Over the weekend, there was a bit of a storm that brewed in the blogging world. Because of my ties to said storm, I found myself in the middle of it all. Without going into detail on what caused the storm, I will give you a bit of a background. There was a controversial blog post written that got this said storm brewing. Many readers were outraged, other bloggers were outraged and a lot of drama ensued.
I try to avoid drama and controversy at all costs. I don’t like it, it makes me uncomfortable and I don’t believe that it’s good for my brand be involved in it. I made a very tough decision to separate myself from it and cut some ties. In doing so, I hurt some feelings. Unfortunately when you make decisions like these, that might happen. But I do feel bad about it. That’s just me.
This week, I saw this come across my Facebook feed and it helped me get through.
I don’t think this other person intended to make me “live in misery.” In fact I’m sure that I didn’t even come to mind when she wrote this post. But in the end, I was hurt by it and was brought into the controversy.
The subject matter of this controversial post was that parents are to blame for their child(ren) being fat. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this post, the context, the person who wrote it, the comments and replies that it’s gotten.
I am overweight and have been since I was a child. Do I blame my parents? Nope. Contrary to what the article says and what some of the commenters said, I believe that you can be pre-disposed to being over weight.
I’ve been seeing a endocrinologist for years to try to help me lose weight. After trying everything, my doctor finally told me that my body is ‘set’ to be at this weight. He added that having a weight loss surgery might be my only hope so that my body chemistry will change. He knows I don’t over eat and have tried several weight loss methods. No matter what I do and even if I do lose weight, my body will go back up to the weight it’s set at.
Now I’m really not wanting to debate the medical science of weight back and forth, just giving my background. One of the comments (of said controversial post) said that those parents that were upset by the post were probably overweight themselves and took it personally, didn’t want to face the facts. Sure, that’s a good point. I know I took it personally but not necessarily for the above reason.
I have 4 active and ‘thin’ children. They take after their father who could eat anything he wanted and never gain weight. Me, I look at food and gain weight. Whenever I think about my kids and weight issues, and especially while reading said controversial article, I thought of my little Faith. It brings me back to a time that she was not healthy and definitely not happy. It was a very hard and depressing time for us.
Faith has Crohn’s Disease. She was diagnosed almost 6 years ago at the age of 4. It took 2 full years to get the disease under control. In that 2 years we spent a lot of time at the children’s hospital. Faith was on and off of steroids and miserable. The steroids helped her symptoms but she had the immediate weight gain as a side effect.
We were looking at pictures over the weekend and could see how about every 6 months she’d gain weight, then lose it and then gain it again. All while going on and off of the steroids.
The top picture is Faith on her 4th birthday. The picture on the bottom is her only 4 short months later. I tear up when I see this because I remember how unhappy she was. This started her not wanting to be in any pictures. We’d have to sneak a picture in order to get one. She’s still camera shy to this day.
Do I realize that the writer of the controversial post was not referring to kids with medical issues? Sure, absolutely. However, when you judge by sight alone, you are not getting the full picture. You do not know if they’re overweight because of a medical issue, you do not know what is going on inside that family. You are just purely judging.
So is it OK to judge others?
A quote from the controversial post:
I am judging. I am concerned. I should be. I am worried that your child will have these habits forever. I am frankly worried that America is getting fatter and fatter and the quality of life people enjoy will soon be replaced by diseases and health conditions due to weight and inactivity.
I was told I was shaming the parents. I sure am; they deserve to be ashamed. It is our job to do what we can for our children because that is our role, to provide our children with the best life possible.
I get it, I do…America is an overweight society. We can give excuse after excuse as to the reasons. No, it’s not ok but can you truly judge just by looking at a person? At a child?
I was never ashamed of my Faith. I was not ashamed by the way she looked. That Prednisone saved her life! However, what bothered me was the looks and the judgement. Not for me but for her. This poor child did not deserve your stares and your comments and your judgement! You who are guilty of doing this to a child, or anyone for that matter, are wrong. You affected a part of her that we’re still trying to over come. The one who should be ashamed is you.
Again, I realize that the writer of this article understands that there are medical issues that cause weight issues. However, when you just look at a person’s outside, you have no idea if there’s a medical issue behind it. And when you make a blanket statement, you’re calling out everyone with an overweight child, medical issues or not. You don’t know what is going on. Feel very blessed that you have happy, healthy children and have never had to deal with weight issues or medical issues. You could never understand.
I truly know that the writer of the article thought she was doing good. Stir up some controversy and maybe people will stand up and take notice. Maybe it will spark them to do something. However, if you’re going to openly judge, then do it with compassion.
I struggle with the question of… Is it OK to Judge Others?
If you are of Christian Faith, there’s a lot about judging in the Bible. I found a great article – Is It Right To Judge?
Here’s a snippet from the article that stood out to me in regards to the topic:
Judge in Truth
Do not judge another when you do not have all the relevant facts. Jeremiah 5:1 says, “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.” A true judge is one who seeks the truth. If you must judge, be sure and get all the facts. A Japanese proverb says to “search seven times before you judge.”
Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:2: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” You’ll reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7-8). If you are swift and harsh in judging others, then God will see to it that you receive the same from others. Has God not been very merciful to you, even though you deserved it not? Likewise, you should exercise mercy toward others.
It took a while and a lot of back story for me to get to my point. But I think the above says a lot about judging others. Christian or not, if you feel that it’s your ‘job’ to judge then Judge in Truth and Judge Mercifully.
Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. –JOHN WATSON
Rachel Mouton says
What an amazing article and perfect perspective! You did a perfect job of putting into words what so many parents appear to be thinking/feeling. Thank you so much for sharing your story and a little piece of your life with us <3
Thanks, Rachel. I just couldn’t get it off my mind so I had to find an outlet.
1. I believe judgement is a survival tool! Or maybe perception is a better one.. If we ignore it, it can be dangerous!
As for fat kids.. It is absolutely a parents fault! Our country is over weight because we wanted easier and faster and cheaper.. Well we got it,. That life style is based on choice and convenience or laziness … There are health risks with all life styles …as many people have learned our health insurance won’t always pay for things that happened as a result of our lifestyle ..
There are endless consequences to being obese.. Oh wait .. To eating poorly.. 1 consequence of eating poorly is you teach your kids to eat poorly! We can’t tell them don’t eat it, if we always keep it in the house .. 2. weight gain.. Which can be lethal.. You may get cancer from all the weird genetically engineered food … If so.. What if your insurance doesn’t cover it.. In Oregon, where Obama care is Alive and well, people are refused treatment for all sorts of things.. 1 being, if you made your body that sick (anyone can read ingredients n google them) why would we believe you’re gonna change that lifestyle!? Or darn! You got Cancer!? Shouldn’t of eaten all those chips and soda.. Well Obama care won’t treat advanced stages of certain cancers but they’ll give you pain management until you die..
There are awful consequences for our kids if we don’t teach them … And that should be all we think about while we raise these little people..
It is NEVER too late to learn and even better to show your kids how to make a life style change.. It’s a good skill..
True, but you do not seem to understand unless you’ve been there yourself. It is easy to judge from the outside while looking in. My baby was so skinny his pants would fall off and that was after they were adjusted, at 7yrs he looked 5yrs and then prednisone to control severe, chronic asthma 2months later our friend could not recognize him, he was so fat. He is still on cortizone,he is fat,people judge but he cannot do without the med.
Perfectly stated. 🙂
Thank you, hun! 🙂
Such a great post, Dawn. We all have things we’re dealing with — some obvious like extra pounds and some are heart issues. As a whole, I think our country needs to be much more mindful of what we feed ourselves. But I don’t think judging and shaming provides any lasting effect or change, just pain.
I’m so thankful that Faith is doing well now!
Glad you’re my friend — and brave enough to make tough choices and take a stand. Proud of you! xoxo
Thank you, Layne! I absolutely agree!
First, I will say that I think we are all guilty of judging others. Whether it is internally and kept to ourselves 100% or talked about within a group or even done publically with blatant specifics. Does that excuse things? No. I have been big(ger) since 2nd grade. Is that my parents fault? I do not think so. I do believe part is genetics without blame, part is my sedentary lifestyle, part is occasional poor diet choices (food type and/or portion). I own that. I will be the first to admit that. And like you, I have been told that my body is comfortable at a certain weight. I have lost weight, and a significant amount, on more than one occasion. But once things seemed to stabilize, they soon crept back up. I hate scales, I hate having 3 or 4 different sized clothing in my closet but most days, I love ME. I think because I have been a big girl so long, I have grown accustomed to it. I am sometimes worried about what others will think. But most of the time, I think 2 words inside. Lucky I don’t say them at times too. People can be so cruel, intentionally and sometimes not even trying to be. Both ways hurt. Again, no excuses no though. I have learned a lot about people and myself in the last few years. Sometimes people are just thoughtless. It still hurts. Even when we try to be the better person and/or pretend it doesn’t. I have thought about weight loss surgery and even discussed it with my primary care provider. She is against it for me, because of how my body reacted to a seemingly routine surgery earlier this year that was not weight related. So, I can be happy with me and of course have those rough days I don’t like my body or I can hold my head high and live life. Life can be hard enough without the opinions of others, even if you, yourself, have a wonderful outlook. <3
I definitely agree that we all judge. This is such a great reminder that when we do judge, do it in truth and with mercy. And I love who you are! Be confident in that always because you’re beautiful inside and out!!
Back at ya!! 🙂
Cheryl Dwyer says
My heart aches for your child and any others ‘judged’ because they look ‘fat’, and therefore must be informed of this. I was 115 lbs when I got married at 16. Several unsuccessful pregnancies, and three successful ones, I weighed 178 lbs. I have fought for over 40 years to get back to that 115lbs, which my Dr has told me ain’t never going to happen. My highest weight was 320, now I’m at 240 and going down. When people tell me I’m fat I tell them its not a secret, I already know. My children are average weight, but they have their struggle too, and now my grand daughter. The women in particular in my family are big boned, not fat, but farm stock. We work hard, so we have muscle, to bale hay/ straw, harvest crops, deliver calves, etc. The last guy who called me fat was a former brother in law. After I crawled out from under a tractor, that conversation was ended.
You are amazing!! Good for you. I love the tractor story! 🙂
Very well said! As a person who suffers from UC (similar to Crohns), I remember all too well the moon face that comes with medication/illness. I went from being a “string bean” to someone who can not get below 265/270 (6’2″ tall). When one is dealing with issues (be they weight, health, depression, all of the above), the last thing one needs is a judgmental know-it-all to add to one’s troubles.
Prednisone is a miracle drug with horrible side effects! Yes, absolutely I agree. I was just listening to a radio program about depression (and I think it can pertain to other illnesses too) that instead of trying to ‘fix’ a person, we need to be there and support them instead.
Carla Bushey says
Very good article. There are so many reasons someone can be overweight. It was wrong to say it is the parent’s fault. I am so glad you spoke up.
Thanks, Carla. I wrote this really just for me and what was on my mind and heart. Sometimes it’s good to get it out and down on ‘paper.’
Gwendolyn M says
Dawn you have put this perfectly into words what so many have felt. Thank you for sharing what was inside your heart. I know the decision was not easy for you and I have been praying for you. Weight is not an easy topic and after undergoing weight loss surgery because I could not lose any other way, I feel strongly about the topic myself. I am a size 10 now but I still don’t see myself that way even when I look in the mirror. Whatever you decide make sure you do it for you and not for what others may think.
Thanks, Gwen! You have done so amazing! Be proud of that and see it when you look in the mirror! You’re beautiful!
Donna Hup says
This was so beautifully stated. Thank you for sharing what I have not been able to put into words.
Thanks, Donna!! If I can reach others, then it’s worth it to put it all out there. 🙂
Jenetta Penner says
I watched this the other day and found it so interesting:
It’s a TED talk with a Dr. from San Diego and his experience of judging others about being overweight and what he has learned since then.
Just started watching/listening. This is so very amazing and eye opening! The radio talk show I listened to was the Dr., when he gave talks, he’d compare a person with Cancer vs. a person with Depression. The person with Cancer you want to take care of, the person with Depression you want to fix. Same type of thing with other diseases and issues too. Thank you for sharing this link!
Jenetta Penner says
Rachel Mouton says
What an amazing video Jenetta! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Jenetta Penner says
It is a great video.. I LOVE researching and learning about medical issues and really did enjoy watching it.
That’s a great video. But doesn’t it all the more justify the fact that obesity is scary. If you have insulin resistance which as he said brought about by more sugar in the blood. Then you have to do something about it. Insulin resistance is the cause and the effect is being obese which leads to serious other health conditions. Obesity is the metabolic response to something more threatening as he said, so shouldn’t that mean we should all the more act on it and do something for our health.
This is a great post and I myself do not agree in judging other people but that doesn’t mean I’m not I’m not addressing the issue. There is a problem. But if we will wait for the government to act or the health department to discover something to cure obesity before we do something for ourselves then we may not even get the answer in this lifetime.
I read the obesity post from the other blogger and I do not agree with how she handled it or how she expressed her post but that is her right because it’s her blog. I’m not attacking her personally because she attacked the issue and not me personally. However other commenters wasn’t able to separate that. Attacking her personally which made me feel that they are the ones who are bullies.
Dawn this is a great post and it tears me up to read what you went through. I myself have weight issues and I’m not making excuses about it. I know I have to do something about it because although us obese people feel healthy in the long run we won’t be. I saw it with my brother and uncles who have diabetes, hypertension and other disease that only showed up when they turned 40+.
Yep, I agree. The issue should be addressed. I think there was just a better way to address it and unfortunately, I don’t know that the negative controversy was a way to do it. Thanks for your comments, Akeisha!
FANTASTIC article Dawn!!
I agree 1,000% with what you said. It was touching, from the heart and you said it all perfectly. It brought tears to my eyes.
God bless little Faith. She ( and your entire family) has been through so much and it’s wonderful she has been symptom free. I’m SO happy for that!!
Back to the judging part. We ALL have the inclination to judge without knowing ALL the facts. I for one (in recent years) have gained 50 pounds from the meds to treat my Grave’s Disease, a stomach full of ulcers, going into menopause and I proudly quit smoking 6 months ago! I’m not bigger because I’ve always dreamed to be. I’m also not lazy, unclean or an unhealthy eater!
YOU know (because you helped my blog stay alive) I took a year off from my blog for health reasons. It was a hard decision and a challenge to pick it back up after being away for so long, but I seriously needed that break. Sadly, not many “friends” understood or really cared about what I was going through. I’d have no blog to come back to if it wasn’t for you!! I will be forever grateful for everything you did. Thank you again!!
Back to the subject at hand. I have been going through something lately that has caused someone to judge me and my husband without having all the facts… nor did they even think it prudent to want them. I call these people “Orbit Heads” .
Orbit Heads think the world revolves around them and the relevance of everything they think, say and do. They have a distorted view of their own self importance and offer harsh, overly-critical views of the people and world around them. Usually, this mindset is to alleviate their own pain, and insecurities. In doing so, they raise themselves to a higher plain above others in order tofeel good about themselves.
What is the rate of return on this selfish and almost additive behavior? After the Orbit Head dumps-and-runs, they’re off somewhere enjoying their life until they need their next “fix”. All the while they have left a trail of emotionally, spiritually and physically damaged and abused victims left in the wake, trying desperately to pick up the pieces.
“Spiritual” Orbit Heads are convinced into thinking THEY really DO know everything and are deceived into thinking they even know better than God. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot that will change their minds and hearts…only God can do that.
What to do? Pray for them, kick the sand out of your shoes and move on. As I get older, I personally do not have the energy to be caught up in drama of any kind. It gets old and zaps my energy I could otherwise spend doing more worth while things.
<3 I'm still here… and I'm still your friend! 😀 <3
“Orbit Heads.” I like that!
Kourt, you are awesome!!! I have been thinking of you so much with what you’ve been battling. I’ll keep praying. It’s so wonderful that you quit smoking, you go girl!!! You keep fighting, you’re amazing! Thank you for making such great points. We just need to keep praying, turn the other cheek and yes, move on. I’ve had to do that a few times in my life. It’s not fun but shaking off the drama and getting in a good place is important. I’m still here for you too. Sometimes life gets busy but you just holler if you need anything. Love ya, girl!
Great post Dawn. I am glad Faith is doing much better. My daughter has ate the most unhealthiest food most of her life. If you see her pictures on my Facebook she is NOT fat at all.
I was 100 lbs when I got married. I had to take a steroid to help with my first baby lungs to develop. It was take the medicine and try to save her life or not. I took the medicine. She still died. The medicine completely changed my metabolism. I started slowly gaining and still gaining weight. I work full time so getting to a gym to work out is not always the easiest to accomplish. By time I get home it is 5:30 , dinner and get ready for the next day same story every day. I would love to be thinner again and I am on some new pills but they keep me up at night so I am having some troubles getting in the habit of taking them. I like my sleep.
I hear you, Shannon! I’m so sorry to hear of your first baby. I can’t even imagine.
Kathy T says
As always dawn you have done a wonderful job how real life happens. Thank you for sharing and thank you for being the wonderful woman and blogger you are today
Thanks, Kathy! I’m glad we’ve gotten to work together and hope we will again in the future. 🙂
Celebrate Woman says
As you mentioned, Dawn, there are more gentle and more compassionate ways to bring Attention to the issue, such as obesity and overweight issue that many in our society are struggling and living with.
What was overlooked in that post was the most central what we, bloggers, can do – bring to action different energies, movements, synergies that create a Positive solution, a Positive interaction, a Peaceful and Satisfying interaction.
To answer your question about Judging others is easy indeed – when you think and do with LOVE as your core value there’s no such thing as “Judging.”
Thank you for your backstory and your emotionally and Love-charged post.
So very true!! Thanks for your comments.
Judy H says
Dawn great words of wisdom from your post. I have found over the years God’s judgement on people is alot worse than anything we can say or do to anyone. We can pray for them and let God work on there heart..Judge not or you will be judged. Sometimes we have to dust off our feet and move on it is not always easy . But in the long run it is the best thing to do.
Yes, so true!
Joanna L says
I know it’s been more than a year since this post was written but I had to add my tuppence worth. I have colitis (sister disease to Crohn’s) and last year I was put on steroids during a flare. I ballooned by more than 3 stone (around 50lbs) in about 6 months. Since I was ‘ridiculously’ thin before hand (again due to my disease), I felt and still feel like people are judging me for ‘letting myself go’. Then I realise that I also got hurtful comments when I was thin. Some people are just mean, I suppose. Intentionally or unintentionally. In the end, it’s not my issue, it’s theirs. I just wish that people would think before they spoke/posted/commented – things are rarely as simple as they may appear on the surface of things. I also wish that some comments didn’t hurt so much.
Great post – thank you for sharing.