I just watched a video in which Dr. Oz spent some time in a 400 lbs fat suit. He spoke about the shame and depression he felt because of the way people around him treated him. As if that was not bad enough, one only needs to look to the comments on the video to see something to be depressed about.

Before I go any further and for the cause of full disclosure, I am 410 lbs. I have been heavy all my life and come from a long line of heavy people. If there was ever a case for obesity being genetic, one would only need to look at my family tree to find proof.

I read the comments to the video and like most comments now days about most anything, you would expect to find good and bad comments. However, the greatest majority of the comments were bad comments. Take for example this comment:

What do you expect??? Having obesity in my family I do not believe it is a disease nor a disorder of the glands as they used to put it. It is laziness and indulgence just as if you decided not to wash every day.
Feel sorry for them ??? nope! In traveling globally I soon realized there are very few obese people in other parts of the world.
Get off your backside and sweat. Use some restraint.
It was published recently that some “doctor” had a “study” that found even pedophiles had a disease!!! If they want to go that far in the justification of indulgences we are doomed as civilized people.

It is bad enough that this person justifies their rant against fat people by saying it is ok because they have fat relatives, but then to equate those who are fat and believe genetics play a factor to pedophiles, that is cruel. As someone who has battled obesity all my life, I can tell you that some people cannot lose weight. Oh yeah, I can get down to about 350 lbs, but much past that has never been possible. I could have surgery and lose weight, but who wants to go through all that pain and trauma to be skinny?

Or what about this comment:

If you walk around with a feedbag strapped to your fat face and can’t stay away from the All You Can Eat Buffet, then you might be a fat assed pig!

This is the catch-all answer to obesity: You must be fat because all you ever do is eat. Have you seen me eat? No. Then shut up. You can ask anyone who knows me, I eat the same amount as my skinny friends and sometimes less! I eat 3 or less meals a day and eat very little sweets (mostly because of my diabetes, although I have indulged in more sweets lately because I gave up). So what is your “professional” opinion on why I am fat? That question leads us to the next comment:

I never dealt with heavy people till about 6 months ago; it is hard to understand how they can let themselves get that way.

Yes, of course. I get it now. I let myself become a gross, fat, disabled, sickly blob because I had nothing better to do with my life. You caught me! Now I rest easy now that my secret is out!

Do you really think I would have “let” myself get to this point if I could have stopped it? Do you think I like getting out of breath walking in the store? Do you think I like being in pain everyday? Do you think I want to have diabetes or heart disease? Do you think I like watching my son grow up from the sidelines? And yet, no matter what I try, no matter how much I diet or exercise, I still stay fat.

The most disgusting obese thing I ever saw was in a Publix in Jax. Fl. . A family of 4, with 2 10-12 yr. old kids, that I refer to as the Goodyear family.

Mom and Dad each easily topped 400 lbs. , and each kid was near the 200 range. They were pushing 3 carts down the frozen food aisle, loaded with nothing but pastries and frozen foods.

That store had at least 10 foot wide aisles in that section, and they completely blocked it.

To let your children get that obese should warrant charges of child abuse.

That was around 15 years ago, and I’m sure they’re all dead by now.

Now we should arrest fat people who have fat children. Brilliant! Maybe we could save everyone the trial and just send them to the gas chamber or firing squad and be done with it. As one of those heavy children, I can tell you that they knew this person was judging them when they looked at them. I am sure that it helped motivate them to lose weight. Again, as a child who was fat, I can tell you that those stares and judgmental looks only made me depressed and self-conscience. It did nothing to help me lose weight. It did nothing to solve the “problem”. If anything, it made my life worse, not better.

I won’t bore you with anymore comments. You get the idea. Being fat is one of the last human conditions that society is ok being prejudice against. We charge overweight people more to fly. We charge them more at some theaters. We limit the trips they can make to the buffet (even though I do good to make 2 trips to the buffet, I have had a buffet owner tell me I could not go to the buffet more than 3 times or he would charge me a second buffet price). We make their clothing cost 3 sometimes 4 times that of other people’s clothing. We make them feel bad on TV, in public, on the radio, and even online. Ads constantly are thrust on us demanding that we lose weight or die.

Oh, and one more thing, the jokes! Oh the wonderful jokes whispered to friends about my weight. Or even the jokes to my face (mostly by strangers as I know my friends do it because I am cool with it) about my weight. They make me feel so wonderful! They make me want to run out and lose weight instantly! Except that they don’t. They make me want to crawl under a rock or step in front of an east bound bus.

And lastly, the friends who offer their advice and health tips on how to lose weight when they are a 150 lbs soaking wet. They really make me feel wonderful. If I want your advice on how to lose weight (something you have never had to do), I will ask you. Otherwise, leave me alone.

And they wonder why most obese people are depressed…

(And to the 2 friends I will have after everyone reads this, I appreciate you standing with me.)

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Bishop Gregory Godsey

Bishop Gregory Godsey is the Presiding Bishop of the Old Catholic Churches International. He is also the Director of the Office of Communications and Media Relations in the OCCI and is the Managing Editor of Convergent Streams. He is the Pastor of Saint Francis Old Catholic Church in Augusta, Georgia.

This blog does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Old Catholic Churches International, its Clergy or its members. These are the thoughts of Bishop Godsey himself.

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