Reductionism revisited

If you're fat, there's something wrong with you. That sounds judgmental, but I mean that being overweight is not just having more pounds than you want. And you won't solve your problem by just eating differently. Being overweight means that something is wrong with the way you are living, even more than the way you are eating. That's why the Enneagram can help.

Being overweight might mean that you have too much stress at work or that you are innocent of nutrition or that you don't know how to cook or you're eating to forget your girl friend or you aren't aware of the pollution of our food sources or you eat as you did when you played sports and now you do data entry or you just went through menopause and your metabolism has changed or any one of a dozen other things.

So when you try to lose weight by a potion you bought on television and you leave all those other factors in place, you are doomed. The drink or shake or cookie will work for a while, then all those other factors will swamp you and your resolution. Contemporary research always changes one and only one variable, then say they have the "active ingredient." You see that mentality in interviews: "What is your secret to (happy marriage, financial success, longevity, athletic excellence - whatever). What is your "secret?" It's never one thing. What made Warren Buffet rich or Albert Einstein a genius? Lots of integrated things.

Same thing with weight control. Dozens of personal factors have to be considered. And with the pollution of our food sources, a lot of social and economic factors have to be integrated into an effective approach. Even political forces are important. (For example, the most fattening foods are the ones most subsidized by the farm program. The government subsidizes high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil and dairy products. That makes them cheap, so that's what food processors use and you can afford to buy. Corn is highly subsidized and 25% of everything in a supermarket is made with corn. Fat chance you've got of escaping it.

The advertisements that promise easy weight loss are exactly the opposite of what an Enneagram coach does. I promise to mess with your life, help you do a number of things you haven't done before and look at a lot more than calories and numbers. I don't do reductionism, even in reducing weight.