Saturday, March 4, 2017


To say that watching someone die is difficult is not accurate. For me it is a heavy feeling that weighs on the general numbness that has been my constant state for the past week.

A week ago we took my 91-year old mom to the hospital via ambulance. She'd neither ate nor drank for the past week despite our best efforts. After the first couple of days of trying to decipher what the doctor was really saying admist her many words, I realized that my mom was entering into that last phase of her life. It took a few more days to convince my sister who lives with my mom to bring her home on hospice. My neice & I agreed to share being at the house so my sister won't be all alone with mom. My sister cries frequently & asks if I'm sure mom won't just "bounce back". As if this is a decision I'm making.

I'm okay with this all in theory. My mom has been clear her entire life that she doesn't want to die in a hospital with a bunch of tubes in her. She was clear in the hospital that she just wanted to go home. I want her to be comfortable at home, receiving the steady trickle of people whose lives she's touched who want to come hold her hand & express their love & gratitude. Although I'm extremely awkward/inefficient at it, I'm fine with doing all those "nursing tasks" surronding hygiene & daily life for my mom.

The thing that is getting to me is watching the effects of dehydration; the dry lips and sunken facial features. I constantly apply lip balm & swab her mouth with a wet spongette to help. But nothing can totally ameileorate the effects

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Where's my focus?

O.K., I am fat.

Statistically speaking, the chances are that I will always be what our culture considers fat.  I've read that for every 100 people who are obese, only 1 will regain a "healthy" weight.  Health scientists define obesity as someone with a Body mass index over 30.

I think I'm supposed to say that I don't care what other people think.  I'm supposed to have an internal sense of self that knows at the deepest level my own value, regardless of the feedback I receive from others. The truth is that my head knows I am valuable regardless of size, while my emotions fluctuate.

Sometimes I struggle with feeling like I'm less valuable because I'm fat.  Sometimes I feel like I have to be nicer, more pleasing, and agreeable simply because I'm fat.  It's as if I am making up for being fat by being incredibly easy to get along with. I feel guilty for taking up more space, for not being as "pretty" as I should be, for almost always being the largest person in the room.

Every day we all receive messages, both overt and obscure, regarding our value. Incidental daily occurrences such as people holding (or not) doors for us as we exit a business, the way tellers/clerks/checkers act toward us when we conduct business, how our bosses interact with us.  When I reflect upon it, I can honestly say that  people are almost always really nice to me.  I go through my day with strangers opening doors for me, bank tellers/grocery clerks/bouncers/etc. being extra friendly, and when I produce outstanding results my boss is happy.

Does this mean that the I'm-less-than-because-I'm-fat feeling is all produced inside my head?

I don't think so. I think that:
  •  Fat prejudice is often less blatant and not clearly announced
  • Sometimes I perceive that people don't think well of me because of my weight but it's never expressly stated, there have been jobs I didn't get that I believe my size/shape played into but I can not prove's there in the subtext but rarely ever clear
  • Over the years I've naturally stopped going to stores, clubs or places where I am likely to encounter poor treatment.  For example, I purchase most of my clothes online or at "fat lady" stores.  I'm older so I'm not into chic 20-something clubs where one might encounter more prejudice.
  • Because I tend to look people in the eyes and smile, and I try to see and do nice things for others, I am more likely to have people respond in kind toward me.
  • Media definitely sends volumes of anti-fat messages.  Examples are seen in the fact that newscasters and celebrities are super rarely ever fat, the trendiest fashions are aimed toward the thin, everywhere you look there are advertised ways to get thin 
  • There are occasionally those well meaning individuals who overtly or covertly provide weight loss tips since they assume I'd be interested 

I've found that having more positive messages in my life diminishes the effects of the negative messages.

I can choose to focus on food, weight, diets, etc., or, I can focus on relationships, goals, and the world around me.  I can surround myself with people who value me.  I can develop an interior life that sustains me during the challenges of life.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Is it a sin to be fat?

Last Sunday the pastor was teaching out of Matthew 4:1-11.  This sermon was part of series of sermons he has been preaching on overcoming temptation.  In last Sunday's sermon he took a closer look at each of the areas in which Jesus was tempted. The pastor categorized these temptations as food, presumption, & pride.

When he spoke about food the pastor talked about the number 1 health problem in the U.S. being obesity.  He talked about how we look to food for comfort and all struggle with this temptation. He showed how Jesus spoke of His relationship to God and His Word being more important than food.  He showed his struggle by these 2 examples: 1-He adores McDonald's french fries and thinks no one makes fries as good as them.  He said he'd love to go buy french fries and have them with a vanilla shake; nothing could be better.  But he doesn't because that's not good for him. 2-He may go to a buffet and he likes all the food there and wants to eat all the food, but he can only eat a little, because it's not good for him to eat everything.

I felt very guilty during the sermon since I'm significantly overweight.

Since that sermon I've been thinking on what the pastor said and I have mixed feelings.  I have a bunch of thoughts and feelings regarding this topic.  I want to unpack these thoughts and feelings so I can really see them, and hopefully achieve some clarity on this issue:

* The Pastor's right and any time I eat more than my body actually needs it is a sin.  I must be fat because I sin.

* I feel less-than, not good enough, because I have this struggle.

* All sin is forgivable.  But what about if we keep sinning? How hard do I try to overcome this specific temptation? I have an incredibly demanding and emotionally exhausting job and am so tired at the end of the day.  I know I need exercise but typically don't.  Sometimes I just eat food that is easy and not necessarily the most healthy.  I eat more than I absolutely need due to taste gratification, comfort, and habit.

* We all sin.  Although in the Matthew 4 account Jesus had been fasting and Satan tempted him with food, many Bible teachers generalize it to any gratification of the flesh. Gratifications of the flesh include food, sex, pain relief with excessive medication, excessive spending on beautiful things - things that involve the senses.

* We all sin. We all have specific sins that are more tempting for us; sins with which we struggle to refrain from regularly. Our common culture as well as our church culture focuses on some and not other sins.

* One type of sin would be the excess issue.  There are things that are good and right in and of themselves, in the right context and quantity; but are unhealthy and sinful if engaged in to excess or in the wrong context.  Things in this category would be: food, sex, shopping, alcohol consumption, etc.

* Some of us struggle with some things that can be done in excess and don't have too much trouble with others.  If you don't struggle in a particular area, for example shopping/spending, it's easy to be critical of others who struggle in that area.

* I feel like food and weight are not really issues for our pastor so it's easy to focus on those sins.  I see him struggle with judgmental-ism, temper, and impatience.  If I'm 100% honest, a part of me feels like - so he's focusing on food but not those things.  Yet, the Word is the Word and Truth is Truth - it is there in God's Word and He's teaching it. The fact that I know he struggles with those things is partly because he's open about who he is (and partly because I'm observant about people).

* I feel frustrated, and maybe if I'm entirely honest with myself, angry. Angry that the sin I struggle with is impossible to hide.  My body shows my sin for all to see. Whereas some sins not everybody has to know the moment they meet you.

* I'm thinking how Psalm 139:13-16 depicts that God knew who he was creating when I was in my mother's womb.  That he had a specific design when He was forming me.  Because Scripture also teaches that God knows everything (Isaiah 46:9-10, Psalm 139:1-3, 1 John 3:20, Romans 11:33, Hebrews 4:13), I take it to then mean that God knew that I'd be predisposed to weight gain as well as unhealthy food use.

* The reason something is a sin is because it's not what God wants for us.  He loves us and only wants our best. Hebrews 12:1-3 talks about getting rid of sin in our lives so we can run the race God has for us.  I believe that each of us has a specific, unique, race or path that God has for us.  The Bible is saying to get rid of the sin so we can experience more success on our journey.

* The pastor's motives, thoughts, or possible inadequacy are not relevant.  My attitude toward God, my submission to Him above EVERYTHING else is.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Just this small thing

I want to pray and look at one of lies that is said inside my head sometimes:

"I'm a good person.  I do everything I'm supposed to all the time.  I go above and beyond in everything.  So I should be able to eat whatever I want.  In just this small thing I should get what I want!"

Two thoughts come to my mind about this statement.  One is how childish it sounds and the other is concern about the the just-this-small-thing attitude.

This thinking smacks of my childhood.  I do everything I'm supposed to all the time - what's that about?  I'm an adult and I choose my own behavior.  Yes I may be compliant with laws, work requirements, commitments made to ministry, or going above and beyond for my school assignments - but these are my choices.  Not to mention that I make these choices because they benefit me.

When I was growing up our household was a bit crazy.  My two older sisters have been acting out since I was young.  I felt like I had to be really good all the time to compensate.  My parents focused on my sisters because they pretty much had to.  I felt alone.  In that unreasonable way that children have of thinking they are so powerful, I had a drive in the back of my mind to be really good so that everything would come out all right.  Only it never did.

As an adult I've become big on the thought process that all God requires of me is obedience and He will take care of the results.  I've reminded myself of this truth when results have not been what I wanted.

I'm really uncomfortable about the In just this small thing I should get what I want thing.  I can't quite put my finger on it but I know it's wrong.  It feels rebellious (there's that childish thing again). I am a Christian.  Christian teaching is that you take direction from God.  Two scriptures that come to mind are:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV):
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

James 4:7-10 (MSG)
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

It's all about attitude.... 

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Entitled people have always bugged me.  I've worked in a management capacity in the human services field for close to 25 years.  Entitlement issues among employees is something you can easily get managers talking about at any time.

But I've recognized lately that I'm entitled when it comes to food.  I struggle with feelings of anger when I try to limit my food intake.  There's this part of me that feels like I should be able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and as much as I want.

In my highest head I know that is not true.  In life we can not do that with food or money.  I compare these two because in some ways they are similar.  You can't just buy whatever you want whenever you want - you have to live within your means.  It's the same with food - I need to live within my body's calorie needs or I will gain excess body fat.  When there is too much excess body fat it affects my body's ability to function properly.

But there's this internal dialogue at a deep level inside my head that says I can eat this - whatever it is at the moment - because I want it.  I will sometimes eat enormous amounts of food way beyond when my hunger is satisfied.  The internal words in my head that I've started becoming aware of go something along the lines of I deserve it because...

I've been praying about losing weight to lower my blood pressurePraying for God to help me.  I don't want to go start some program or read some book.  I'm praying for Him to empower me to change from the inside out.  I'm feeling like this about more than weight.  I don't have a goal to become thin.  I just want to lose enough weight to bring my blood pressure to a healthy range and to have more energy for enjoying life.  I'm praying that God will show me what it is I need to do.  If there are things I need to realize and think about that will enable me to be more successful when it comes to the basic things like becoming more physically active and eating healthier.

There are some principles from the Bible that I think I feel led to:

John 8:32 - Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (NIV).
Principle - Truth brings freedom.  Lies make you a slave.

Psalm 51:6 - Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. (NASV)
Principle - God wants me to have truth at my deepest core.

Deuteronomy 32:4 - He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. (KJV)
Principle - God is the God of Truth

Psalm 25:5 - Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.(NIV)
Principle - God will lead me in truth.

I'm feeling that God wants me to identify some lies that are recurring thoughts in my head with regard to this whole food thing.  I'm fine with enjoying food and eating all kinds of things.  But I want to stop excessively eating.  I've come to recognize some thoughts that come before I allow myself to excessively eat.  They come along the lines of this I deserve to eat as much as I want because:

  • I'm dealing with such stressful work situations
  • I'm dealing with my family of origin who drives me crazy
  • I've got to complete these school assignments and my anxiety level is high and I can stuff it down with food while I force myself to do this
  • I'm feeling a mild discomfort from hunger pains and I can't have that.  I deserve to satisfy that immediately with whatever is easy.  I shouldn't have to work to produce food and it should taste really good.
  • I'm a good person.  I do everything I'm supposed to all the time.  I go above and beyond in everything.  So I should be able to eat whatever I want.  In just this small thing I should get what I want!
I'm thinking that over the next few days I should examine these lie types.  I think that God wants to show me truth that relates to each of these areas.  Maybe I will benefit from replacing these types of lies with truth.

I can go find websites that will help me with increasing my activity level.  There are sites that can help me with my food intake - to determine the correct amount and types of food that will promote a healthier me.  I will do that.  But I'm thinking that I also need to do this internal journey.  That my lack of success in the past may be rooted here on the inside of me.  So, as I take the journey to increase healthy eating and activity habits, I'm looking to God to show me what He has for me in my spirit.

Committed to Change

I'm still fat and I still like me, but my blood pressure is high.  From everything I've researched I've found that if I will lose weight I can lower my blood pressure. So I want to change some things - my weight, activity level, my blood pressure - I want to be healthy.  I don't want to have a stroke and I don't want to take blood pressure medicine.  If I can lose weight and increase my activity level and lower my blood pressure I know that is better than taking medicine.

Plus I've gained more and more weight over the years so that now I'm uncomfortable.  Things aren't as easy to do as they used to be or should be.  Little things like painting my toenails.  I can't sit cross-legged on the floor anymore and I certainly can't easily get up off the floor.  I'm exceedingly ungraceful when I bend down to pick something up that I've dropped.

The problem is that every time I've tried to lose weight in the past it hasn't worked.  I've lost weight and then later gained it all back again plus more. 

So I want to approach things differently this time.  I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do but the big issue is that I want to change.  I don't want to become skinny.  I like my larger body type.  But I do want to be healthier.  I'm praying and just gonna have to trust God for this ride. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

I can't just blame everything on the fact that I'm fat

Like my title says, I can't just blame everything on the fact that I'm fat, but sometimes I do any way.

Last night I had the lineman from my middle son Dylan's high school football team over for a dinner. They have this thing where the linemen have dinner together on Thursdays before the Friday games. I'd worked hard and made a really nice spread for them which they definitely appreciated. I was friendly with the guys as they were arriving, but then, when they sat down to eat, I wasn't sure if I should stay and hang out with them or leave them to it, so I stayed for a while. They were definitely caught up in their conversation and I was quiet but it did give me a glimpse into Dylan's life which is always interesting. After awhile though I did exit the room because I was starting to feel out of place.

After the meal they went out front and decided to give each other haircuts; all of them got mohawks. The mental thought process of teen males is an interesting one indeed. After I got things cleaned up from dinner, I started feeling restless. My husband John is out of town for a few days and basically I was left to my own devices. A state which I usually have no problem, but for some reason I was feeling antsy. So I called a friend and told her about the dinner and that we had lots of good food still if she'd like to drop by for dinner. She was still commuting home from work, and had already been on the road for around an hour and was expecting at least another hour before she arrived at home; she thanked me for the offer but said that what she really wanted more than anything was to get home and take a bath, I totally understood.

Yet I felt at lose ends. For some reason that negative internal dialogue kicked in. Thoughts like if you weren't such a fat loser you'd have friends to go do something with came to my mind. How ridiculous is that? If I was super thin I still would have been in the same situation. Sometimes everyone get lonely and restless.