Last week I had a trip to the emergency room for chest pains. Thankfully, the ticker is doing fine. However, it seems that my esophagus is having spasms. In going over my “risk factors” with me, the doctor said the ‘O’ word. Yes, I’m still in the “obese” category. That stung.
What amazed me was the questions I was never asked. I was never asked whether or not I exercised on a regular basis. I was never asked what my diet consisted of. I got the feeling that it was assumed that I was a junk-food-eating couch potato and that was what landed me there.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I had just drank a green smoothie; and that is what brought on the chest pains. I also missed my Tuesday night run with my running buddies because I was at the hospital.
This doctor, a woman, had no idea who I was or where I have been. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished the last few years. I’m not where I want to be yet; but I know that, so I’m going to keep working on it. I refuse to listen to nay sayers, no matter how many letters are after their name.
Instead I will listen to the encouraging words I have heard this week. At a conference this past weekend, I saw someone on Friday that I only see once a year or so. She referred to me as “tiny.” Saturday morning, I had breakfast with a former co-worker that I haven’t seen in probably 20 years. She was flabbergasted that I’m still in the obese category. This evening, a woman in the grocery store recognized me from the Couch to 5K program. She stopped me and told me that I looked “great.”
This is why I never criticize anyone on their appearance. Unless it is someone you know, you don’t know where they’ve been or what they’re thinking. Perhaps that very large person that you just poked fun at is in the middle of a weight loss journey and has already lost a substantial amount of weight. Or, maybe she just started her weight loss journey, is having a hard time, and really needs some encouragement right now. Or maybe that skinny lady that you’ve been envying is on the other end of the spectrum and is desperately trying to gain a few pounds so she, too, can be at a healthy weight.
I realize this doctor was doing her job, and the majority of her patients probably are obese, junk-food-eating couch potatoes. Still, those people need encouragement too. Most people listen to their doctor. Perhaps with the proper encouragement instead of negativity, they would make the changes needed in their lives.
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11