The first thing that you should know is that I think that everyone is beautiful. We are all perfect, each in our own special way. But if you aren’t comfortable with your weight, I will show you what to do to become comfortable with yourself and become the person you want to be.

There have been many times in my own life when I haven’t been comfortable with my weight. When I was in high school, I was tall and skinny, and people made fun of me. Then I got married and had three children, so I gained weight, but I went back down to an acceptable weight after my last pregnancy. When I was training to be a security guard, I got in pretty good shape. But after the course, I got a security job that required shift work and it was difficult to find the time to run.

It was a miracle I was running at all, since for two years prior to my nuclear security training, my leg had been swelling up intermittently. For the next few years it continued to swell up periodically, and this put a damper on my running, too. When it was getting to the point where I couldn’t walk on it, I was diagnosed with cancer. From August 1995 to the spring of 1996, I came close to losing my leg and my life. After that I gained weight, just as many people do in times of stress, but I wasn’t badly overweight. However, I developed the fear that I would get cancer again if I were skinny again, so I kept the weight on. I had to work through this fear.

Then, in 1997, the strain from a difficult relationship, a divorce, issues with children, and working 16-hour days began to take its toll on me. I had exhausted myself. I got pneumonia, and that triggered a recurrence of my childhood asthma. The following year, when I started to travel to teach classes, I found that airplanes had lower breathable oxygen content than normal air, and since I didn’t have the lung capacity that I should, because of the asthma, I began to take prednisone to help my breathing when I flew. I would taper off the medication afterward, but the side effect was that I gained weight. After six months of this scenario, I had gained 70 pounds (32 kg). I didn’t feel good being that heavy, and my body got a little out of alignment, too, because of all the traveling that I was doing. It was horrifying watching my clothing jumping from size to size, ever expanding. I had never been faced with a situation like that before in my life.

It was around this time that I began to notice a difference in how I was treated by other people. When I had been thinner, I would go to a store and the assistants would serve me with courtesy. Now that I was heavier, puffy, and bloated, they treated me with a peculiar disdain. I didn’t like the way I was being treated, or the way I was being perceived.

It was interesting teaching ThetaHealing, too. With some people (mostly women), the fact that I was heavy made it easier, because they felt that I wasn’t in some kind of competition with them. Other people, however, would view me with a critical eye. And there would always be the odd person who hadn’t worked through their own issues and would come right out with ‘Why aren’t you skinny?

Quite frankly, it was easy for me to say, ‘Spiritual teachers can be any shape they want to be.’ I do view everyone as special in their own way. I think that people the world over have different shapes to their bodies, and they are all beautiful. I look at people from an artist’s standpoint: the standpoint of what it would be like to paint them. I have only thought that a person should lose weight when I have been giving them a reading and health issues have come up because of their weight.

During this time I was doing a class in Australia, and at the end of the first day, one of the students came up to me. He was built like a weightlifter and didn’t have much excess weight. He said, ‘Please, you don’t have to answer my question until tomorrow, but I want to know how you can teach a healing class and be so fat.’

This hurt my feelings, and as I left the class that night I told Guy, my husband, in a rush what the man had said. This brought our issues up, and Guy felt annoyed with him, but held back from saying anything to him because the Creator of All That Is told me to not react but to wait.

The next morning the young man came up to me again and said, ‘Do you have an answer to my question?’ It is a good thing that God was with me, because otherwise my answer would have been different from the one I gave, which was: ‘Why do you want to know?’

He said, ‘Because I used to be fat. I had always been fat – all my life. People made fun of me wherever I went and whatever I did and I hated it. I had to do something about it. At first I almost died because I starved myself, and then I started exercising and lost the weight. But you know, even now when I walk into a room full of people, I still feel fat, and no matter what I do, I can’t shake the feeling. And yet you can get up in front of a group of people and teach them energy healing without being self-conscious. I want to know what I need to do to be like that.’

Had I reacted to the young man in the way I first thought, I wouldn’t have heard the inspirational message he gave me. This gave me food for thought on many levels.

Vianna Stibal conducts seminars internationally to teach people of all races, beliefs, and religions about ThetaHealing.