The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Controlling the Myth

Controlling the Myth

I remember lecturing at the Smithsonian a few years back about the institutional need to control the "story" that people tell about your goods, services, or industry. Stories, you see, don't follow a linear script, they are webs of emotional association that bypass temporality or ordinary ordering of significance. The child's sled "Rosebud" looms larger in a dying man's dreams than all of his other successes or failures over a stupendous life in "Citizen Kane."

Watching Tananarive get a little depressed last night was frustrating. I'd warned her not to expect a knockout. In fact, while the media pushed the "knockout" scenario over and over, I never heard that from Obama, figuring that he was too smart to do anything other than keep playing his safe rack-up-the-delegates strategy.

Remember back a few weeks? Texas and Ohio were supposed to be firewalls to crush his momentum. Hillary needed wide victories in both, just to break even. Then, just before the election, it was "If he doesn't take all four states it indicates buyers' remorse." Wow. Lowering expectations, controlling the story. Smart.

I do resent this "the press hasn't vetted him" routine. Repeat a lie often enough, and people consider it truth. Excuse me? Do YOU know what elementary school Hillary attended? McCain? It seems to me that every inch of Obama's life has been dragged through the public eye to a microscopic degree, but by repeating over and over again "he hasn't been vetted" it's obviously made a certain number of people believe this nonsense. Politics as usual. I am SO proud of him that he hasn't lashed back in ad hominem attacks. Can you even imagine that if Michelle Obama had been disbarred for perjury that this wouldn't have come up in Clinton attack ads? He has to keep to the high road, if nothing else as a demonstration that it is possible to deal with the political scene without wallowing in the mud. I don't blame Hillary for playing the game the way the Boy's play. Not at all. But I don't respect her for it, either.

So now Obama has to shake it off and keep going. Michigan and Florida? If you want to seat them, then give both candidates a chance to campaign there, otherwise you're going on pure name recognition, and pre-existing party structure. If she tried that, I'd very seriously consider McCain. Or maybe moving to Canada. But if she campaigns and beats Obama fair and square in Michigan and Florida? Cool. No problemo.
Slowly depressurizing after turning in Shadow Valley. Trying to get a good work schedule going, and upping my yoga. I was short-changing that, certainly.
So...I'm going to go over the seven subjects I want for "Seven Secrets." And I'd love to have readers comment on them, what they'd like to know, what they do or don't understand about them. I'll be posting the same entries over on the Lifewriting/Five Minute Miracle forum, so that the answers can be explored in greater depth.

1) I.D.E.A.--Instinctive Designation of Energy and Attention. The idea is that mastery includes the ability to perform, instantly, what you would do had you all the time in the world to think about it. Honed instinct. This depends upon clear perceptions, an aligned value-goal core, an accurate map of reality, and great behavioral and conceptual flexibility. Also, many, many experiments, testing your theories of human behavior and reality again and again until your predictions and results come out the same. Even better still: publish your data and allow others to test with their own experiments.

The best way to "Calibrate" your instincts is to select high goals in all three major areas of your life: body, career, relationship. Find role models of similar accomplishment, and determine what those role models did, felt, believed and overcame in order to reach their goal. When possible, find at least three in each major area, overlap their behaviors and attitudes (NLP's "Belief Systems, Mental Syntax, Physiology) until you find the critical behaviors. Analyze your own behaviors and attitudes, and "subtract" yours from the Role Model's. What remains are the behaviors and attitudes you must integrate to shift your life in the direction of health, balance, and accomplishment.

The "Three Goals" pattern works most neatly if you accept the following goals:
1) A committed, passionate relationship
2) A healthy, energetic, sexy body that matches your own values. You'd be perfectly happy with a partner with your body, or the flipped-gender equivalent.
3) Enough money that it is a convenience, not an obstacle. You work where you love, or love where you work.

All of these can be modified, of course. No one but you can tell you what you want and need to complete yourself in this life. But a warning: be very careful of the voices that tell you you don't want money, or to lose weight, or to have a permanent significant other. They often lie. Unless you are perfectly happy and never complain about being broke, or rejected due to appearance, or may be bullshitting yourself. That's not to say you can't wander the world as a mendicant, or weigh 400 pounds and happy, or live alone and unlaid...but you won't COMPLAIN about it, will you?

As you move in that direction, you will encounter stress and failure that hit you from all directions. Every time, you will have the chance to keep moving forward, searching, and modeling behaviors and attitudes, applying flexible behavior and concepts until you are no longer "spun" by life. Life just is. You pick yourself up, and move on. And if you have searched intelligently, if you are modeling the thoughts and actions of the most successful men and women in each category, you will eventually find your own way of being. You will have a kind of grace as you move through life, and the decisions that cripple other people barely even tweak you. You have the capacity to keep your word to yourself under massive stress.

And you start making instinctive, automatic decisions that bear out over time. And start having an experience of riding the wave rather than having it wipe out your sand castles. There is the same amount of storm, but you are in the center of the cyclone, relatively unruffled. It's an interesting experience.

And the question of the day is: What questions do you have about the process I've described? What would you need to apply it, or want to apply it in your life? What examples do you have of similar processes (if you have them) and how they have or haven't worked in your own life?


Anonymous said...

I woke up this morning to see a fellow Highbrid Nation writer reporting that Hillary has won the Ohio and Texas primaries and how this is getting bad. And like him I feel like this battle between Obama and Hillary has went on too long and now they are in danger of hurting the party by allowing McCain to take shots at them while they are dealing with each other. Howard Dean should step in and say “Look, Obama is going to be the canidate and Hillary you can be his running mate if you choose”…I know I know that would never happen but a guy can dream right?

Steven Barnes said...

Hillary has the right to fight on to the end. Some may say she has the responsibility, given the way so many of her people have struggled for her. And this would be true whether she wants the presidency for sheer ego, or because she honestly and truly believes she would be best for the country. So...maybe it's true that the "Party" would be hurt by this. The President is more than just the party. The President is the captain of a ship holding both parties and many unaffiliated. While concern for the party is legitimate, it can't be the only standard. Would I like Hillary to drop out? Maybe. But I can't say she's obligated to. She's playing politics as usual, and I'd like to see more of a change there. But this is also a life-time dream for her, I think. And she told this about herself: she's a fighter. I don't see her doing a "No Mas" just because it makes others uncomfortable. And I don't think it's dishonorable for her to soldier on, playing the game fairly while bending rules within an inch of their lives.
And ya'll know that I think the perfect situation would be a dual ticket. Yes, there would be some opposed to it. But I think that the excitement for such a completely unprecedented event would be unbelievable, and sweep all before it. My guess is that a deal of some kind is being brokered as we speak.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

I do resent this "the press hasn't vetted him" routine. Repeat a lie often enough, and people consider it truth. Excuse me? Do YOU know what elementary school Hillary attended?

Eugene Field Elementary in Park Ridge Illinois. Sure, I looked it up, but I'd have to look up Obama's, too. :-)

The "vetted" thing is legitimate if you're Hillary Clinton. She's had the national press poring over every inch of her life for sixteen years -- by comparison to her Obama hasn't been vetted. (No one in politics has, and that includes Al Gore, John Kerry, and George Bush -- but not including her husband.) Assuming Obama's the nominee, which still looks likely, I guarantee you, we'll find out things about Obama in the general election he'd rather weren't known -- I doubt very much we'll learn anything new about Clinton.

Hillary has every right to fight on, and in her shoes, having won 3 of 4 states, I would. That said, if she comes to the end of the election cycle and Obama's won the popular vote ... which again, looks likely ... man, she really doesn't want to be the person who tries to win a Democratic primary by screwing a black man with a majority vote behind him, given the history of black voting suppression in this country. And I think she and Bill are both sane enough to know that -- and if they're not, I guarantee you the superdelegates are.

I'm a big Hillary fan -- but if she loses the popular vote, and keeps fighting, she'd lose me and a lot of people like me. I very much doubt she will.

Steve Perry said...

CNN loves to have something about which to talk, and a race in which either of the two runners has a chance to win is simply more interesting than a runaway.

Look how much time they gave McCain. Now that Huckleberry has dropped out, it's a yawner on the R side.

People like to root for the underdog, and in a two-dog match, that sometimes changes, so you'll see that reflected in what the media has to say.

And the American attention span is short and forgetful.

I recall Bob Scheiffer on CBC during the Super Tuesday reporting pointing out that Clinton didn't have much to look forward to in the upcoming weeks, that Obama was going to have a easy lope until Texas and Ohio.

Somehow, everybody seemed to forget that, and much was made of the string of victories, as if they were some kind of surprise. They weren't. Nobody paying attention thought so.

Last night, I watched the speeches, before Texas was called, and the spins, and found it to be exactly what I expected. Both sides declared victory and kept going.

There was a metaphor I liked. It's like the Indy 500. One driver is two lengths ahead, but they are only fifty laps into the race. Nobody pulls over and gives up now; it's who crosses the finish line first.

Each gets a turn in the barrel of being the unstoppable force who is practically ordained, but it's Yoga Berra's dictum: It ain't over until it's over.

For me, I saw what many people see as the big difference twixt the two candidates: Hill the solid, but uninspiring manager, and Rocky the guy who inspires and has much less baggage.

Far and away, his speech was better than hers. Even my wife, who supports Hillary thought so, and for the first time, saw what all the fuss was about. She still thinks Hillary will do a better job on the ground, and I agree. The bureaucracy is a bastard, and she knows how to deal with bastards better ...

But the President is just a bigger cog than most in a huge machine. And in this case, whichever one wins the nomination will have worked hard to earn it.

Got my vote, either way.

Anonymous said...


Less than a hundred delegates separate Senators Clinton and Obama, and you want Dean to step in and designate who the Democratic candidate for President will be? Are you nuts?

Dean does not have that power. The superdelegates have that power. If they truly believe that a continued struggle for ascendancy between Senators Clinton and Obama is damaging the Democrats' chance for victory in November, then the superdelegates should choose and announce their candidate. If there is any valid purpose for the superdelegates, this is it. If things continue on the way they have been going, neither candidate can win without the superdelegates. If the superdelegates announce their candidates now, it will be apparent who will get the nomination. As long as the superdelegates have not announced their decision, then both candidates have an absolute right and perhaps an obligation to continue.


You've mentioned a couple of times that Sen. Clinton's efforts to have the FL and MI results used is unacceptable to you. As far as I am aware, neither candidate campaigned in FL or MI. So neither has an unfair advantage on this basis. Moreover, FL and MI's primaries occurred after primaries had taken place in New Hampshire and Iowa. Accordingly, Floridians had plenty of opportunity to watch the debates from the prior primaries. Moreover, Sen. Obama had won several primaries before Florida. The existence of the prior debates and Sen. Obama's victories in the prior primaries nullified any unfair advantage Sen. Clinton's superior name recognition gave her. Finally, I recall several pundits prognosticating (before it became clear that this was going to be a very close race) that at least some of the FL and MI delegates would be seated in the end. Accordingly, there was reason for people from FL and MI to believe that they should attend the primary and that their votes weren't meaningless.

I think you need to do two things. First, examine deeply why you have a negative reaction to the possibility that FL and MI's delegates will be seated. Second, analyze whether or not it is fair to seat FL and MI's delegates.

Daniel Keys Moran said...


Hillary's got a pretty good argument in Florida; no one campaigned there and she won with Obama on the ballot.

Michigan, not so much. She put her name on the ballot after Obama and Edwards (and everyone, I think) agreed to stay off the ballot. No honest person could say she should receive those delegates.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

Uhm ... technically, I suppose an honest person could say Hillary should get Michigan's votes: "It's a screw job and I'm comfortable with that." But it would take that....

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the correction on MI.

Anonymous said...


I would respectfully disagree that Sen. Obama has been vetted, unless you consider reading the books he's written a proper vetting.

He comes from the Chicago political machine, which is an ethical meat grinder. It would be very unusual if he made it through there without considerable compromise.

We have a story about buying real estate at a huge discount ala Duke Cunningham. I believe his excuse was that it was "bone headed".

I have not heard this story prior to a few weeks ago, and if he had been vetted in a way other than reading his autobiography prior to to this, I think I would have.

I suppose time will tell, but I have a feeling that more will come out as he's given more than a cursory look.

I kinda hope I'm wrong, but that just seems unlikely.

John M.

Steven Barnes said...

Very simple why I wouldn't accept Michigan or Florida. Because I think there would be a very real difference in result IF both candidates campaign there and if they DON'T. Among the reasons is a 100% Clinton name recognition that made her a prohibitive favorite without campaigning. I can easily see why Clinton could like this idea. I'm not even saying that someone is a bastard for suggesting it. But to me, what is fair would be to let both parties campaign. I fail to see how it would be less fair to either party. And I can see a real way for the opposite approach to feel dishonest. I would feel something pretty close to that, so I know that millions of others would feel that too. Don't see ANY advantage to anyone except the person of Hillary Clinton. It wouldn't even serve her adherents, who on average would be just as inconvenienced as Barack's, Yes, it is politics as usual for that kind of arm-twisting to occur. That has nothing to do with what I choose to call honesty or integrity. I would hope that, were the position reversed, I would feel a similar level of discomfort. Can't be sure, but I would hope.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

Steve, don't see how anyone could disagree to a do-over in both those states, with all concerned running their best game. (Not fair to Edwards, maybe, but it's a little late for that.)

:-) I hope I'm not a bastard for saying I thought Hillary had a good argument in Florida.

Anonymous said...

Re the unfairness of a "do-over" in Florida and Michigan. Such a "do-over" would include the additional millions of dollars needed for the campaigns. As you are undoubtedly aware, Sen. Obama's warchest exceedeth that of Sen. Clinton. Where is she going to get the millions to conduct such a campaign?

Also, I still do not see why you believe Sen. Clinton's name recognition made any difference in the original FL and MI primaries. By the time the FL primary was held, Sen. Obama had more primary victories than did Sen. Clinton. If anyone had the momentum, it was Sen. Obama. Moreover, Sen. Obama managed to win several primaries before FL despite his purported lack of name recognition. Furthermore, I'm not sure Sen. Clinton's name recognition is a good thing. How much have you heard about Pres. Clinton in the last couple of weeks? Hmm . . . And after his disappearance, Sen. Clinton has turned around her losing streak. An argument could be made that her name recognition is as much an anchor as it is a kite.

Personally, I do not really care how the Democratic Party resolves this issue. I am puzzled about your professed distaste for the possiblity that FL's primary will be counted.

I do hope that the Democratic party changes its nomination process in light of this fiasco. Get rid of the superdelegates and go to a winner takes all delegates on a county by county basis. You'll end up with front-runner much more quickly and the sheep will quickly start voting for the frontrunner who will then run-away with the nomination. I think that the only way the superdelegates can be justified is to avoid the very situation that is evolving here. Otherwise, the superdelegates bespeak a distrust of the people -- which would be a strange thing indeed for the Democratic party (whereas it would make more sense for the Republican party, which doesn't have superdelegates). However, the superdelegates don't want to fulfill their duty here. Instead, they're waiting to see how the people want them to vote. If the superdelegates simply vote the way the people vote, why bother having superdelegates? What a SNAFU.

Anonymous said...

This two candidate race will hold the public's attention. This needs to happen for almost three more months. It was crazy for the primaries to get moved back to the beginning of the year. The conventions are in six months:
August 25–28, 2008: Democratic
September 1–4, 2008: Republican

That's a long time.

As far as 'vetting' goes, that's all BS. Who vets the vetters? I don't trust those newsmen one bit. I read my news online, and see the headlines from many sources. There are a lot of anti-Hillary AND anti-Obama headlines over positive stories. The newsmedia would much prefer glowing Repub stories.

I'd like to see real information about their official positions and their speeches. I have read over and over that Obama is all style with no substance, but when I read his website I find position papers. When I can read his speeches he talks specifics, or as much as one can in a speech.

I read something on Hillary being flip-floppy on NAFTA, but she seems to have opposed it going into it, and there after seems to be trying to make it work. The worst thing against her is being on the board of Walmart. To me, Walmart of very bad. However, I find what she says and her official positions heartening.

Perhaps this sniping at one another will serve as an inoculation of the voting public against the swift boat boys and the Repub disinformation machine.

The 3 a.m. ad campaign will help Obama because the issue of his experience has been outted.

I am concerned that Hillary's win is courtesy of Limbaugh.

Frank said...

Before yesterday, Obama had a chance for a knockout punch.

Now neither candidate can realistically get enough delegates to win the nomination outright.

Clinton has won enough of the big states (most electoral votes) to make the superdelegates leery of jumping on the Obama bandwagon. Their mandate, afterall, is to pick a likely winning candidate in the absence of a clear winner. And clear winner means going to the convention to win the nomination on the first ballot.

And Obama is far from vetted. And, in fact, is working hard to alienate the media which will make them all the more eager to vet him good.

Anonymous said...

Re Florida and Michigan:

It seems to me that rules were already in place to deal with these sorts of situations.

Everyone concerned knew what those rules were ahead of time. So it's disingenuous to now want to change them after the fact.

Anonymous said...

As I see it the Democratic race in the popular vote is close to a dead heat. If you include Florida where Obama was on the ballot but exclude Michigan where he was not then Obama leads Clinton in the popular vote by 50.5% to 49.5%. If Clinton were to win Pennsylvania by the same margin as Ohio. Not that unlikely the popular vote would be a virtual tie. So why should she drop out or should anybody step in to stop it now.

Marty S

Anonymous said...

"Then, just before the election, it was 'If he doesn't take all four states it indicates buyers' remorse.' Wow."

I'm thinking more o_O than wow. How could it be "buyer's remorse" when it's different voters in each case (rather than the voters from before going back to the polls)?

"Howard Dean should step in and say 'Look, Obama is going to be the canidate and Hillary you can be his running mate if you choose'"

Now I wonder if that could lower the odds of President Obama being assasinated (since Clinton would become president if he was).

"man, she really doesn't want to be the person who tries to win a Democratic primary by screwing a black man with a majority vote behind him, given the history of black voting suppression in this country. And I think she and Bill are both sane enough to know that -- and if they're not, I guarantee you the superdelegates are."

Yeah, if it's up to the superdelegates then I hope they all vote for whomever wins a majority of the primary and caucus votes.

Jeremy said...

Interesting post, Steven.

Re: MI and FL's primaries, whether or not it's fair, the states decided to move their primaries earlier in the year and they were warned they'd be punished, but did it anyway. Those were the rules. What HRC is arguing for is changing the rules halfway through the game. That's just Calvinball. I support Obama, though I definitely don't agree with some of his statements (too religious for my tastes - but what candidate isn't), but I'd argue the same if the situation was flipped. And I'd have a lot less respect for him.

It seems that Hillary campaigned in MI with the expectation that if it came down to it, she could get the delegates seated. Fudging the rules may be the norm in politics, but that's no reason for us to accept it.

Incidentally, as for vetting, the Clintons haven't released their tax returns, nor do we know the Clinton Foundation's donor list. This info, along with digging into Obama's past, is something that should be done now so there aren't surprises in the general election.

Steven Barnes said...

I can understand how an honest person could say Z: "Florida and Michigan should be counted, as is." I can understand an honest person saying X: "Florida and Michigan shouldn't be counted" or Y: "Florida and Michigan should get a do over." I grasp all three of these points of view. I CANNOT grasp an honest person saying "I don't understand how you could support X,Y or Z." That strikes me as being willfully blind because X, Y, or Z would be to the advantage of the other side.

I'm not saying that YOU can't think it would be fair. I said that I don't, and that I would consider it so unfair and dishonest I would consider looking at McCain.
I think that 100% name recognition was a fantastic advantage--and Obama does better when he gets to campaign and meet people. Maybe they could both agree to using the same amount of $$ or something.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Not any posts on IDEA yet.

I had to read what it stands for a couple of times before I understood what you meant. I think it's what I think of as spiritual growth, understanding, enlightenment.

I have had a long journey in finding peace, and I don't have it all yet. It started in college. I was very angry at my father, years of anger. I found out from my step mother who found out from my aunts things that happened to my dad growing up, things he would never admit to. Bad things, so much worse than the things he did to me that I realized, he couldn't do better than he did. Knowing why he was like he was (and that it wasn't about me) helped me forgive him, and forgiving him was a huge weight off of myself.

After that I decided to always consider what made a person who would do bad, and pity/empathize instead of hate. For smaller things, like idiot drivers, I try (not always thinking of it) to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are nice people having a bad day. Better safe than unfairly judged. The result is, I have less anger and stress when on the road.

Recently, I had a bad exchange with a volunteer at my kids' school about a complaint I emailed. I was shocked and upset at first, because I didn't except a hostile reaction. My response was aimed to defuse the situation, and instead of staying upset, I considered that the volunteer could have had a horrible day before reading my email. When I spoke to others about this, some people said I should have been mean right back. I know they just wanted to support me, but it seemed like horrible advice that would lead to more and more conflict.

An incredible person, the writer Rachel Caine, had what seems like a silly slip on a sidewalk which broke both bones in her lower arm. After surgery and many months, it hadn't healed and she had more surgery and more months. I think it was in a sling for about one year! Seriously! And the whole time, despite the pain, not being able to do things, having a hard time writing, she was always optimistic and funny. Never bitter, never whiny. Wow. I want to be like that.

Less anger leads to peace, empathy and compassion lead to peace, and staying positive (even in bad times) leads to peace.

A few years back, I had a confrontation with a family member about something he thought I should be willing to do, but I thought it was an unnecessary and inconvenient request (that he asked someone else who tried to push it on me). He said some mean things at Thanksgiving while I was out of the room. I was pretty upset about it until after a few days when I realized that his response had nothing to do with me. I could have been anyone, and he would have been the same. What people say is all about who they are. It isn't personal.

Not taking things personally, understanding that it reflects the speaker, leads to peace.

My current hurtle is how to accept and love someone (in this case, my mother) who is very unhealthy (overweight to the point of causing serious health issues), takes no responsibility (blame, complain, justify, justify, justify) and has no interest in changing. I don't respect her. She outright refuses to attempt change. She is killing herself. How do I accept and love someone who has no desire to improve herself, especially when there is such need? I don't know. I think there is a way, I just haven't found it yet.


Mike R said...

> What examples do you have of similar processes (if you have them) and how they have or haven't worked in your own life?<

I don't have many questions about the process, but I think that's because I've been reading your blog for years now and these things have come up over and over again enough times that I've already thought and analyzed them. I don't see anyone who's regularly been reading your blog to encounter anything new or startling about this, or any of your other seven tips, to tell the truth.

Regarding how they have worked in my life; Great! Seriously. I started reading your blog at a rather low point in my life and I have been making steady improvements in all areas. My life isn't perfect, no, but I do see it as pretty damn good in all three areas, especially in comparison to three or four years ago. And while I've got more progress I want to make I'm pretty satisfied with what I've done so far. If you'd like any first hand accounts, for your book, of someone who's taken your advice and profited by it, perhaps we could talk sometime.


Steven Barnes said...


In terms of respecting your Mom--know that she's doing the best she can with the resources she has. If she could do better, she would. You might be able to help her integrate new resources or resourceful states, but chances are that you are neglecting major areas of improvement in your own life: put your attention there, be compassionate, and lead by example.

Anonymous said...

It's fear, isn't it? She's afraid to look at the truth, which cripples her ability to reduce stress, and that in turn causes the body to push for more food intake. Hmmm... Maybe I'm having a hard time with it because I don't really understand it yet.

Yes, I am not altogether in the Three. Spouse-good, Career-okay, Health-working on it. I have about 40 lbs too much, struggling with it during a high stress lifestyle, which kinda gets back to career, but it's mostly my husband's dream of owning his own company, and the financial instability (as in, we have no idea how much and when the money cometh). I wasn't dealing with it well last year and had a few anxiety attacks and high blood pressure. I doing better, but I'm not there yet. :-)


Steven Barnes said...


The problem isn't stress. It's STRAIN--that is, your mental and physical reaction to stress. You need to improve your coping mechanisms, sweetie. Lotsa info out on the 'net about that...meditation, biofeedback, prayer, exercise...lots of things. Find one!

&e glebe said...

i am concerned that Obama will take advice from his advisers that would be ok for them. MLK needs to be the model he follows. if he can stay with non-violence, in word, and stay on point with his message it's okay even if he loses. to give up the core of his campaign and be like them will tear my heart out and those of many who esteem him. MLK wasn't a whimp, it is so much harder not to strike back. my greatest fear is that hillary and obama will rip at each other and provide bullets for mccain to use on the surviver. i think he will be able to win if they do.

Anonymous said...

"It's fear, isn't it? She's afraid to look at the truth, which cripples her ability to reduce stress, and that in turn causes the body to push for more food intake. Hmmm... Maybe I'm having a hard time with it because I don't really understand it yet."

Either that or she's looking at even more truths than just the ones about the number on the scale.

Remember, there's both pressure on women to burn fat off and pressure on women to keep fat on - and we can't choose which fat to lose and which to keep unless we lose some fat by liposuction. Meanwhile, I don't know how her body loses weight, but if hers is like mine then it would burn breast fat faster than it burns any other fat.

How would her husband, employer, neighbors, etc. be likely to react if her breasts shrink and make her figure more masculine? From what I've heard, having people think you're trying to change sex can be more dangerous than having people think you're too lazy to diet and exercise...