It was a case of robbery, and this time she vowed to solve the mystery. It was a repeat offense, and enough was enough.
What had been robbed? The excellent way she had been feeling because of her weight loss. It had been stolen from her, just as though a thief had come in the night. She woke up one morning, and 15 pounds were back. She was angry, scared, frustrated, and bewildered. How could this have happened to her? Who did this to her—and why?
Well, she thought, why don’t I proceed like they do on TV, call in the cops to track down the perpetrator! I mean, who are the likely suspects? Have they committed such crimes before? Have they left clues? Fingerprints? Maybe they left telltale signs of their M O? Are they hiding out? Are they lurking about?
Mia imagined calling in two detectives, Lopez and Brown—female cops—to investigate the crime. One was tall, the other short. They meant business.
The detectives started by questioning the victim—her. Lopez, the tall cop, went first.
“I know this might be unpleasant for you, but it’s necessary, I assure you. We’re going to ask you some questions, and at some point they may get personal. But we need you to answer as truthfully as you can.”
“I understand Detective, I’ll do my best.”
With that, the inquiry began.
Mia didn’t feel so calm with these two putting her on the spot like that. But she knew she had to find it in her to let them do their jobs. She wasn’t sure she could stand up to their scrutiny.
The first question seemed routine. Brown, the short one asked it.
“When did this robbery occur?”
“Well, I guess sometime between October first, when I reached my goal weight, and yesterday, when I got on the scale and noticed that my goal weight had been stolen.”
Brown raised her eyebrows. “That’s quite a time frame— let’s see, maybe eight or nine weeks. Can you be more specific? I mean, can you pinpoint just a bit more when this happened?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Well then, did you notice anything suspicious in the weeks before it actually happened?”
“Come to think of it yes, I guess I did. There were these unsettling feelings hanging around, and even though they weren’t in plain view, I sensed they were there, ready to jump me at any moment. I guess that’s not much to go on, is it?”
Neither detective was put off by the paucity of clues thus far. Most every case started like this. The clues were always few, and the questions many. They had learned through persistence, by following their guts, because of all the cases they had dealt with and the skill they had developed, that there would be a breakthrough at some point. They knew it would come.
Lopez took over now. Tall as she was, there was a nice gentleness about her.
“Did anything like this ever happen to you before?”
“The truth? Yes, it happened every other time I lost weight. So I guess I should be used to it—but I’m not. It feels like a real violation.”
“We must consider the most important element of a crime such as this, which is motivation. Who would want to hurt you? Do you have any enemies who would want to do this to you—steal something from you that’s so valuable?”
“Not that I’m aware of, but I’ll think about it.”
Lopez nodded, showing her appreciation of Mia’s willingness.
“Yes, do think about it, and we’ll continue the questioning tomorrow down at the station.
“I’ll be there, Detective.”
Lopez and Brown left. Mia was happy to be off the hook for the time being, but still, she liked the idea that she was getting help.
The next morning found Mia back in the hot seat, this time in the interrogation room, which was not the most comfortable place to be.
Brown went right to it.
“Any more thoughts about who might be the primary suspect in this robbery?”
“Yes. I think the most likely one is my past.”
“Well then, if the past is the prime suspect, let’s bring it in and make it talk.”
Lopez put on her jacket, and left. She was back about fifteen minutes later, with a clipboard.
Mia nodded, but her heart skipped.
Lopez began to read questions from the sheet on her clipboard.
“OK, what would you say is the thing that stands out the most about your past?”
“I guess I’d have to say…mmm, let’s see, I think…believe it or not, feeling small.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You know, small and inconsequential, like I don’t count.”
“When did you start to feel that way?”
“I have no idea. It’s been forever.”
“Ah. Can you describe the feeling of “small” in more detail?”
“Umm… I can try…let’s see…small, little, not being noticed…like I’m not there.”
Brown walked over, put her hand on Mia’s shoulder.
Mia burst into tears.
“It hurts more than anything. I want to matter. I want to be noticed. I want to be appreciated. I want to be big.”
Lopez put down her clipboard down on the table, took a deep breath, looked Mia in the eye.
“I think we have our prime suspect here. Wanting to feel big, substantial, worthwhile.”
“And I’ve translated it into being body-big.”
“No wonder you’ve always returned to it.”
exerpt from Psych Your Diet: A Daily Dose. Volume 3. Psych Yourself to Keep It Off. by Kenneth Schwarz PhD and Julie North Schwarz. Symmetry Press.