I'm not even sure how to feel right now. I just read this article about a British film crew in town because Evansville was designated as the "fattest city in America" by some Gallup poll conducted last Spring. We're now going to be featured on a British reality show called "Supersized vs Superskinny". Lovely.
I'm sad. I'm mad. I'm FURIOUS at some of the comments on the article. And then I go back to being sad when I realize that I am a contributing factor for Evansville's designation.
With CME being a paramedic, I know the toll obese patients take on his back. I know what it means when he talks about "Medic 30" - it's the bariatric ambulance. That's right, folks. Evansville has a special ambulance just so we can respond to those patients that won't fit in normal ambulances (with normal size equipment, etc.) I know of the pain it causes him when he has to try and lift an obese patient off the floor...or help them onto the cot and then load the cot into Medic 30. I know obesity is a growing problem in our town and even with our children. I am not ignorant to that fact. I know.
The whole idea of the designation, reality show, news article and comments brings on a flood of emotions. It's both embarrassing and hurtful and yet, it's insightful. (Seems so strange to add that adjective!) It has become another way to degrade and bring more ridicule to obese people - to me. It opens up words from my past that sting like crazy. Even if some of the people weren't out and out saying it, I hear the words unspoken. Things like these are why I don't see "beautiful" when I see me. What bites is realizing that not only have I been a contributing factor, but I, too, have had thoughts about other people. "I know I'm large (my preferable word to fat or obese)...but how on earth do you let yourself get THAT big?" or "I hope I don't look like THAT!" I'm ashamed to admit that I've ever thought those things about others. How incredibly hypocritical!!!! God forgive me!
I'm thankful that God has given me the courage for this journey. But I am incredibly sad about this whole situation. I'm sad for others out there that want to lose the weight and be healthy, but for whatever reason can't. I'm sad for those who would go down the path I've chosen, but don't have the means. I'm sad that so many people in this world use such hateful words and automatically assume things about other human beings. I praise HIM for reminding me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made - even when I may not feel like it.
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14