Monthly Archives: March 2009

Don’t Be a Skinny Fat Person

There’s an old saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, I think to some extent, we all do. At least I used to. But this week painted an extreme picture for me that reminded me why it’s really dangerous to do that.

I am referring in particularly to a term I learned while on The Biggest Loser. That term was “a skinny fat person.” You know the type. We’ve all seen them. They are the people who appear to be able to eat anything they want and not exercise or give much concern or thought to what they do to their bodies. These people remain thin and appear to be lean and fit. They are people I really don’t like. (Just teasing.)

We have a good family friend who fits the bill. He’s tall and lanky and lean. Never had a weight problem a day in his life. His father could be described the exact same way, only thirty years older. By all outward appearances both seem to be completely thin and healthy.

Well, I am here to say that thin—does not necessarily equal healthy.

This week our friend’s father had a heart attack and required quadruple bypass surgery! And you would have never known it looking at him. He was a skinny fat person. Thankfully he is recovering well. But it really was a wake up call to all of us who know and love his family.

We live in a society that is consumed with outward appearances. But we really need to be concerned with what’s going on inside too. Exercise is essential in protecting the bodies that God gave us. And eating healthy foods is critical to preserving and restoring our bodies. Let’s face it, our bodies were made to be fed things that “come from the ground”—not over-processed junk food filled with fat and empty calories.

May this story be a reminder to you, as it was to me…good health comes from the inside out. Never compare yourself to someone else and envy them just because they appear to have the outer physical attributes you desire. After all, they may actually be a skinny fat person.

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Acknowledging the Source of Your Strength

There is a song that we sometimes sing at our church called “I Will Lift My Eyes.” It’s by a talented writer named Bebo Norman. It’s a beautiful, reflective song. Every time we sing it I look over at my husband and see tears in his eyes. (He would probably hate that I am sharing this with you but he can just deal with it because it’s true.)

So I finally just broke down recently and asked, “Mike what is it about that song that moves you so much every time you hear it?” His response was very touching and so I want to share it with you.

As background, some of you may not know that when I was cast as part of The Biggest Loser my interaction with my family was completely limited for months. I didn’t get to call home. No letters at first. No e-mails. No nothing.

In fact, no one even knew specifically where I was. Mike only knew I was in California somewhere. And that there was a hotline he could call in case of emergency. It is an essential part of the experience for contestants so that we can really focus on the task at hand: losing a massive amount of weight—getting healthy—and changing our lives. I understand the reason for the mandated separation now.

Well, as my husband was holding down the fort without me—with our then 6-year-old son who didn’t really know where mommy was—he would go to church every week. And during that time they introduced the song “I Will Lift My Eyes” to the congregation.

The first line of the chorus says, “I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can’t climb. I will lift my eyes to the Calmer of the oceans raging wild. I will lift my eyes to the Healer of the hurt I hold inside. I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You.”

Well, those lyrics obviously spoke to him in a very personal way. And as he explained them to me I began to tear up myself.

He said that the wife that he put on a plane to Los Angeles was morbidly obese. Walking up a flight of stairs was more than I could physically do. And he knew I would be forced to “climb mountains” and run races and exert myself physically far beyond what I was capable of doing in my own strength.

He knew that from watching the show that sometimes there was drama and game playing and that there was bound to be some “turbulence” somewhere a long the way and he suspected I would fight against “oceans raging wild” in a number of different areas.

And finally, he knew that this would be a process of soul searching and diving deep into some of the emotional hurts of my life. Eventually examining the reason I allowed myself to get in the unhealthy condition I was in. Because as I have come to believe, excessive weight is not always connected to a number on a scale—many times it’s emotional in origin and requires healing.

So this song covered all of the things that he knew I’d be facing. And it offered the hope that there is One who could meet all those needs.

Once he explained it, I understood. And now I won’t ever be able to hear that song without sharing the same emotional reaction.

So I encourage you today to determine the source of your strength. Tap into that strength and let it give you peace for your daily life. No matter what struggles, turbulence or hurt you may experience—you can “lift your eyes” and find hope to meet you at the point of your need.