Odds are, you’ve heard the song. Either on the television show ER. Or at the movies viewing–You’ve Got Mail, Meet Joe Black, Finding Forrester or 50 First Dates. It’s a song medley of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World. This mellow, uplifting rendition is by the late Hawaiian singer, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. People affectionately called him “IZ.” He died at 38 years old from respiratory health problems attributed to his obesity. At one time, his weight ballooned up to 757 pounds. Might EFT help people with obesity and weight issues?
The World Health Organization has called obesity a worldwide epidemic. Delegates at the 11th European Congress on Obesity estimate that the problem affects more than 300 million people worldwide. In the USA, besides being a quality of life issue, increasing the risk of premature death, obesity and being overweight costs the USA an estimated $117 billion in direct medical costs and indirect costs. Obesity in children is growing significantly.
For a contrarian point of view on obesity, examine The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos. The Websites for the The Obesity Society and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity are also good resources for more information.
Obesity is a complex condition based on genetic, nutritional, medical, psychological, environmental and cultural conditions. The reason why most diet and weight loss programs don’t work is that they don’t address the underlying emotional causes.
While obesity requires medical attention, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) helps get behind the causes of many weight problems. EFT can be a catalyst in gently releasing emotions such as anger, anxiety, depression, guilt, ridicule, shame and trauma. Unresolved emotions are important factors behind obesity and weight gain. The best EFT source is the information from Gary Craig’s former Website on using EFT for weight loss. There are also EFT practitioners with a specialty in weight issues.
Lastly, in addition to the health and economic costs of obesity, there is the psychological toll of prejudice against obese and overweight people. Obesity is a stigma in our culture. It calls for more tolerance, understanding, and compassion in looking beyond our “human packaging.” Perhaps the best way is by wearing an obesity empathy suit. Or, you may want to read a blog such as the Big Fat Blog. I recall reading that one woman struggled her whole life with being overweight. She felt so much discrimination about her obesity that she was willing to risk life-threatening medical procedures to lose the weight.
If you listen to this clip of IZ singing, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, it will open your heart. You’ll recognize that infinitely beyond his physical obesity was his giant spirit. You’ll hear and feel it through the sweet tenor of his voice.
(By the way, you may be interested in knowing the story behind how the song was recorded.)