The Empathy Map

Today, let’s create an empathy map for someone who is trying to lose weight.

What does she see?

She is trapped in a job that is stressful and doesn’t even enjoy it; it just pays the bills.  She is always putting herself last and helping others, but ends up eating at the end of the day.  She sees herself as unattractive, ugly, and fat.  She is often surrounded by other fat, negative co-workers or either a lazy husband or the opposite, a fit husband she can’t keep up with.  She is surrounded by fat family members who are always eating.  “Our culture revolves around food.”. 

She is suffering from health problems i.e. knee pain, back pain, can’t sleep, tired all the time, flirting with diabetes, taking several prescription meds.  She has poor self-confidence.  She can’t travel because of the “belt extender” she has to wear.  She is sitting on the sidelines – can’t hike with friends, can’t keep up with grandkids, etc.  She is not social because she is uncomfortable with how she looks.  She can’t fit into her clothes, refuses to buy bigger size clothes.  She is caught sleeping at her desk.

What does she hear?

Friends are saying “you are always on a diet”.  Give yourself a break.  Have some cake, I made it for you.  We are all big boned.  You are beautiful “just the way you are”. 

Her parents, specifically, mother is very critical of her weight.  Mother says she wears black all the time.  Her family, significant other, and friends are what influences her the most.  More often they are a bad influence.

What does she think and feel?

Clothes don’t fit right.  She just wants to be “normal”.  She wants to feel confident and make her own decisions.  She wants to be just like her skinny friends and eat and drink whatever they want.  She wishes that she isn’t hiding all the time.  She wants to feel sexy and attractive.  She has dreams of wearing clothes that fit well, wants to look good in a bathing suit, wants to look good in pictures and family photos, wants to socialize more, wants to travel comfortably.

What does she say or do?

She always has a negative attitude, criticizing herself, calling herself fat.  She is a perfectionist and therefore she is never “good enough”.  She is not confident and often jealous of others.  She does not have a good relationship with her significant other.

What is her pain?

Her frustration is that she sticks out, she has no energy, can’t walk a block or take the stairs without getting short of breath, knee hurts and can’t travel, tired of wearing bigger clothes. 

Her obstacles is stress eating, carb cravings, being hungry all the time, frequent dining, frequent alcohol, can’t control portions, family is overweight and there’s food everywhere, family is critical, she is self-critical.  Risks is putting herself out there – being on a diet again.  People will start to notice, she will feel pressure because of it.  There’s financial risk, what if it doesn’t work and she fails yet again.

What does she gain?

Confidence.  Health.  Better energy.  Living longer, being there for the kids.  Stop taking medications.  Being more social. 

Fitting into her favorite clothes.  Being happier.  Better relationship with significant other and a new and better life.

Start now, by clicking this link in here. I will always be there for you!

Dr. Angela Tran D.O.


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Dr. Angela Tran