mother and daughter, inherited body type


Appointment in Samarra

This famous old story may give you insight into your own life:The Appointment in Samarra
as retold by W. Somerset Maugham [1933]

The speaker is Death:

There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.”

The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop, off  he went. 

Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threating gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?” 

“That was not a threatening gesture, “ I said, “it was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

What is your life’s appointment with destiny?

On the occasion my mother’s birthday, a thought came to me. My mom is gone almost 9 years now, but I think about her, and still miss her daily. My mom was very paradoxical. She never felt pretty; she felt her nose was too big, chin jutted out a bit. But she had great confidence in her body. Her size D breasts gave her lots of confidence and she looked great in clothes.

However, as she aged, my mom “filled out”. I don’t have memories of her being a thin person, although I saw her photos from when she was a girl, and a photo when she was a WAC in the Army during WW2. She had a knockout body on a 5’8” frame. All the later photos of my mom showed a loving, happy, significantly overweight woman.

Although thin, fit and strong in my youth through my 30’s, I feared more than anything, getting fat. I was always ashamed of my body. My butt was prominent and round (although not fat), and my chest was flat. I had curly hair when only straight hair was “in”. And I wore glasses from the time I was eight years old. (remember those pointy cat glasses with little fake diamonds in the side?- GEEK alert!) My self-esteem was not great, and I had very few friends, especially not in the “popular crowd”.

I was always into sports, but unfortunately for girls growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, there weren’t a lot of team sports available for us. Sure, we could be cheerleaders, but not the athlete who competed and got cheered for!  I spent my life exercising, playing sports and DIETING in fear of getting fat. My mother, on the other hand said to me in her 82nd year, after her doctor told her that she needed to exercise to help with the back pain that plagued most of her life: “I never exercised, and I don’t intend to start now!” She also never dieted.

What is the meaning of this little story?

Despite being very opposite in our approach to eating and exercise, my mother and I ended up in the same place. She was overweight (but not unhappy about her weight) her entire life. I am overweight (and working on accepting myself as I am- still a challenge and something I work on with EFT tapping, meditation and other methods). I dieted in fear that I’d get fat, and guess what happened? I got fat. I damaged my metabolism by constant deprivation of enough food, and put on additional pounds after each diet I went on. I still have to remind myself to eat – I have classic yo-yo syndrome; metabolic syndrome. But my mom never dieted, was happy with her body, and ended up overweight!

Is body shape simply a reflection of the genetic body type you inherited? Are you going to beat your body to death trying to achieve a body type that can never be yours? You want to be taller, but you’re only 5’1″… Serena Williams will never have the body of her sister Venus, no matter what she does!fat-parent-overweight-child

My mother had back pain that eventually shortened her life because of pain medication she had to take constantly to make her life bearable. I have body pain from playing sports. But I don’t stop exercising – even though I KNOW from all the research I’ve read that exercising is NOT going to make you lose weight! 

Can you escape your destiny?

What would my body have looked like if I never dieted? Would I be average weight if I never fasted, tried every new diet- EVEN while I was a healthy average weight? Would I be feeling less pain if I didn’t exercise as much as I do? What would I look like today if I had never tried to change my body, and accepted what I looked like, and was just happy?

I guess we’ll never know. But I do know that it would have been more fun if I hadn’t skipped all those birthday cakes, fattening meals and other foods I avoided because I didn’t want to gain weight and get fat. I guess I ended up in my own Samarra.

Are you, or have you tried to alter your appointment with destiny from fear? It’s just what the Law of Attraction tells us: the things you focus on – especially from fear, are what you create. Instead of focusing on the thing you fear, take your thoughts and goals to a positive outcome. And even if you don’t achieve your goal (of permanent weight loss- because 95% of people who diet cannot maintain that weight loss), at least you will be happy along the journey.






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