I am going to start my reply with a disclaimer of sorts: I am a silent reader of this blog, usually. I am a sensitive person and anyone who thinks this is a weakness is an idiot. Also, when I write, my grammar etc is not perfect. Anyone who wants to claim that this makes me less than intelligent can take a flying leap. :) I'm sad that I have to start this way, but this crowd is pretty quick to attack.This was written by my friend of seventeen years, Michele. Knowing her as I do, I know this took a lot of courage to write. Because of that, I would like to take the time to respond to her.
I am this person: And people such as these seek out blogs with titles like this one and read voluntarily to get themselves more upset? Look, I claim no responsibility for stupidity like that.
I am this person: a woman who has bloated into Hogzilla proportions
I am this person: gluttonous sinners.
I am also confused by how my friends now view me. I never knew you felt this way about me. Or that you think my husband is holding on for dear life to our marriage because of how I look. While this blog may not have been written about me, it obviously pertains to me.
Michele, I do not find your sensitive nature a weakness. It is a very common trait among women. It is the very trait that allows us to mother the way we do and most importantly, when applied with submission, it allows us to love our husbands through any amount of adversity they face.
I am also the person you describe. If I've written about something, there's a very good chance it's because of my personal dealing with it. The issue of weight and fitness is very personal for me. I'll get into that more in a bit.
Regarding how I feel about you: I hold you and your husband in the highest regard. My positive opinion and admiration of you has never been affected by your weight. I have asked your husband recently to guest post here because of how inspirational your story is. I have always thought fondly on your marriage and perseverance through all of the adversity I've known you to have gone through.
It has been seven years since you and I have really talked. I don't know what life has been for you in that time. I actually don't believe your marriage is in jeopardy because of your struggle with your weight. In fact, I have no idea your husband's perspective on it. I do know he loves you. And because of that I know he wants you to live a very long life with him.
We went through a lot together. I remember celebrating with you when you got back into your black jeans. Do you remember that? We used to exercise together. You and I, as a team, worked to improve our fitness and health. What I didn't do then is speak of gluttony. Though I know now you and I both indulge in this sin.
I encourage you to repent of this sin. I also encourage you to continue to pray about it. I have found it to be a very difficult commitment to make. I am tempted every single day. I fight every day with gluttony. But I keep fighting. And I will keep fighting. My conviction is not because of what I have accomplished, it is because of the demons I battle every.single.day. I write about it to convict myself further. I will not turn back. I will not surrender. I apologize if my writing has not revealed my own humility in the matter. As I said in Now let me at the truth, an aspect to my personality is the tendency to be crass and indelicate.
My journey to turn away from gluttony began with fat shaming. I, personally respond best to very poignant messages. It has always been this way with me. RLB has bemoaned that he must verbally whack me along side the head in order for me to get something. It wasn't his nature and it felt as though he had to be mean to me in order for me to receive his counsel. Brutal honesty - that's what I respond to. Because I know that is true for me, I have assumed it may be true with other women. I find it hard to believe I am such an outlier that no other woman receives Truth the way I do.
I've explained it in past posts but what literally moved me to action was two statements from Vox Day: "No woman looks attractive over 180 pounds." and "Cellulite does not look attractive on anyone."
What was coupled with these two statements was some lab results that showed I had high "bad" cholesterol and this picture Marie tagged me in on Facebook from Halloween two years ago:
My daughter was looking over my shoulder as I posted this picture and said, "Mom, you were huge then." I was 197 pounds.
I'm going to switch gears here and ask the question: Fat shaming, does it work? Prior to my passing along the excerpt from Chateau Heartiste in Fat shaming - doing my part, I had written six posts that spoke of weight loss. Now, understand, per every person who comments on this blog, there are at least ten readers. What has been most interesting to me is what will be commented on. See, I've said the very same things I said in the fat shaming post, elsewhere. But what drove an emotional reaction within the readership here was one word: shame. That emotional reaction created a plethora of comments. It had to be because of the word shame. Take a look:
In Week one of Paleo I said the following:
Now a good mommy blogger would end this post now. I doubt I'll be known as a good mommy blogger.
Why am I committed to losing weight and getting fit? To have a smokin' hot bod for RLB.
He proposed marriage to a 19 year old who was 5'8", 145 pounds, had an hourglass figure, and long blond hair. My looks weren't all that qualified me, he had a stalker that was hot too. However, his marrying me was not a permission slip to let my visual appeal go to hell. I can do nothing about being 37, though I have maintained a very strict skin care regimen all of my adult life and have a face that is thankfully still wrinkle free.
I'm too lazy to find the exact words but our favorite blogger (who I recommend to you all the time) at either Vox Popoli or Alpha Game, when a man asked, "what do I say when my wife asks if I think she's fat?" had this to say: "tell her that you don't find cellulite attractive on anyone and if she would like to lose the weight, you can show her how." On another occasion Vox said, "unless a woman is over six feet tall, and likely even then, no woman should weigh more than 180 pounds."
I read that when I was at my heaviest, one year ago, 197 pounds. I knew I wouldn't even have to ask RLB if he agreed. You don't have to ask your husbands either. They agree. So do women, they just lie. It was then that I made this commitment. God and I talk about it all the time. He agrees too and is my greatest encourager outside of RLB.
RLB has spared no expense that I have requested, puts up with me occasionally forgetting to feed the rest of them, and allows me to bore him with the details about every WOD (workout of the day) I do at the Crossfit gym.
I thoroughly enjoy putting on a pair of jeans that are too big and have RLB tell me they look like crap because they are hanging off my butt. Greatest compliment ever!
In Shiny boobs I said:
Ladies, your husbands are visual creatures. They like to look at nice things. What are you doing to make sure you are the nicest thing he has to look at?
Don't even start with me about how "he needs to love me for who I am."
You had something going on that caught his eye that helped him decide he wanted to marry you.
Keep doing it. Don't be childish and petulant about this.
In Choosing Esther I said:
If he likes makeup on you, wear it. If he likes skirts on you, wear them. If you need to lose some weight, do so. If smell is his thing, wear the perfume he prefers. Again, it's not complicated.
I purchased the dress, a dress three sizes smaller than what I would have worn twelve weeks earlier. While RLB was in training, I was working my butt off, literally. I took representing our marriage seriously. I had my hair professionally styled, had professionally manicured nails, and all the other various beauty treatments that we women do to represent.
This was all for the man I loved. The man I chose to marry. The man I voluntarily vowed to stay with for the rest of my life.
How thankful we are for Queen Esther, the beautiful women taken as what would be considered today a sex slave, for her obedience and submission. For a year she went through beauty treatments for a man she did not love, a man she did not choose, a man she did not voluntarily vow to be with for life. In fourteen days we will celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, thanks to Esther.In Crabs in a bucket I said:
When you make public a desire to lose weight to another person who needs to as well but isn't ready to make the commitment, that is when you'll hear crab mentality. I've been asked and told the most ludicrous things regarding losing weight and getting in shape. Always from fat people. For instance: "Is RLB making you do this?" "I'm so thankful my husband loves me for who I am." "I would never want to be as skinny as I was before." "I could never punish my body the way you do."In Doritos® be damned I said:
Hi, my name is SD and I amAnd in Here's to having my jeans look like crap on my ass I said:
addicted to fooda glutton. It has been seven days since my last indulgence.
And all the gluttons reading moaned. "No, SD, not again. Don't talk about weight again. Can't I just read peacefully and enjoy topics that I don't think apply to me?"
Sorry glutton, you'll have to either close the tab or come on the journey with me.
I've heard it said that we often do this to our own selves. I see that as something different. The challenges we place on our own selves, the self doubt and questioning are there to build fortitude and conviction. It causes us to dig deeper when making a decision, to find others that have gone before us successfully, to pray to God for confirmation and guidance. When you set out to lose weight for example, it is natural to think of how you might fail. What is so important is that the thought has materialized. You will now seek out advice on how others have succeeded. When you are satisfied with having all the information you need, you set out on your journey.
I hope I'm not alone in making this next year a year to focus on health and fitness. If you haven't started your journey towards health, I hope you too decide there is no better time than now to start. You know it's time to stop looking in the mirror with shame and remorse. You know it's time to call out to God and pray for His assistance in giving you a resolve that can not be shaken. Ask Him to guard your thoughts so you may defeat your complacency. It is time to acknowledge the sin of gluttony and repent of it. Free yourself from it. Hold tight to the words of Galatians 5:16-26. No, I'm not going to give them to you. You look it up. Write it out and plaster it wherever you'll see it most.You can see for yourself that not one of those posts drew the ire and reaction that the post titled "Fat shaming" did. There's barely a mention of having been inspired and certainly no mention of having been offended. I openly filleted myself with my own personal example of gluttony and...nothing. I speak of doing it for my husband, the very thing Roissy speaks of in the post of his I link. But still, no reaction. What got the ladies talking? Shame. The word shame. Not the action of shaming, my goodness, look at some of the things I wrote in the six posts prior...it was the word itself.
Don't hide behind the lie that it's what's on the inside that matters. Your insides show on your outsides. You know that. Every relationship in your life will improve when you defeat that which is in your mind that holds you back. Most importantly your relationship with God will improve. And isn't that, after all, what we're all here for?
Now that I've become committed to fitness and health, my mind has been searching for other areas of improvement. Funny how that works. Please want that for yourself. You'll never regret it.
In closing, I'll say what I said in Personal responsibility once again:
If what is affecting your mood is something that will take a long process to change (like losing weight and getting fit and healthy), you must...MUST take action. Every time the sadness and self condemnation enters your brain. You must make a commitment to taking action. Inaction is defeat. You have no right to wallow in a pity party if you have chosen inaction. Get up and get moving. If your accumulation of fat has caused you to feel bad, realize that your mood has affected the tranquility of your home. Confess this truth to your husband. Just say the words: "I'm sorry my mood has been sour, I am struggling with how far I've let myself go. I'm working to change this. Please forgive me. Please pray for me."Gluttony is a sin that must be repented of (this means turn away from). You have been created to be able to do this. Believe it. Listen to the Holy Spirit.
A quick Bible search of this concept of shame lists six pages of verses.
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. - 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
And finally John 8:1-12
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.That which he wrote on the ground, did it shame them?
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
And then there are the most important, admonishing words our Savior has said: "Go and sin no more."