As much as anyone here, I understand the pain of being overweight. I live it every day. HOWEVER, I do not have a disease that makes me that way. I do not have a glandular, hormonal, metabolic or any other physical problem that MAKES me be the way I am.
I do not suffer from any psychological "disease" that I can blame my problem on. I have a very good friend who is anorexic and fights the battle to stay alive. There are psychological problems that lead to overweight the same way that her psychological state has lead her to be so thin you can practically see through her. But those people are, in my opinion, few and far between.
I think we live in a culture that has taught us that if we are not perfect, it is because we have some condition, some syndrome, some disease that makes us that way. We are damaged goods, unable to control or help ourselves. It is a pernicious thought process--because it takes responsibility away from us, and makes us unable to confront our weaknesses.
We live in a culture of abundance and of leisure. We have the ability to eat past health, satiety and common sense every single day of our lives. At the same time, we live in a culture that has the utmost in technological advances, making our lives so much simpler physically than our great-grandmothers' days that it is almost unbelievable. What my great-grandmother did to do up her laundry burned thousands of calories! When I did my laundry today, I sat on my behind, reading and noshing on pretzels, while a machine did all the work! Is it any wonder that I carry around extra weight?????
If my favorite foods are not fruits and veggies, but are Doritos and Twinkies, and I indulge those preferences, does that get me off the hook for my weight? Of course, it does NOT. If I choose to eat when I am lonely, or sad, or bored, or happy, or glad, or, or, or, or.....does that make me "sick" enough that it's not my fault? Nope, I don't think so.
Every single one of these extra pounds I carry around with me I have EARNED. I have eaten the m&m's, the doritos, the Krispey Kremes, or whatever. I have eaten when it was "time to eat" even when I wasn't hungry--as if the food was never gonna be here later! I have sat on my you know what and read or crocheted instead of getting some exercise. But every single one of those things was MY CHOICE.
Look, there are people who live terrible lives because of their obesity--shut up in a house weighing 450 pounds, unable to walk to the mailbox, with blood pressure and diabetes shortening their lives with every breath they take. I have a lot of sympathy for them--they've got the real problems.
Me, and, I suspect, Michael Moore? We're just brats who don't want to do what's hard--take control of our appetites the way we are supposed to.
Me? I want to be able to eat all I want, when I want, and never gain an ounce. I don't want to schlep off the pounds at Weight Watchers 1 or 2 pounds a week for a solid YEAR to get down to a healthy weight. It's too hard. It's too long. It's too, too, too.....something.
But it ain't the way it works. Why should I be exempt from struggle in a difficult place in my life? Don't I expect people with same sex attraction to rein in their urges and remain chaste? Why don't I expect MYSELF to rein in my appetites and retrain my tastebuds? If I expect a heroin addict to get clean with something that is mind-bogglingly addictive, shouldn't I get clean with sugar? If I expect an alcoholic to get sober, shouldn't I expect myself to get sober with regard to food?
And finally, there is the last weight issue that I am only just now coming to grips with. That's the sinful nature of my problem. I only want to think that the "g" word only applies to someone else. Gluttony? Me? One of the Seven Deadly Sins? Me? Yeah, baby. It's an ugly word for an ugly problem. And I am only now coming to see that I'm not fighting "weight issues" or "health problems." I'm called to fight up close and personal with an ugly habit that I've given over too large a place in my life to.