Yesterday, I spent about half an hour watching some new (but clearly not really new since it has been around since the 1990s) phenomenon known as "Prancercise." The lady in the video is clearly in shape...but it almost appears that she is in shape because of other blessings of life...like the existence of a metabolism...and some other choices that she has made (vegetarian). Watching her, though, sporting her ankle weights and moving in a manner that can only be described as "OMG" - as she was obviously in a public place (with a bad sidewalk...but I digress...) and it made me wonder about her mental stability more than a little bit. I'm sure in person that she is a lovely person...but somehow that loveliness is drowned out by the more than a hefty dose of cray-cray that screams most urgently.
It made me think, though...who am I to judge?
I am sitting here horrendously overweight by the world's standards (as well as my own, the medical community, the weight loss industry, people that care about me and pretty much anyone drawing breath) but I prance through life acting like this is no big deal. And from the perspective of who I am as a person...it isn't a big deal at all. I tend not to notice the outside as much as I see the inside of a person...and then when I do...I can almost always find something about them that is far more attractive than weight. Like a beautiful spirit. Mischievous eyes. The ability to cook, clean, craft, organize, sing, do something amazing, or minister. A hilarious slant on life. A joyful heart. A grateful outlook. Loving service. See? None of that requires that you be anything other than what you are.
I realize that the rest of the world is numbed to see the glitz and glamour of celebrity and want to capture some of that for themselves. But when you see that those who have survived killing themselves through excess at an early age begin to decline, or slip into obscurity...you realize that it really is an illusion. We forget that we make them who they are by our attention, our attendance, and our dollars that purchase their products. I have decided over the past year or so to quit supporting projects of people who are so clearly at odds with my beliefs. I'll give them a little rope...but dang if I'm going to tolerate Jamie Foxx wearing a Trayvon Martin tee shirt at a recent awards show and then pay money to go see "White House Down." Even if Channing Tatum is in it. And that says a lot.
A whole lot.
I have given up on a lot of companies and actors for being ridiculous. And since they found it necessary to drop Paula Deen and boycott Chick-fil-A...I'm continuing to not vote for these people with my dollars. I think that some of them are starting to figure it out. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me politically. I have a huge problem with them using their celebrity to do so. Want to use it to bring awareness to autism? Fine. But to a manufactured "War on Women?" Heck to the no.
For years, I had more of a "live and let live" attitude toward those I disagree with...and we'd just avoid certain subjects so we could get along. But now? I'm real clear on what I believe. I am not going to back down from telling the truth just so people will like me anymore. And if they choose to be exasperated...then that's their choice.
For example, the recent legislation in Texas banning late term abortions makes perfect sense to me in my world view as a conservative Christian. I have friends who are liberal and others who are somewhere in between. But this is something that I am not going to just sit by and try to understand. Because in my opinion, there's nothing TO understand. You're either for late term abortions or you're not. Obviously, I'm not. And I think that there's something seriously wrong with anyone who is. I really do.
About other things...gay marriage (in favor of civil unions, not in favor of calling it marriage), shacking up (not in favor but what you do in your bedroom is none of my business), drinking (moderation is fine...wrecking your family's life is not), drug use (No. Just no.) and immigration (enforce the laws we already have)...I'm not so vehemently opposed. But late term abortions? Sorry. No room to tolerate any discussion on this subject whatsoever.
But enough about my political views on a vacation day in the middle of July. I have a house to get together, a dog to get to the groomer, and boxes to get into the attic because Big Dave Houdini-ed out of that one. Again. And he forgot to take the trash to the street yesterday when we have company this weekend. *sigh* Love him anyway...but I seriously need to start pinning notes to his shirt.
Where I am going with all of this, I suppose, is that I think all of us have the capacity to judge something that we don't understand...but on some subjects we are willing to be challenged. I mean...I don't understand the Prancercise lady's obsession with "prancing" and whatever she is doing with her arms...but I also haven't read her book. People who see me as an overweight middle-aged woman probably think that I'm completely undisciplined or that I have some serious issues I need to work through...because who can get this big without a few hundred "Danger, Will Robinson!" signs in her life or people who tried to slow it down? And I answer that by saying that this is a combination of two forces: a love of eating and food as a drug of choice. Except when food is the drug of choice...there's really no rehab for it...as often as I've called Weight Watchers just that. I mean...you still have to eat to live. Even while you are trying not to live to eat.
As little as I like being judged...I am human and I make generalizations quickly. I notice someone's age, hair color, gender, race, ethnic background, lifestyle choices, political and religious leanings and manner of speaking and I run that through my head as I try to figure out if I have anything in common with someone or not. There are people that I give a lot of latitude to because I know their heart...and I respect their intelligence and accomplishments. But there are others that I give a slim margin of error to dance around and as little time as possible because we're going to disagree almost all of the time over everything.
I've found that I learn the most from my response to those that I have very little in common with far more than I do from people who are almost exactly like me. And yet, the older I get, the more I realize the wisdom of standing my ground and not being swayed or influenced by people with a different belief system than I have in matters of importance. Like late-term abortions, for example.
I suppose today I'll be back roaming the aisles of Publix and Costco and people will look at me and wonder to themselves if I'm aware that I am overweight. Wonder if I need what is in my cart or if I have nobody in my life who will tell me the truth about myself. The answer to those questions is yes, no and yes. But the people who love me are hoarse from trying to change my mind...and have finally started seeing me for me and loving me in spite of it. I'm very grateful for that.
In the coming weeks, I'm going to make another attempt to get back on track and quit making it so incredibly difficult on myself. Who knows? I might even take up Prancercise in earnest. Okay...yeah...no. But whatever I do...I know that there are those who see me for who I am and only want the best for me. Who know that this weight is more than just a love of food...it is a conglomeration of baggage, bad choices, and a protective shell. It is a spiritual battle as much as a physical or emotional one. A battle that I've been way too tired to fight alone...and too proud to ask for help. But one I know that can be won because Philippians 4:13 tells me so. For me, I know that II Timothy 1:7 is also at work...but that in my case it is all in the timing.
And, of course, apparently the prancing. But mostly the timing. And that time is near.
Have a wonderful day and love yourself for who you are. Might as well, right?