A 74-Year-Old Man Finds Peace with Weight & Body Image  – In Session with Marc David

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Podcast Episode 411 – A 74-Year-Old Man Finds Peace with Weight & Body Image

When it comes to weight loss, so many of us feel that we need to restrict our food, punish the body with exercise, and be in a constant state of worry. We expect our weight loss journey to be an ongoing battle where we can never truly relax and live.

But there’s a much better way.

In this episode of The Psychology of Eating Podcast, Marc David works with guest podcast client David, and challenges the belief that weight and health goals have to be difficult. At age 74, David wants to lose weight and eat healthy, but he’s tired of all the hard work. 

He knows what he wants, but he’s confused about how to get there. 

David would like to enjoy food and not live in a state of restriction, but at the same time, he wishes he could be 40 pounds lighter.

Fed up by the cycle of working hard to lose weight, and then gaining it right back, David wonders: 

“Can’t I just be me? When do I get to just live my life?”

Listen in as they explore the power of cultivating a more natural and easy relationship with food and body. Instead of punishing the body into weight loss, Marc helps David develop a strategy to nourish himself into finding his natural weight. 

“You have a natural relationship with food and with your appetite. You just have to create the conditions for that to emerge,” Marc says.

Paradoxically, by taking weight loss off the table, not only can we finally relax and enjoy life, but we actually create the ideal conditions for real and lasting weight loss. 

You’ll also hear Marc share valuable insights on:

✅ How putting “pressure” on food to make us lose weight doesn’t work.

✅ Creating a relaxed relationship with the body that gets us closer to our natural weight.

✅ How having a spiritual reckoning with ourselves can help us have a more loving body image.

✅ Why clarity about our life’s purpose is especially powerful for older men and health.

We’d love to hear your own experience or thoughts about this episode – please drop us a comment below!

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Podcast Episode 411 – A 74-Year-Old Man Finds Peace with Weight & Body Image

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

A 74-Year-Old Man Finds Peace with Weight & Body Image  – In Session with Marc David

Marc David
Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. We’re back in the Psychology of Eating Podcast. I am with David today. Welcome, David.

David
Thank you.

Marc David
Glad we’re doing this. Glad we’re here. For people tuning in for the first time, here’s how it works: David and I haven’t met before. We’ve just been chatting for a few minutes. And the idea is to see if we can move you forward in a good way when it comes to food and body. So if you could wave your magic wand, and have whatever you wanted when it came to food and body, what would that be for you, my friend?

David
That’s a great question. You know, you might become sort of flooded with, “Oh, yeah, this and this and this and this.” But I think at the age that I am I want to be able to have stamina, be more be more fit. I don’t want things to ache when I walk. [inaudible] I’m 74 years old. I want it to be easy for me. I want to have a life that, as far as eating is concerned, that is not restrictive. You know, I’ve tried every diet. And I’m sure everybody on these podcasts has tried every diet there ever has been, including the one where you take this this pregnancy hormone and have 500 calories a day. And yes, I did. I lost 40 pounds. Well, you know, I gained that back. And probably more.

So I think the other kind of — there’s some complications with this. I don’t have any health issues, or at least that I know about. Thank God, you know. I live in Mexico, and I have a house in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have a housekeeper here who pretty much buys our groceries and takes care of our meals for us here, but not in Albuquerque. On that, we’re on our own. It’s a whole different cuisine. New Mexico and Mexican, interior Mexican, are very — as you probably know, Marc — very different cuisines. I’ve hired personal trainers. I have at least three coaches. I have had, because I believe in coaching. And that’s what I do. I’m busy right now. I have 35 clients. That’s a lot of clients.

And so what’s happening is that — like this morning, I had a 10 to 11. I just had a 12 to one. And I cut off early to be — and now I have a one to whatever. And so like, okay, and then I didn’t even eat — I’m going to confess. Before we got on, I had a banana and peanut butter. That’s what I had this morning. I had a banana, and it was just so easy. I’m like, “Oh, I gotta get back on. I’ve got 10 minutes to get back on, to be on this podcast, I’m inconsistent. I don’t know. I don’t know what else. I’m a mess. I’m not really motivated, you know. But I’ve kind of had it. I’m kind of like, “Okay. You know, can I just be me? Can I just live?” It’s a social atmosphere here in San Miguel. We already — we got back on Friday. We have three dinner parties coming up. I don’t know what else to say, Marc.

Marc David
So is there a part of you that wants to lose weight these days?

David
I would like to — yeah. I am vain. I would like to not be so judgmental about the belly that I have. I’m not heavy really anywhere else, except I have all this back fat, if you — this sounds gross, but I am probably 40 pounds overweight. I would like to lose weight, yeah.

Marc David
Got it. So let me see if I have some of these pieces of the puzzle correctly. So there’s a part of you that wants to eat healthy. And there’s also this part of you that wants to live your life, and not necessarily have a lot of restrictions. There’s a part of you that’s sort of — I don’t know, fed up with it all and doesn’t want to do any of it. And you’re not that motivated, but you wish to have the results as if you were motivated and did things. So you’re kind of in this nebulous, no man’s land, where — and I’m now putting my words on it — where in your mind, in your head, you have these beliefs, or these guidelines, that, “Hey, I want to be healthy. And hey, I got my preference. I want to look a certain way.” You know, it’s not necessarily that you’re vain. It’s just, you got your preference: “Here’s how I’d like to look.” And yeah, you’re healthy right now. And you’d like to stay that way, for the most part, as long as you can. And at the same time, you know, it’s a lot of energy to eat the right way. And it seems to be a lot of energy to lose weight. So, “what do I do?” Did I encapsulate that in a way that fits for you?

David
You did a beautiful job.

Marc David
All right. Okay, so what do you — how long have you been in this conundrum?

David
Oh. You mean, be overweight? How long have I been overweight?

Marc David
And wanting it to be different. And doing different things to do it, but it’s not really lasting. And not really feeling — ultimately, the motivation.

David
Okay. It comes and goes, to be quite honest with you. There are moments of extreme self-care. That’s been a long time ago, years ago. And then there’s been moments of extreme, “I don’t care. I’m going to eat fried chicken, because it’s comforting to me.” And I guess I haven’t always been clear about my body image, to be quite honest with you. I’ve always — I was very, very thin growing up. In fact, called skinny, made fun of, whatever, you know. I was, was popular and all of that, you know. And I adjusted to — I was student body president. Anyway, I had these leadership capacities. And then, when I got to college, and got in a fraternity, I kind of ballooned. My nickname on my jersey was Tubby. So, and then I’ve gone back and forth, from losing and gaining, losing and gaining. But I’ve never been as heavy as I am right now. And it’s never been — it seems hard. It seems that it’s really gonna be hard.

Marc David
“It” meaning to lose the weight?

David
Yeah, that I have to really gear up for it, and just think all the time about losing weight and watching everything. I don’t know, you know. When do I just stop, and just live? You know, my husband’s just turned 80. You know, he walked the Camino de Santiago, 500 miles, at 74 years old. And that’s not me. We’re these very different personalities, dispositions, and all of that. You know, we’ve been together 28 years though. So it works, the relationship. But I can’t do what he does, because he doesn’t eat ’til dinner. You know, it’s just his way. But he’s not overweight, you know. I mean, if he gets overweight, he takes care of that somehow. But he’s much more active. I’d like to be more active. I think, you know,

Marc David
How does he feel about your body?

David
He never complains about me. No, he doesn’t have an issue with my body. Or at least, he hasn’t told me he does, you know. So.

Marc David
So you mentioned — you started talking about body image. And I’m going to paraphrase, you know, never quite clear about what your body image was. Because here you were, you were young, you were thin, but you were still popular. Get to college, and gained some weight. And all of a sudden, you’re not that thin kid anymore. And then you go on this journey. Like if you can encapsulate in a minute or less, what’s been your experience of your body over the decades, in your 30s, your 40s, your 50s? Just when you look at yourself in the mirror, what’s the general conversation that goes on inside?

David
Well, I’ve always felt like I was overweight. Now, if you asked other people — and it’s not overweight, in this, everything is big. It’s the belly. It’s my belly. And that you can — if your frame is okay, and if you dress right, it’s not something people say, “Oh, God. You know, he’s really overweight.” It’s just like, “Oh, well, you better watch that. You’re gonna have a tendency to be overweight. And overweight is different than obese. I’m obese now. And that’s something that — it’s a hard word. It’s a hard word for me to describe myself as. But I think during COVID I — you know, they talked about the “COVID 19”. I did at least the “COVID 19”. I did at least 20 pounds during COVID. Maybe more, you know. But I’ve always not allowed myself to go this far.

Marc David
So I’m going to switch tracks for a second. It’s gonna sound unrelated, but there is a method to my madness here. So do you have a vision for yourself around your work?

David
Yes.

Marc David
So where do you see yourself going? In a minute or less. In the next, let’s say, 20 years? How do you see your work life unfolding?

David
I wouldn’t be 94, if you add that up.

Marc David
Yes.

David
I will not be working, I don’t think, anymore. Like I say, I have a lot of clients now. But I want to still be able to go up and down the stairs. I still want to be active. [inaudible] I still want to be alert. And I don’t want to be in pain. I don’t want to have pain. I don’t want to have a painful life. Yeah.

Marc David
Yes. Do you ever think to yourself how long you want to live? Do you have a number in your head?

David
I don’t have a number in my head. I think it would be — let’s just say 94, since we threw that out there.

Marc David
Okay. So let me share some thoughts, in no particular order here. What I have noticed working with men, certainly 60 and up, is that it’s very easy to get to the place where, “Sheesh, I don’t want to work so hard at this stuff anymore. I want to be healthy. I want to feel good. I want to live younger, longer. I want to have the weight that I wish to have. But I don’t necessarily have all the energy to do what it would take to do all that.

David
You got it.

Marc David
Okay. So that, I think on one level, goes a little bit with the territory. Because you have to really understand the economy, the ecosystem, of your own energy. You have so much energy, to do different things, to do work, to be in relationship, to travel, to do this, that, the other thing that makes you happy. So what I’ve noticed is that, if we, as a man 60 and over, if we don’t have a clear — I’m gonna call it a gameplan — a clear vision for what we want, then we’re going to not particularly get any place. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. So right now, admittedly, you’re in that place of, “Gee. I want these things, but I don’t know if I want to do the work.” So that’s honest. And I think that’s a good place to be, because that’s where you are.

And it’s a place where, ultimately, I would want to see you make a choice. And what the choice is, is “how I, David, wish to live my life.” Because it’s your life. And yeah, you know, you and I have our preferences. You have your preference: “I want to look a certain way. I want to weigh a certain amount.” I love it. That’s great. You deserve to have your preferences. You have a preference for where you live. You have a preference for how you dress. All good. So your preferences are perfectly fine. They’re perfectly legitimate. And this is the time, I think, to have a reckoning. It’s just a reckoning. It’s, “Okay, I got 20 more years-ish left. How do I want to carve that up, in terms of who I’m going to be in relationship to this body, and what I want to do?”

So you’ve already told me some of your — maybe I call them values. Value: “I don’t want to be in pain that I don’t need to be in.” Value: “I don’t want to be obese.” Value: “I want to feel like I have energy to do things.” Great. So if those are indeed your highest values, then the conversation becomes, “Okay, what do I need to do to put myself in the best part of the probability universe to get there?”

There’s one thing I think that’s in your way that doesn’t need to be in your way. And the thing I think that’s in your way that doesn’t need to be in your way is — you think, because of past experience, and because of what the world is constantly telling you, that this stuff needs to be really hard. And “I need to do extreme nonsense in order to lose weight. I need to have an unhappy experience of food in order to lose weight. I need to have an unhappy experience. It needs to be hard. It needs to be like all this weird stuff.” And I don’t believe that’s true. It could just as easily be the kind of journey where — yeah, you might be noticing yourself and monitoring yourself and making certain choices that are, “Oh, yeah, I’m gonna forego that. Because I want to only have two drinks a night instead of four. Because that’s going to make a difference for my weight.”

So yeah. You might be making certain choices there. But if you have your guiding star, your guiding goal, your guiding values in mind, it’s easier to do certain behaviors around your health. It’s easier to do certain behaviors. You don’t want to be restricted. That’s kind of what I’m hearing. You don’t want to be restricted. There’s a part of your brain that’s going, “Don’t tell me what to eat.” And you want to have fun. You want to enjoy yourself. This is your life, and you’re in your good years, and you have the wherewithal to enjoy yourself. So you want to enjoy yourself. So I’m going to assume that there’s a way for you to thread the needle of “I enjoy myself,” and “I can also do things that put me in the best part of the probability curve to have a healthy life. And that put me in the best part of the probability curve to let my body find its natural weight.”

Ah, “my body finding its natural weight” is different from, “I need to make my body lose weight.” You don’t want to make your body lose weight, because that’s too much work. You’ve done it in the past. You know it’s work. It is work. Beating up the body to lose weight is how we are taught to do it, how we’re taught by the world to do it. So you get these 500-calorie diets. You get all kinds of diets, and you do these things. They are unnatural to the human body. What is natural to the human body is — you wake up in the morning and eat, at some point. And then at some point, you eat again. And then you eat again. And if you’re lucky, you enjoyed the food. And if you’re lucky, you have good quality food. So we’re eaters. And there’s plenty of humans across the globe who have their natural weight, because they’re eating foods that work for their body, that work for them. And you’re not fighting.

So instead of exercising, for you, I would love for you to context it around — it’s more about movement. “How do I wish to move in a way that would feel good to me?” I want to share that one thing that people in your age group, 60 and up, will face is that it’s harder to generate momentum for movement as we get older. Body wants to be comfortable. It’s just what it does. Your body, naturally at age 74, wants to be comfortable. It wants to cozy up, and it doesn’t want to run around. You want the younger ones to go out, and hunt and gather, and do stuff. So that’s reasonable.

And that’s what you would need to move through. Not so you can lose weight. Don’t do that to lose weight. Move because, “Ah, I’m going to feel better. I’m going to have more energy. It’s good for me. It feels good.” Walking feels good. Hiking feels good. I don’t know what feels good. Biking. If swimming feel — anything that feels good to you is your starting place. Getting a personal trainer — only do that if it feels like fun. If a personal trainer means, “I’m employing this person so he/she could help me lose weight,’ then I’m gonna say don’t do it. I’m interested in you taking weight loss out of the equation, and not letting that be the motivating factor. I know it’s your preference. I’m glad it’s your preference.

David
I love what you’re saying. I don’t want to go back. I love that you just said, “Take weight loss out of the equation.”

Marc David
Right. And then you get to choose how to live, understanding that you already know certain things. You already know certain things that are healthy for you, certain things not so healthy for you. It doesn’t mean you have to eat a perfect diet. I’m going to say, for you — if you can eat 80% healthy, 85% healthy, 90% healthy. Pick a number. Doesn’t matter. But have it be the dominant number. And therefore, you’re not living in a moral battle: “Naw, this is good for me. This is bad for me. This is gonna make me gain weight. This is gonna make me lose weight.” That’s old. That’s boring. That’s uninteresting. It’s based in punishment. And it continues the age-old, “I don’t like my body” conversation.

Part of it is, when we’re in the consciousness called “I need to lose weight,” there’s a part of us — and hang in there with me — a part of us that checks out of the body a little bit. I’m not, kind of, in my body. I’m thinking, “I will be in my body, when I have the body I want.”

David
That’s really — you’re singing my song. I’ve realized that, sometimes when I sit down to eat, I’m not even in my body. And I can’t even remember. I mean, I have to consciously — I go somewhere else. I don’t know where. You know, I’ve been to a lot of therapists, and I know that — I didn’t come out till I was 40, as far as being gay. So I’ve got this kind of history of leaving my body, if I’m expected to be with a woman. Anyway, it’s just — you know, I guess it’s an opposite thing of, like, women who leave their body if they’re being abused. I have this other side that, in connection to my body, is being disconnected from it, you know. And not coming out, like I said, till I was 40 years old, after two marriages. You know, so there’s stuff there.

Marc David
Right. And it makes sense. So it’s a sensible — it’s an understandable, logical strategy: “If I’m not living my truth — if I am actually not really safe in my body, because my body is really something else, my body wants something else, my body wants to do something else. But if I’m forcing myself to be in this other way to be in my body, my body is technically not safe. And when a body is not safe, we go into a stress response. We either go into fight, or flight, or freeze. So your tendency was to go into a freeze response. Frozen. And when we’re frozen, we leave the body. So right now, food is — to your brain, food is problematic. Losing weight is problematic. This whole thing about, “Well, I want to lose weight, but I also want to be true to myself. And I want to be healthy, but I also want to enjoy my life.” That confusion can cause us to leave our body, can cause you to leave your body.

So one beautiful practice you can do is to practice — anytime you eat, eat. Be present. Enjoy it. Savor it, I don’t care if you’re eating a food that’s on your bad list. In fact, especially if it’s a food on your bad list, I want you to eat it, and enjoy it, and savor it. Because there’s a little bit of “good boy, bad boy” going on in your mind. “Good food, bad food” is going on in your mind. “If I eat a good food, I’m a good person. If I eat a bad food, I’m a bad person. If I’m being with a woman, I’m a good person. If I’m not being with a woman, I’m a bad person.” So we want to let go of that old, dualistic way of thinking. You’re a grown man. You can eat whatever you want. Foods will either enhance your health, or they will detract from your health, or something in between. But they’re not morally good or morally bad. Nor are you a bad person, if you eat a food that’s not on your “this is healthy for me” list.

So we’re trying to neutralize food, let it be what it is, and get you present when you eat. So is having so it’s really reinventing your relationship with food. Again, you’re taking weight loss off the table. If we take weight loss off the table, it’s a whole new relationship with food. What do I want to eat? What do I feel like eating? And then every meal becomes a choice. And the choice is — I’m interested for you, I’m going to suggest to you an approach. And the approach is: choose foods that make you feel good — like, “I enjoy this food” — and that also you have come to learn or believe that “these are healthy for me, good for me.” Feel good, plus, seems like it’s good for me.

Forget about any diet you’ve ever read. Quality foods, fresh foods, healthy foods, organic food, local food, food that you enjoy, food that’s well prepared. And stay present to your meals. If you eat a dessert — eat it, enjoy it, savor it. Do you tend to be a fast eater, a moderate eater, or a slow eater?

David
I’d just say regular, moderate. I can easily be a fast eater, but I try not to be. One thing Joe and I do when we sit at the table is that we hold hands before we eat, and we’re just quiet for a few minutes, so that you hopefully can become more present. I had a coach that actually graduated from your program.

Marc David
How lovely. Who?

David
Luciana Gravotta

Marc David
All right. Ah, that’s so sweet.

David
She’s amazing. I love her. I’ve had her for years. She goes right to the core. She’s amazing. She’s taught me some of these things. You’re singing her song, as a matter of fact.

Marc David
I’m so glad to hear that.

David
She’s amazing.

Marc David
I’m so glad. So by taking weight loss off the table, you get to live your life. And you get to make choices in the moment. And you let go of the food prison, where “If I eat this, I’m good. If I don’t eat, that I’m bad.” Whatever it is. And by being present with your food — just being present and enjoying it and savoring it and celebrating it — you’re in your body. If you notice yourself checking out when you eat, call yourself back in. I’m sure with any of your clients, no matter what you’re coaching them on, you need them to be present in the places that are problematic for them. You need them to not distract themselves in the places that are difficult, to not check out from difficult experiences. And this is a good thing. I’m asking you — you enjoy eating. Great. Eat, when you eat. So you’re making friends with food. Because there’s a little part of the brain that — food isn’t quite your friend. It is, and it isn’t. We want to have food totally be your friend.

I want to say something about body — so when you do that, you have the opportunity to start to find your natural appetite. You have the opportunity to start to find your natural relationship with food. You have a natural relationship with food and with your appetite. You just have to create the conditions for that to emerge. One of the conditions for your natural relationship with food to emerge is to not put pressure on the food to do something to you. Food, you must make me lose weight. Food, you must make me be healthy all the time. Food, you must make me be happy and — whatever. If you’re trying to control your partner, you’re not going to have a natural relationship. It will be strained. So we’re taking the pressure off of food to have to perform in the interests of you starting to find what your body does and what it doesn’t do. Once we take weight loss off the equation. So in a lot of ways, you’re just going on, like a [inaudible/freeze] diet.

So you’re not dieting. You’re discovering your relationship with food, and you’re noticing your values. So you just might say to yourself, “Heck. You know, life is short, and I want to enjoy myself. So I’m gonna eat what I want.” That’s totally reasonable. But it’s best to choose that, knowingly and willingly. There are moments where you might say that, “You know, I really want this dessert.” And in that moment, if you’re going to eat it, then you choose to eat it. Because if you’re choosing to eat it, then you’re empowered. And if you’re empowered, you’re in a state of relaxation. If you’re eating it and you’re, “Ah, I shouldn’t eat this. It’s fattening. It’s bad for me, I have no willpower. What’s my problem?” That’s a stress response. That’s stress chemistry. That’s going to give you — stress chemistry skews the body towards weight gain, an inability to lose it. So we’re trying to remove stress, self-chosen stress around your relationship with food.

And in the process, you’re asking yourself to just trust your body right now. As you’re creating a new relationship. You’re experimenting. You’re exploring. This is a new relationship. This is coming out of the closet and being a person who is, “I’m an eater, I love food, and I’m now learning about my new relationship with food when I take weight loss off the table. Yes, I have my preference. And I’m learning how important that preferences to me, and how I balance out the things I do with food and the things I do with movement, to move me towards my preference, in a natural way, in a gentle way, in a fun way. How are we doing, David?

David
I love it. The whole concept of finding my natural weight — that’s kind of new. I mean, I’ve never heard it before. And I really never have heard that about stress chemistry. I do know, I need to stay present. That’s what I do in my coaching. I mean, I have to be present the entire hour that I’m with the person. And I’m always coming back to, “Who is this person? And how can I either move them to action, or celebration, or whatever it might be?” And the dualistic way of thinking. I love that you said naturalized food, in your relationship — choose food that makes me feel good. Feel good, and seems like it’s good for me. When I when I lose myself, and call myself back. And the choices are in the moment.

And I like — I mean, I needed to hear about this reckoning, because I have been thinking that. That I need to — even in coaching, we don’t want to say “need to.” We say, “I want to.” You know, we watch our words, right? But I’d love to be able to find a natural way to eat. And I love it, that it’s not about weight. Take the weight loss out of the equation, and think about how to live. I just want to — I just want that to be tattooed somewhere, you know. So that when I — every time I pick up a fork, it says — whatever the words are that you used, Marc, and I’ve taken notes on, that I want to go back and re-examine and really try to get this.

Marc David
Yes, yes. It’s letting go, in a strange way, of bullying the body. Because we’re giving the message to the body, “You got to do this. I need you to be different.” [inaudible]

David
Every day I think, “Go walk. Go take a walk. Get out of here.” You know, and then I feel bad. Like, I want to read my book and snuggle with my kitty. I don’t want to take a walk, you know. This whole exercise thing — I’ve always wondered, what do people get out of it?

Marc David
So you can make the same choice, to curl up with your kitty, from a place of authority: “This is my choice.” And it has nothing to do with weight gain or weight loss. It’s about your life and how you want to express it. And if you want to go out and move, then you’re going out and moving because you want to get into movement, and you want to see if you can enjoy it. And you want to use it as a tool to feel good about yourself, not as a tool to lose weight. Can weight loss be a side effect of movement? Absolutely. But it’s not the reason to do it. Our ancestors didn’t run around the environment and hunter gatherers so they can see they can look good in a bikini. They’re just going about their business.

So when you take weight loss out of the equation, then all of a sudden you’re left with your body. And I think part of having a reckoning is — here’s what I’ve noticed. I’m gonna tell you something. You’ll appreciate this, because I’m sure in all your years of coaching, you’ve noticed certain things that are potent or that are powerful, that when people can get to a certain understanding or realization, things shift. So what I have found with people around weight, that one of the beautiful “aha” moments is when we can have the experience, the felt experience called: “I’m good with this body, as it is right now.”

Just for a moment. It doesn’t have to be for, like, days or months or years to have the experience called: “Yo, body. You don’t have to change, for me to love and accept you, and to feel good about being in this body. I don’t have to do a damn thing in this moment, right now.” It can be when you’re sitting on your deck. It can be when you’re curling up with the cat. It can be when you’re with your husband and just have — it’s a feeling. It’s a felt sense of, “Oh, this is okay.” Because once you do that, the body does something that it might not have done ever before, which is relax into itself. That deep relaxation response is what helps us heal, quote-unquote, traumas. Trauma is a big, undigested stress. Deeply relaxing into the body that I have signals to your body, “Yo, body. You’re safe. You’re loved. It’s okay. You don’t need to be changed, for me to love you.” If your partner was waking up every morning, and telling you the same things you tell yourself about your body — eh, you wouldn’t like them so much. It wouldn’t feel so good. So it’s finding moments of wholeness with your body as it is right now.

Even though it’s got extra fat over here and extra fat over there, and that’s not my preference. There’s a certain kind of spiritual humility in accepting the body as it is. Just for a moment.

David
[inaudible]

Marc David
I just lost your voice, David. I think you somehow muted yourself.

David
Oh, my cat was meowing trying to get into the door. And I’m like, I don’t want [inaudible]. Yes, I love the idea. And you know, I have spiritual coaches too, in finding wholeness in how I am right now. And loving and accepting myself as I am right now, without changing anything. And it sounds to me like it is not just a spiritual thing, but it is actually a physical thing too, that all work together, you know, in this way of — because I don’t think you could change anything that you don’t accept. So it’s high level of acceptance about who I am. And that I’m okay. And that I’m loved just the way I am, and I love myself the way I am.

And when I don’t, it’s so painful. You know, to look at yourself and go, “You’re disgusting.” And I know this with my coaching. As long as you’re doing that, you’re not going to make any progress. You’re not going to change, you know. And this is just more of — the whole idea of it being more natural, really appeals to me. Because my quest in my life has been to be authentic. You know, and that hasn’t come easy for me — to be an authentic gay man. Especially in a world of education and [inaudible] 35 years ago [inaudible] high school principal. Anyway, those were all — you know, and knowing I have this secret.

You know, and I just discovered there’s a difference in secret and private, and that I don’t want to live a secret life or anything like that. So this quest to be authentic has driven me. And when you talk about it like that, to find — another word for my natural state is my authentic self. You know, my authentic way, the authentic part of who I am. To come forth, and it all be accepted and okay. Not only that, but it be loved. You know, not just accepted, but farther down the road, is loving the way I am. Which is really difficult, you know. Conditional love is what I got, you know, most of my life. You know, “Son, if you’re this way, we love you. Oh, you’re gay? [inaudible] the family. Let’s not ever talk about that, again. That’s not who you need to be for us.” But I have to be it for me. So this is all, as you know, Marc, from psychology, it’s all wrapped up in — tied together.

Marc David
Yes. So you’re allowing your body to be authentically it. And your body can be authentically it when we stop pushing it and forcing it and shoving it, and making it do this, that, and the other thing, and just give a little breathing space. Like, yeah, you got to take care of it. Yeah, you got to rest it, you got to sleep it, you got to feed it, you got to do all the things you got to do. And there’s a place where we got to let it breathe a little bit. I don’t know if you do journaling exercises. But I think an interesting exercise for you might be to write a letter. And the letter is from your body to you. So I want you to channel your body. And the letter starts out with: “Dear David.” And it’s your body talking to you and just telling you just what it has to say. And just giving you a report on where things are at, and where it’s at, and its appreciations for you, its challenges that it has with you, its requests of you. And ultimately, its partnership with you. So it’s all in the spirit of love and transformation. And your body is just having an honest conversation with you. And see if you can be a voice for your body, and see what comes out.

David
I like it.

Marc David
It’s a powerful exercise.

David
Yeah, thank you.

Marc David
I think we’ve covered some good turf.

David
Thank you. Yes. Yes, I was thinking notes furiously.

Marc David
That’s a good thing.

David
That’s a good thing.

Marc David
Well, I really appreciate you being a willing conversationalist and going to some great places and, you know, sharing about you and your life and your journey. And what a beautiful thing, to be learning, growing, human being at age 74. You don’t look a day over 55. So something’s working.

David
Well, thank you. Yeah, those glasses — you’ve got them a little dirty, I think. Thank you so much. I do appreciate the time you spent with me. I’m glad you selected me. And I like — I love, I love everything you’re saying to me.

Marc David
I appreciate you, David. Thanks so much.

David
You bet. Thank you.

Marc David
And take care, everybody

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