floodlights. We will watch the myths shrink away like cowards. You are going to get back your power so that you can serve yourself and, therefore, those you love. An anorexic looks into a mirror and sees obesity. A crack addict feels nothing but the drive to score. Someone suffering from a lack of esteem hears nothing but ridicule, scorn, and challenge. Endless, pointless variations of self-destructive behaviours that all of us have the power to change. If we are shown how, now. "Pain is just an electrical signal to the brain that can always be turned off." Before writing anything, get yourself enthused.

Repeat in your head or out loud "Thank you" at least 20 times. Feel it intensely. Write everything in the present tense. Begin with `Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I Am Lucky...' 16 Get Lucky Now I choose to see anew today. Things my eyes have begun to overlook will become interesting to me again. Details I have started to miss will spring forward to delight me. Moments of magic I have been passing by will start to enchant and inspire me. I choose to see like a traveller today, traversing new land, exploring new sights. With the energy, curiosity and gratitude of a traveller I will explore and savour all the details of my life. I will allow my senses to be delighted. I will take in the scents, the sounds and the sights, the colours, the shadows and the light. I will revel in various patterns, tastes and textures. I will notice faces, movement and touch. Bariatric surgery has gotten some bad press, probably because too many people who could trim down with diet and exercise are opting for the surgical solution. But on the flip side, many people who would probably benefit most from the surgery aren't getting it. In fact, of the fifteen million Americans with a BMI over 40 (which is considered morbidly obese), only 1 percent undergoes bariatric surgery. Of course, no surgery is without risks or complications, and that's true for this type of surgery as well.