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.
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!