Last week as I was channel surfing for something to watch on television (as I frequently do because even with a couple hundred channels to watch – there is NEVER anything good on TV!) I came across a show on the TLC Network called, My 600 Pound Life.
The title is pretty self-explanatory. This is a program about morbidly obese people baring their souls in a desperate attempt to get medical intervention for their out of control weight/health issues. I couldn’t tell you if anyone on this program got the much-needed help they sought because honestly, I wasn’t able to sit through an entire episode.
The show was difficult to watch, not because I was repulsed by the large people being featured – but their pain, both physical and mental filled me with such sadness and empathy I had to turn the channel after the first 10 minutes.
Clearly, people who reach that level of obesity have more than “just a little eating problem” going on. Someone who weighs 400 – 700 pounds or more doesn’t simply wake up one morning to discover they’re as big as a Kodiak bear. To amass that amount of weight it would seem likely that each of these people have some sort of story to tell. There are obvious medical reasons why someone might weigh that much, but most likely there is a lifetime of sadness, depression, abuse (physical, verbal, mental or sexual) that might cause someone to “eat their feelings” to such a degree that they end up weighing 600 pounds.
Everybody’s got a story. Maybe some of our stories aren’t as obvious as someone who weighs a half-ton, but if you take the time to really talk to someone, it doesn’t take long to discover that each of us are dealing with our own stuff. Most of us have things we try to hide that can make us unhappy or miserable. There are no completely “normal” problem-free people. They do not exist.
I may not weigh 600 pounds, but in the past I’ve felt the pain of being obese. I’ve been ridiculed or talked about because of my weight – so I can only imagine that someone who is 600 plus pounds probably never wants to leave their house. People can be mean and if you are so large you can’t even weigh on a regular doctor’s scale – there are going to be people who will blatantly ridicule, tease and shame someone of that size.
If I were to add up all of the pounds I’ve gained and lost since I went on my first diet at the age of 14, the number would likely total around 500 pounds. How is that possible? I’ve lost and regained the same 30, 40 and 50 pounds more than 10 times throughout my life. That’s my story. Each and every time I regained weight that was difficult to lose, I was eating my way through life’s problems: unresolved childhood molestation and depression, divorce, rejection, the death of both of my parents. My story – your story … we’ve all got a story.
It’s common knowledge that if you lose X amount of weight, when you regain it (as so many do), you typically add an additional 10 pounds to the previously lost amount. The number of people who actually lose weight and keep it off long-term (2-5 years) is less than 5%.
I finally woke up and realized what I was doing to my body as a result of years of yo-yo weight losses and gains. My revelation happened a couple of years ago during a routine Bible study. My epiphany struck me like a thunderbolt. Two Scriptures that I “stumbled” upon caused me to question … were these Scriptures always in the Bible – or did somebody just add them? I was quite familiar with the Scripture in 1 Corinthians 6. This is a verse I always reference whenever I do a book signing for my diet devotional book, Diet Nuggets and Wisdom Appetizers. However, when I paired this Scripture with 1 Chronicles 28:20, God may as well have been talking to me through a bullhorn.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. 1 Chronicles 28:20 (NLT)
When I read these verses I feel as those God is standing right beside me letting me know He’s in this whole weight loss thing with me. When I feel down or depressed because losing weight and maintaining a weight loss is so tough, God is telling me to stay strong – don’t get discouraged because He is right there with me. This verse pretty much guarantees me that God is not going to let me travel this road all alone. He is promising me that He’s in it for the long haul until ALL OF THE WORK that needs to be done in MY temple is completed. As far as I’m concerned, He’s talking about me and my body.
I am so encouraged by these Scriptures, so much so that whenever I feel myself being pulled back into the pit; caving into the darkness and despair of my old life – I pull out these Scriptures that I’ve printed on a 3×5 index card. I read them and re-read them over and over again until I feel that peace that only God can give. I may not think I have the strength for this healthy lifestyle for THE REST OF MY LIFE, but God has assured me it’s more than just a possibility. This is my reality as long as I include God at every turn.
My 500 pound life is my past. My temple, while currently under construction – WILL BE FINISHED CORRECTLY someday. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
What’s YOUR story!
QUOTE OF THE DAY: