The “F” Word

I truly detest the “F” word.  I’m not talking about the other F word…I’m talking about the 3 letter F word.  I struggle to even write it…FAT.

I stumbled across this TV show, Drop Dead Diva, the other night.  I was fascinated by the underlying concept of the show.  (Not the soul switching part because personally I totally disagree with that whole idea!)  Here is the short version:

A gorgeous blonde dies in a car wreck @ the same time an overweight lawyer gets shot.  The blonde ends up at the pearly gates with a caseworker named Fred.  Who informs the blonde that she never did any good deeds and never really did any bad deeds which has never happened before.  The blonde just wants to go back to earth.  She sees a sign that says “Do not push the return button…”  Of course she pushes it and she goes flying back to earth.  Here is the twist: Her soul ends up in the overweight lawyer’s body.

Here is where the show gets kudos…it offers a unique perspective on how it is to live as someone who is overweight in our society.  The skinny blonde is now stuck in an overweight brunette’s body.  The thin blonde now feels what it is like to be shunned, get disgusted looks, have men avoid her, and feel judged.  She is literally walking in someone else’s shoes!

In one scene she turns to her guardian angel, Fred, to say, “I still feel like a beautiful thin girl on the inside.”  This resonated with me deep within my heart.  However, if I had been talking to Fred this would have escaped my lips, “I still sometimes feel like an ugly fat girl on the inside.”

11 years ago I weighed almost 240 lbs.  My medical records had “Grossly obese” written in them.  Then I had a stroke at 32.  The doctors told me to change the way I was living or die!

So, I can relate to the overweight brunette lawyer on many levels.  If you have never been overweight it is hard to understand the depths of pain that can accompany that reality.

I had been struggling with eating disorders for years…keeping my weight under control through bouts of starvation.  I no longer had the strength to do that so I just ate, and ate, and ate!  I despised my body.  Avoiding mirrors or anything that cast a reflection like the plague.  I only left my house late at night to shop at a 24 hr grocery store.  I was ashamed to be seen buying junk food to eat.  People rolled their eyes at me when I put the food on the belt, some whispered and laughed, and some even mouthed the word “FAT” or said it out loud.  Some were beyond cruel in their judgement and disgust.

When I tried to explain to my family and friends, they said I was probably imagining all those things.  That is…until my mom saw a documentary on television where a thin reporter donned a “Fat Suit.”  My mom was shocked at the horrific way the woman was treated simply because she was fat.  The other, more hurtful, response from family and friends was when they said, “If you don’t  like it…then do something…lose the weight.”  Ummm…yeah, like I hadn’t been trying!!!!

Having an eating disorder (addiction) is difficult because you still have to eat to survive.  An alcoholic gives up alcohol, a drug addict gives up drugs, but what does a food addict give up?  We have to have food on a daily.

Self-hate and loathing were my constant companions.  I felt constantly out of control, unable to break free of the binge eating.  When I had the stroke I hit rock bottom.  It was the final straw!  I felt that I was broken beyond repair.

It was during this time of brokeness that I was re-introduced to Jesus.  Sitting there at rock bottom… broken…I thought to myself, “What do I have to lose by trying the Jesus thing?”  So, I tried it!

It took me almost 2 years to lose 110 lbs…it was a struggle every day to make wise food and lifestyle choices.  I stumbled, fell flat on my face, cried/screamed like a baby, and almost gave up.  In the beginning I only lost ½ lb a week.  At that rate I figured I was going to be old & decrepit by the time I lost the weight I needed to lose.

But God made sure I wouldn’t give up. He kept putting people in my path exactly when I needed them most.  They would offer me encouragement, pray for me, and help me get back on track.  These people were all blessings from the Lord to help me accomplish my goal.

I’ve maintained a healthy weight now for over 10 yrs.  Yes, there are days when I look in the mirror still feeling ugly and fat.  Those are the days when I pray for the Lord to help me see myself the way He sees me…as His beloved daughter who is the apple of  His eye.  I ask for reminders to know that beauty begins in the heart and is then reflected on the outside.

My hope is in Him.  The proof of what He has done can clearly be seen in my life.

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