It’s hard being obese

Obese is a tough word. The dictionary says it means very fat or overweight.

Have you ever been called fat? It is painful. It’s much like any hateful or hurtful word. It pierces the soul. Even if you have thick skin, it heads right past and stabs your heart.

No one wants to be called obese. No one wants to be in that category. But, unfortunately for my life, I have swerved in and out of this not so glorious category for most of my life. I’ll never forget a few years ago when my doctor called me obese. She said…”do you realize for your height, you’re a 100 pounds overweight”?! What??? Actually, in my head there were a few other words that followed…words that start with…*&^%%&.

The reality is, she was right. For my height, I’ve been as much as a 100 pounds overweight. That’s incredible. What’s even more incredible is that I’ve lived overweight for years. I’ve lost weight before. 3 summers ago I lost 45 pounds and felt great. But, the stress and worry of life hit me, and bam…bad decisions led to gaining it all back and then some.

I wonder if you’re like me? Do you have a special section in your closet of food you can’t wait to wear again? Yeah? Me too!

More than one-third of adults in America are obese and 17% of children are obese. 

It’s tough to be obese. 

It’s really hard to be overweight.

I can’t even begin to count all the conversations I’ve had with my very well-meaning and caring non-obese friends who have tried to give me encouragement and counsel on how to not be obese. I love that they love me enough to have those tough conversations.

But, until you’ve walked in my shoes, you just won’t understand.

You can’t understand. 

Someone who doesn’t struggle with their weight may not understand the feelings of hate, and disgust that go through your head when you look at yourself in the mirror. And, I know my skinny friends may have the same feelings about being too skinny.

They may not understand why you just can’t start eating salad and exercising.

They may not get it. And that’s ok. I know they have their own demons and their own struggles. But, until you walk in someone else’s shoes who is overweight and/or obese, you may not get how hard it is.

2 Thoughts…

1. If you’re overweight. Please remember that God loves you. He created you and He formed you in His image. So, when you do stand in the mirror, remind yourself of the truth of His scripture. And, when you do finally hit bottom with weight, make a decision to do something. It may take you months and a year to lose what you want too, but just with one step at a time.

And, give control of your appetite and your body over to God. Way too often I leave Him out. I have to stop doing this. Everyday, swing your feet out of bed, put them on the floor and give God your day. Ask Him to lead you, guide and give you the strength to get through.

2. If you’re a friend of someone whose overweight. Please stop expecting them to be as disciplined with food or working out like you are. Be there for them. Encourage them. Be kind to them. Ask them if they need help. Pray for them. If they ask you to hold them accountable, then do so. But wait until they ask. But, love them.

And…never call them fat.

These are the raw thoughts of a guy who has some pretty good insecurities but is trusting God and living for Him in spite of them.

I’m working really hard and pushing myself to stop being satisfied with being 100 pounds overweight. It’s been a hard journey so far, but I’m going to keep pushing myself!

8 Thoughts

  1. This surely hits home for me too Jason! I have been overweight for most of my life- until the summer before I hit high school, I had always been made fun of for my weight, and I said, I AM NOT GOING IN H.S. like this! So, I worked my butt off and was at a normal weight for my body…but then, like so many others, after I got married, BAM, on the weight came again! And it wasn’t until just this past year, I thought..” I can’t do this anymore..I don’t want to be like this for my son, for my husband, nor for myself..I need to set a good example and be the healthy, authentic self that GOD wants me to be!” So there my journey began, and now I RUN!!!! ME, RUN????? I never thought I’d see the day. :0)

  2. Wow, Jason it is amazing to hear my own thoughts through someone else in my situation. You always new me as an obese person. I did however find a way to live life 100 lbs. lighter than when you knew me. I have once again fallen off the proverbial wagon and gained most of that weight back. I lost it all in a yr and took about 6 yrs. to regain it all. I am now in the process of mentally preparing to lose it for the 2nd time. I hope to be successfully as I am also suffering from 4/5 herniated and one bulging disc. I expect I will have back surgery by the end of the year. Jason I appreciate the fact you know that in spite of our weight issues we are “the children of God” the mighty and wondrous saviour who sees us through Jesus eyes perfect in every way. I truly hope that I will lose the weight again and be a person in better physical condition as an example to those that think they can’t do it and to my own children…… Thanks Jason

    1. Wow, Andy, thanks for sharing! As I remember you, I never thought of you that way. You were guy who could lift like a dozen 4 x 4’s! I’ve had a bulging disc and that’s so painful. So hard to do anything with that. Thanks for your words, so great and encouraging!

  3. My most heartbreaking moment was after my mom saw me in a community theatre play . . . I was actually quite good in my role. But when I asked her what she thought of my performance, her stunning reply was “When did you put on SO much more weight?” I cried all the way up to the last performance, which I didn’t want to do now. Didn’t want anyone to look at me.

    Then, a fellow Christian asked me “How can you lead Bible study at that weight? Don’t you feel your testimony is clearly compromised?” Wow.

    I’m almost to the place where I feel that I can gather the energy needed to really apply myself to changing, but not quite. I have begun making small changes, like dramatically increasing my water intake, and paying attention to when I feel full, but until I’ve worked out a few more emotional issues, I know I won’t be ready to go full steam ahead. Thanks for giving voice to how it feels!

    1. Thanks for sharing! Oh wow, been there with those kind of comments. I am so right with you as you talked about making small changes, that’s huge. We can do it! Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Hey Jason, this hits the heart for me. From 6th grade all the way through high school it was extremely rough for me. It was rough because I was overweight. When I lived in Tawas, I was the kid that everybody bullied, and picked on because of my weight. Kids used to push me around, hit me, and push me into lockers. I didn’t understand why they would do it, because I always thought that I was a nice kid. I was extremely nice to everybody, and the kids that bullied me. I remember whenever I would try to sit in my seat at school, kids would yell “watch it’s going to break” or when I dropped something and would try to pick it up they would push me over. It didn’t make things easier. Kids would always watch me eat lunch and just make fun of me. Whenever I tried to run or play basketball they would laugh at me and when I got home it made me eat more. It led to depression, and all I did was eat when I was depressed because I felt like it took the pain of what kids would say about me away. It was so hard, I couldn’t even run down the road and back without being extremely exhausted. When i was 12 years old I weighed 180 lbs. So then around the time I turned 14 I was 220 lbs and I started to get sick of people making fun of me, I had thoughts of either keep doing what I was doing and that was just eating,, throwing it all away, or lose the weight. So then that spring I started running, it started off harder than I thought it would. Then it started to get a little easier each time I ran. Then I went from running one time a day up to two times, then I started running 2-3 times a day. I was running for miles and miels. I went from being 220 pounds down to 150, it was life-changing. Now that I’ve gotten out of high school, it still gets to me at times in my head that I’m not as skinny as I should be or could be, because i’ve gained a little bit of weight. So sometimes it still takes a toll on me, and some people do still call me “fat” and it makes it a little worse but once this summer hits I plan to exercise like I used to.

    I just wanted to tell you that I read your posts on Facebook, and twitter about morning jogs and I think it’s extremely awesome of what you’re doing! Taking that step of deciding that enough is enough is probably the hardest thing to do, but I know with God there is nothing you can’t do. Keep it up! You have no idea of how much an inspiration you can be with this!

    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13

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