You know racism. You know bigotry. You know prejudice, hate crimes, and crimes against humanity. But do you consider the silent judgments based on weight?
I call it “fat-itude.” We get this attitude about people, without ever exchanging one word, and decide their worth and value based on their outer shell. We assess them, we assess us, here is the outcome: You lose or they lose. But somebody always loses.
We have all done it, felt it, hurt or been hurt by it. One of my friends lately related how friends are unkind to her because she is too skinny. My other friend told me about the criticism, cruelty and harshness of relatives all through her childhood because of her size. They even went so far as to say she would ‘never get a good job if she was fat.’
Really? I mean, really? Her waistline dictates her I.Q.?
Here is a real cultural twist. When I was in Zimbabwe, their “scales” are completely opposite. If you are too thin, it means you are starving. Literally. Not thin like what we call thin in the U.S. because they call that kind of thin “refugee camps.” They don’t call that desirable or beautiful. They pity people who are that size. Hear that Hollywood? Over there, if you are plump or padded, then you and your family are successful; they have enough money to feed you well.
I have been working with women intensely since 2007. I worked with teens 15 years before that. The number one issue is value based on size and beauty. We all nod our heads, and yawn, and say, “Yeah, we’ve heard that.” However, I am taking it one step further.
I am seeing the shocking rise of contempt and disgust of overweight people. We are actually discounting and disregarding people based on the size of their jeans. Is being excessively overweight one of the biggest killers of our day? Yes, it is. Is being overweight simply a matter of lack of self control? Not necessarily. You know the work that is required for physical health and that is if all the systems are working well. Throw in an illness, injury, pregnancy, depression, addiction, and you have all manner of chaos that shows up in the body. And when we look at a person, we have no idea what is actually happening inside that person’s life. We assume to know the heart of a person based on the size of a person. And I tell you I know many, many women, who look good, but their hearts are sick, sick, sick.
Here’s my bottom line. God says to guard your heart. He said all the issues of life flow out of what you think in your heart. Ask the Lord to show you where you are NOT guarding your heart. Restoring these unguarded places may help to increase your overall health, which is the goal. Not size. Health. But also, ask the Lord to reveal your “fatitude.” Confess it. Call it what it is, sin. Whether it is about yourself or others, when you judge others according to size, you do not value what God values. Regardless of size, God loves us and calls us to do the same. Our judgements of others only isolate us.
Ask God to heal your heart, and your will find true health, inside and out.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:20-23