Fat isn’t cool

In this world of tolerance and acceptance of everything, I think we’ve lost much of our sanity about it all. Oh, I fully realize that what I’m about to say will not sit well with some folks, but hear me out.

We now live in a world in which we want everyone to feel comfortable about themselves, regardless of the consequences. And while there are many issues I could talk about, I’m going to talk about weight…ie., being fat. And before you think I’m tossing stones, know that I’ve got about 50 extra of those things called pounds that I could really stand to be rid of. At some point in time, our culture decided to try to make the fat people not feel so bad. But I think trying to make fat people feel good about being fat is doing them an incredible disservice.

First, being fat just flat out isn’t healthy. Oh, I know that there are some folks who have genuine health issues and the struggle with fatness is a genuine struggle. Most, I think, though, are just fat because they’re too lazy to get rid of it and/or they don’t pay attention to what they eat. I fall in the second category mostly because I have a tendency to just eat what I like, regardless of calories, sodium, sugar, etc. Okay, that’s changing a little for me and maybe that’s what inspired me to write this. But, being fat brings on health issues with heart, muscles, bones…and—my struggle—cholesterol!

I’ve seen heavy preachers preach the same sort of message: it’s okay to eat and “be healthy.” But I’d respectfully disagree. Even if there are no “glutton” issues, being fat is what? It’s a discipline issue. I mean, the fact that I don’t pay attention to what’s in the food I eat is a self-discipline issue. Getting fat and then not doing anything about it is also a self-discipline issue. Someone smarter than me might be able to immediately quote the scripture, but I seem to recall something that we are to have self-discipline in everything we do. This includes eating and exercise.

So I’m not sure when or where in history we started the idea that being fat was “okay,” but I don’t think that the right message to send. No, I don’t mean we all have to be super-model thin (some would say anorexic thin), but I don’t think “fat” is something that we should look on with favor. And no, I don’t think means we should suddenly be mean to people who are fat (cause I don’t want any of y’all being mean to me!), BUT, I think we should all look for ways to participate in the battle of the bulge.

Okay, now I’ve made myself feel sufficiently bad enough that I must go get on the treadmill.




Filed under Columns

5 responses to “Fat isn’t cool

  1. gallerhea

    I know you are lumping yourself into the group of “lazy, undisciplined fat people,” perhaps to justify your harsh words. However, when Christ commanded us not to judge people, he also meant not to judge or condemn ourselves.

    It is this type of judgmental attitude that makes overweight people feel worthless and hopeless.

    Realize this: Our worth to God is not based on what size we are, how much money we make, or if we drive the right car or have a fancy house.

    Until we can grasp the depth of Christ’s love for us, no matter whether we are struggling, or “have it all together,” (yeah, right), we will feel so condemned and hopeless, that we will reach out to whatever has us entrapped (food, alcohol, drugs, compulsive exercise, pornography, work addictions, etc), for comfort. None of these entrapments are healthy, and Christ wants us to be FREE!

    Others I know, struggle with weight because of past abuse, particularly sexual abuse. They hide behind extra pounds, in order to hide from extra, unwanted attention. Until the healing comes, for whatever is causing a person to overeat, the weight will be merely a by-product of a more major struggle. Stop condemning people for their symptoms, and instead reach out to them in love, and let Jesus bring healing.

  2. gallerhea,
    I agree with you mostly. I think the “judging” thing is often misused and misapplied as I think it is here. (but that’s another column for another day) However, I’ve not “judged” anyone. Fat is fat, that’s not a judgement. You’ll note that I do NOT suggest people who are fat should be mistreated. Not at all. I simply mean to suggest that we do them wrong by telling them BEING fat is okay. It’s not okay. In the same way we tell people smoking is not okay–cause it’s not. It’s harmful.
    But I agree with the majority of what you say and wish I’d included it in my original post because Christ IS the answer for all ills, large and small.

  3. Jim Chadwick

    Roland, I think your observation is really fair and reasonable. And here’s another thing to consider. It’s one thing to be obese when one’s in their 20s, 30s or 40s. But I’ve seen what a terrible toll this takes on people in their 50s and 60s. I think there’s probably a good reason you don’t see many obese people 70 and above. They ain’t here no more. The extra weight takes a huge health toll on one’s body, aging people any faster. I am alarmed by the number of people I see using scooters now, not because of injury or handicap, but merely because they were unwilling to do anything serious about their weight gain. I’m also seeing too many people in my age group heading down that road, hobbling about with canes or crutches and the common denominator is that they are far too overweight. Sure, the technical reason may be some sort of joint injury, but it’s exacerbated by the extra pounds, given their bodies no chance to heal. And then if one essentially renders oneself handicap, they’ve created a burden for the people in their lives who must accommodate their “handicap.” That’s not the same as the sacrifices one has to make for a loved one with an illness or a genuine handicap, either from a medical condition or an accident. What I’m talking about was preventable and, let’s face it, selfish. I’m no health nut/food nazi, but as I am working my way through middle age, I realize I want to do what I can to increase my odds against being handicap when I get up into my 60s. It’s motivation I use when I’m thinking about that second (or third) donut, or not going to the gym.

  4. R-
    I appreciate the dif. between being wise in how you handle your body. As the above poster said YOUR choice affects a lot of people.

    Jesus did address this issue at a Core level – as I believe ALL addictions should be dealt with – “Let he who is hungry come to me & eat!” -He said this on the last & GREATEST DAY of the feast.

    Everyone had eaten their fill. The unsatisfiable hunger was spiritual… NOT physical.

    John.s gospel is – IMHO – the best gospel for addicts.


  5. One of the fruits of the spirit is ‘self-control’ in the list in Galatians 5:22-23(?) We mesmerized that this morning as part of our family devotional – we’re working through Character Builders Book 2, on Patience.

    So I guess maybe that’s what you’re talking about. But it’s a fruit, not a gift, so it doesn’t come all at once, but is ‘grown in us’ as we yield to the work of the Spirit in us.

    There are so many bad habits out there, overeating is just one of many as you mentioned. We should not get offended when someone mentions that the thing we are doing is not ‘good’.

    Proverbs has a lot to say about listening to rebuke – 1:33, 8:34, 13:1, 15:31-32, 18:15, 25:12.

    It really doesn’t condemn or judge the person anyway; saying that overeating and being fat is not ‘cool’ (or more appropriately, not healthy) is not an assault on the person but the action.

    We all have junk we have to deal with, and bad habits of one kind or another that we can deal with, through God’s strength and by His grace.

    I guess each of us should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and when we speak, make sure it’s the truth and make sure it’s said in love. And before we speak, work on the beam in our own eye as we’re rebuked by the HS and other believers.

    I for one am on that Battle of the Bulge too, and have about 30 to lose. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and too much time spent sitting and writing…

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