The problem with “Clark” started after he finished his service with the Marines. While he was there, he felt confident and happy because he felt his work mattered and the physical nature of his assignments helped him to be in the best shape of his life.
But once he returned to “his civilian life”, his weight went from 180 pounds to 250 pounds. After being overweight for a while, he decided to lose his excessive weight and he was happy to tell me that he had consistently stayed in good shape for the last 2 years. He is not afraid to get fat again because being fit and athletic is a way of life for him now.
I said to him, if you are not afraid to get fat again, then what is your biggest fear right now?
He said he was very afraid to take his shirt off when he was at the pool. He felt uncomfortable doing it in front of people and that was impacting his social life.
I explained to him that, while it is true that he was able to lose the weight and transform his body at the physical level; his subconscious mind is still believing that he is fat and he is acting like he did when he was fat.
Logically, his fear did not match the reality of his body. People at the pool could see that he had a beautiful physique.
However, when we have this distorted image of our bodies, we are in bondage to our fears and we feel that at some level, there is something wrong with us, we are not good enough as we are. These beliefs may have come to us when we were small children or teenagers. As a result, we build a prison that keep us stuck and it robs us of the courage to go after our dreams, and then we miss out on the great opportunities that life presents to us. I applauded him for acknowledging his feelings and for seeking help so he could feel better about himself.
Of course, Gary Craig taught us that sometimes a client's “presenting a problem” is nothing more than a symptom of a Core Issue—a much deeper, much more important underlying problem. Once the core issue is discovered, it can usually be broken down into specific events and handled routinely. Thankfully, Gary also provided us with all sorts of techniques and questions to help us dig deeper.
So I asked Clark, do you recall a time in your life when you felt so uncomfortable and so afraid, like you feel every time you have to go to the pool? And the earlier the event the better.
Clark thought for a moment and then he said: “I was at the river, I went tubing with a group of friends, and someone said that I didn't need a tube, because I had a spare tire.”
Then I asked him, what emotion do you feel when you say that? Clark said that he felt sad that he was so fat, and it was a 7 on the 0-10 SUDS rating scale. He also said that his neck hurt and it was a 7.
Even though something happened that day at the river, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
When we got to the part of “I deeply and completely love and accept myself,” Clark said that he couldn't say that. So we tapped:
Even though something happened that day at the river, I am O.K.
After a couple of rounds, we changed our phrases:
Even though I am so sad because I was so fat, I accept that I feel this way.
“Even though I feel so sad, I didn't look good, I was so fat, I recognize today that this happened a long time ago, and I have already changed my body.
We tapped like that with some variations to the phrases until his sadness went down to a 0. Then, his emotion switched to humiliation, and it was a 5 so we tapped:
Even though I felt so humiliated, and I was supposed to have fun, but one of the kids told me: You don't need a tube, because you already have a spare tire. I accept that I am having this problem.
Even though everybody laughed at me, and I couldn't say a word, it was so humiliating for me, I am opening to the possibility that I can feel better.
Even though I felt all this shame, I was so fat, everybody was making fun of me, I am O.K. And I know that I already transformed my body, now I want to transform my mindset. I am believing that I am more than good enough and that I am worthy of respect.
After a while, Clark could not feel any of the shame or the humiliation. He also said that his neck didn't hurt at all.
Just to be sure, that he had cleared these specific negative emotions, related to the river event, I asked him to close his eyes, and picture himself at the river with all his friends, and go through everything that happened that day, see that boy that said with a screaming voice “You don't need a tube, you already have a spare tire” See everybody laughing and making fun of him.
When Clark was done, he said: “It is just something that happened, we were all kids, kids do that, it was a phase, that is all it was” He also
reported again that his neck didn't hurt at all and that he felt more relaxed.
Just to test him even more, I yelled at him: Oh my God, you don't need a tube, you already have a spare tire. He laughed and said that he was actually looking forward to going to the pool and seeing everybody, this time, he will take his shirt off.
I am happy for Clark, he has just begun his path to Emotional Freedom, so I will see him for the continuation of his program.
P.S. When Clark came back, he told me that he had gone to the pool, he took his shirt off, he walked all over the place, feeling very proud of his athletic body! He said that people gave him lots of compliments and that he felt good receiving them.
Round Rock, Texas, US
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on Oct 13, 2013.