Thursday, October 15, 2009

Who's got the bigger problem?

Not too long ago I was at a women's Bible study going through a 3-week video Bible study. The leader asked me to facilitate in one of the small groups that broke up for discussion following the video. The first discussion question was about if there are things that the Bible considers sin that are prevalent in our culture. One slim lady in the group talked at length about how terrible a problem obesity is in our culture and of course we all agreed that obesity is a problem in American society. But this woman continued to talk on about the evils of over eating; she even said that it's interesting that eating was the first sin. At which point another woman in the group said that no, it wasn't the issue with Adam and Eve eating per say, that the sin was pride - Adam and Eve wanted to be as all knowing as God and do things their way. The next discussion question was what sin do you personally struggle with. Well no one wanted to answer that question, so, since I'd been delegated to lead I figured I'd lead by example and open myself up a bit. So I said that I have a problem with over eating; Ms Slim dismissively informed me that everyone has a problem with that. I waited a bit, and when no one else shared, went on to the next question.

After the study had ended, Ms Slim cornered me and said she was sorry if she had seemed to be picking on me. I asked her what she was specifically talking about (she had talked a LOT during the discussion and I had been very challenged to let others have a chance to share as well). She said that she really doesn't have anything against over weight people and hoped that she had not offended me. Feeling extremely awkward at this point, I none the less assured her that I was fine. But she went on and on talking about how open minded she is toward fat people. It was really weird. When I got home I told John (my husband) about it and asked his opinion on the whole thing. He said it seemed to him like she had a judgmental spirit, at least for sure toward people who over eat.

To be candid, at first I felt guilty for being fat. Felt guilty for being such a "sinner" and eating so much. But then I thought about how everyone has some kind of struggles in life. I thought about what I would think if this happened to someone else instead of me. If someone else told me this story I would tell them that Ms Slim acted like a jerk.

I can't help but think that having such a judgmental attitude seems a much bigger problem than having issues with over eating. At least I'm nice to people.

It's OK to talk about just about anything except Fat

I've been blogging for a few years.

Because I mostly talk about personal journal type stuff I've never had a particularly large following. About 34 people and typically only a few would comment on any one post. But today, when I posted about how I notice that for some weird reason it's as if fat people are pariahs in our society, I received significantly less responses.

So I actually emailed 4 friends who I know have some of the same struggles with weight that I do and asked for their input. None of them came by. I do not think it's because they don't like me, or aren't willing to help out, I think it's because the whole thing, being fat, is such a taboo.

I think that no one wants to talk about it because I've crossed over the line, I've somehow acted as if it's OK to be fat, and everyone knows it's not.