We are in a battle with ignorance. There have been some victories. We now recognize that alcoholism is a disease. AA has a treatment plan. There are other drugs that have been developed which when taken, if you drink alcohol, you will become deathly ill. Cocaine use often turns into addiction. In its form known as crack, cocaine is highly addictive. Meth is the most addictive substance we have. All forms of uppers and downers join the list. Recently we have expanded the list. There are sex addictions, addiction to gambling and numerous obsessive/compulsive disorders. I recently saw a sensitive piece on a guy who was addicted to balloons. He loved their colors, their texture, and he liked to put them under his oversized shirt. Even though we might not understand what the causes are, it is still socially unacceptable, politically incorrect, to make fun of people who suffer from such things. Except...... plus size people. We make fun of people who are overweight. Abercrombie and Fitch will not sell clothes to women who happen to have curves. No size twelves on their racks! Young girls have horrible body images and want to be sticks. It is getting worse. Much talk is going around among teen age girls "Look at you! When you stand up, your thighs touch! Yuck!" This is nuts!
I am 6 foot and weigh 223. That is too much I should lose 15 pounds. I have struggled to lose 5. I have literature from OA but I don't want to go because of the perceived stigma. I too have a bias that the person who tops the scales at 300 pounds does not have any discipline or will power. How ignorant is that? Last night I sat in my chair, watching TV with an overwhelming urge to raid the refrigerator! I had finished dinner only 15 minutes before that. My spouse hides cookies from me! I break a donut in half "I'll just have a taste," I tell myself, and then I go back and eat the other half. I have a few victories but more often than not, I fall off the wagon with a Blizzard at Dairy Queen. Losing weight is hard.
Being fat is the last, socially acceptable prejudice. We make fun, we tell jokes, and we discriminate in our hiring practices. Why do we do that? Food is everywhere. I am told "just eat smaller portions" but that is hard to do. The church for tomorrow needs to have support and sensitivity for people who struggle with their weight. I need encouragement to reach my first goal and get under 220. Ministry with, not to persons who struggle with their weight is a place that the church for tomorrow can get real, relevant, and relational in order to transform the world.