Because LIFE!

There’s a debate going on these days about whether or not it is okay to tell fat people or fat children that they are just fine the way they are. There’s this odd fear that if you do so, you’ll be condoning their “self-destructive” behavior…that shaming or constantly reminding them of their need to change is the only way to move them towards “health.”

Sounds a lot like the fundamentalist Christian attitude toward the LGBT community, but I digress.

Here’s the deal. No one has any right to tell another person how to live their life. No one has any right to shame another person based on their looks.

I am 5’6″ tall and weigh 213 pounds. I waver between a size 16 and 18. And I’m done trying to be something I’m not.

In the past week, I’ve begun choosing joy. I’ve begun looking for happiness in the body that I’m in, rather than hoping for happiness once I’ve changed. There’s no time for that; life is now! I have a trip to London coming up that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid. I couldn’t care less what my body looks like for it. I’m not going there to impress anyone. I’m going there to BE. IN. LONDON.

To just be. That is the point of life. To be you. And if you’re fat, be joyous. Why? Because you’re alive, you’re living, and there’s no one else out there that can live it like you.

And let’s look at the lean community’s blatant double-standard. They are so afraid of accepting fat people as they are because being overweight could shorten that person’s lifespan. So…what’s with all these extreme sports? How many lean people die every year from their dangerous sporting choices? A lean body doesn’t do you any good when something goes wrong on your base jump. But such obviously dangerous life choices are okayed and the newly-dead are celebrated because, as their grieving friends will say, “They died doing what they love.”

If we are supposed to celebrate someone who reveled in life-threatening behavior because it gave them joy, then stop staring judgmentally at the fat person enjoying an ice cream cone. You have no idea who they have helped, how much they are loving those who need it, and what contribution they are bringing to society in ways that have nothing to do with their size.

Life is to be lived as each individual chooses to live it. It doesn’t matter when you die as long as you’ve lived your life to your satisfaction.

Brightness

I’ve had several reminders lately to enjoy life and let go of the things that are unimportant such as my weight or broken dreams. I’m worrying less about making sure I get “my time,” instead looking for activities that fulfill me. Did you know they have roller skating at the Town Toyota Center these days? Oh, happy day. :)

This little video was just one of the things that has gotten me thinking this way. Enjoy!

I am a Christian

Over the years, my understanding of Christianity and how I walk it out in my life has changed. I came from a charismatic Pentecostal background. Here are some aspects of Christianity as I have grown up in them and my current thoughts on them:

Witnessing – Boy, was this one ever pushed in Sunday School. Get out there and tell people about Jesus! Get out there and save people! How can God be heard if we are not his voice? I have almost fully rejected the common interpretation of witnessing. Even as a child this felt innately false to me. I have come to believe that our “witness” is how we live and behave in our daily life and with the people around us.

Other People’s Sin – I no longer believe that I am responsible to point out what I consider “sin” in others. And I’m not talking about interventions when friends are hurting themselves or others. I’m talking about withholding love from someone because of their “sin.” If Jesus had done that, none of us could ever enter into a love relationship with our Creator. I have enough sin of my own to deal with without behaving as if I’m an authority on how others should live their lives.

Love God, Love others as you love yourself – I believe this is how we are to live. No nit picky rules and regulations (though, such rules do make it easier to feel holy and acceptable), just messy, unchartable love. Love is what will draw people to Jesus through us. Jesus is responsible for our transformation—we can’t transform ourselves let alone anyone else.

Jesus was, and is, God – This belief, which has no proof other than personal experience, is unshakable in me. Belief is a choice and everyone has to make that choice for themselves. I believe we are a created race of beings and I believe it is arrogance to think we couldn’t be created. We create amazing things all the time. Why couldn’t there be a greater intelligence than ours out there that could’ve fashioned us is? To think that impossible is, in my opinion, the height of hubris. I believe God wanted to speak to us with a face we could see and touch, a voice we could hear, a body we could recognize and not be afraid of. I also believe he did this to live a human life and fulfill his own moral requirements of us. So that when he died without having broken any of these requirements, he would have the authority to forgive us when we did break them. I believe God wants to be in loving relationship with his creation and that’s why he did what he did.

I love him. I always will. He fills my life with peace in the midst of uncertainty, and hope in the midst of obscurity. He makes life, well, alive! And he meets each of us where we are and loves us as we are. God is good.

A Bright, Clear Day

Today is gorgeous. Bright, blue skies with sheer, barely visible clouds. Most likely cold–I haven’t been out there yet. But what a day! Soon I’ll be down at the Pressroom Theatre, helping with the move. Then down to Revolution Skate to swap out elbow and knee pads that were too small. And then more roller skating down by the river.

This is an easy day to practice not being judgemental of myself. We all know that we shouldn’t be judgmental with others, but we seem to feel free to beat up on ourselves. As many of my friends know, I’ve recently lost 25 pounds on the Medifast plan. But, boy, has it tanked since I hit that 25 pound loss. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but my old eating habits have come back with a vengeance. And along with them, the discouraging voice that is so familiar, I hardly even recognize that it’s there. “Why did I eat that?” “God, I have no self control!” “There’s no way I can do this.” Would I ever say those things to a discouraged friend? Why do I let me say them to myself?

This is where the battle is joined. This is when I’ve always indulged in food to make myself feel better. My body and emotions are tolerating the loss of 25 pounds, but they’re drawing a line. If I want to go further, I need to step into those unhappy emotions, the pain of saying no to myself and not getting what I want, the awfulness of living in and through whatever discomfort I’m trying to alleviate. Ah, the joys of changing ingrained habits.

But as with anything that takes effort to achieve, I honestly believe it will be worth the pain.