Like many others, I am of the type who has been made to feel less. Less than healthy, less than human; whatever, the kind of feeling that sells diet food and diet plans.

When some of the wire services picked up on the latest meta-analysis about obesity and mortality, I had to smile. I’ve seen and read so many things about how horrible it is to lose weight, how wonderful it is to be thin; and then, this. Ah, at least a morsel of vindication. It makes me think of a classic Broadway song lyric, from “If I were a Rich Man,” in Fiddler on the Roof. “I’d see my wife, my Golde, looking like a rich man’s wife with a proper double-chin.” It was not that long ago, maybe the 1930s, that a couple of extra pounds said their bearer could afford to eat a little more, to satisfy their own hunger. I saw photos of a woman I met from the Ukraine, from before she made it stateside. To the modern eye, she looks thin and very glamorous. From what she told me, there was at least the worry of starvation. Both metaphorically and realistically, there has always been the idea that a little extra layer of fat protects — physically, from the cold; emotionally, from the attention of men. Such things come out often in psychotherapy. Even in my self-understanding of my own obese state, on at least one level, I was protecting myself from the unwanted attention of men while I was studying my ass off. Literally. The article indexed here is a meta-analysis. I have more and more trouble believing any individual article. I have to check it out, and I’ve become pretty damned compulsive. I need to know who has funded a study, what the interest is, and what somebody has to prove. It is a lot easier to give some credence to someone who reviews other articles. I know smart people who do this informally and decide whether or not the experts agree. More formally, people jump in quite aggressively with fancy statistics and clump together a bunch of research studies, looking at what is going on across the board as a way of accessing the truth. So there is probably something here that is on the way to an absolute truth. In such cases, one of my favorite preceptors would jump right in and tell me, despite the enthusiasm of me and others, it is almost never possible to prove causality — at least not when you are working with human organisms versus little bitty molecules. We have found, perhaps, an epiphenomenon. Maybe the diminished mortality that comes with being overweight is from something else. Maybe people who are overweight and not obese are more relaxed, or a little more prosperous, or something else. Whatever it is, if it is a couple of extra pounds and not wild obesity, maybe it is not so bad.

Once again, I find myself with a song cue – Allen Sherman’s Hail to Thee, Fat Person. When I was little, I got the same thing from my Mother and Grandmother-of-Blessed-Memory that Sherman did. I really believed that I was doing something to keep kids in Europe from starving when I was cleaning my plate. I did inquire about it fairly early, precocious child that I was. I got no logical answer, only that I was “lucky.”

It did take a while for me to figure out my own weight loss. When I did, I wrote a book. And nobody can or will make me feel like less or sell me on marketed weight loss boloney ever again.

Author's Bio: 

Estelle Toby Goldstein, MD is a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice in San Diego, CA.

Practicing Medicine Since 1981

In her medical career, she has studied in Europe and Canada as well as the USA. She has attended specialty training beyond medical school in the fields of general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery and psychiatry (specializing in psychopharmacology).

Experienced In Many Situations

She has worked in a variety of positions, including:
■Fireman/EMT
■Medical school professor
■General and Orthopedic surgeon
■Brain surgeon
■Army Medical Corps psychiatrist
■Prison psychiatrist
■Community Mental Health Center staff
■Consultant to a major transplant hospital
■Drug researcher

“Whatever It Takes!”

She currently has her own indepenent clinic in San Diego where she is concentrating on what she calls Mind/Body medicine — or Integrative Medicine. Her practice is cash-only, doesn’t accept insurance or government payments, and she operates on the concierge, or “private doctor” practice model to give her patients the absolute best quality of care and the highest level of confidentiality.

Dr. Goldstein’s philosophy is “Whatever It Takes!” Her goal is to do everything possible to solve whatever problem she is presented. This includes seeing patients as quickly as possible — not making them wait weeks for an appointment. This includes making appointments days, nights, weekends or holidays. This includes making house-calls. And it includes using the best, most innovative treatments available — most of which are unknown to standard, mainstream doctors.

Her focus is on transitioning patients away from prescription drugs and onto natural substances. She is also a master practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique, a powerful and dynamic form of energy psychology that usually brings quicker results than traditional psychotherapy.