Camino de Santiago: Fat Man Walking

Fat, chubby, husky and pleasantly plump are all names I’ve heard before. And yes, pleasantly plump was actually the way someone suggested you refer to overweight people. My thought is, maybe refer to them by their name? But what do I know? That’s not really the point though. The point is that I am a big guy and I walked the Camino. I know I’m a big guy, it’s not like I can hide it.

Walking the Camino as a big guy, I really stick out since most people who hike the trail are a lot smaller than I am. That’s not to say that I was the only overweight person on the trail because that simply would not be true. There were several of us out there, doing what we needed to do to accomplish our goal. I may or may not have been the biggest person on the trail during my time (How could I possibly know that?), but I can say I was one of the biggest. This isn’t to pat myself on the back or anything. That’s not the point of this blog either.

The point of this blog is about judging. On the hike I saw a lot of people, of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, age, sexuality, religions, etc. I saw a lot of people and they were all very different. While walking I, unfortunately, made a lot of judgements in my head before even learning their name. I’d see the people out late every night and think one thing, then I’d see someone walking really slow or really fast and think another. It was sad, really, that I didn’t give people more of a shot before instantly judging them.

This is a problem that isn’t mine alone, but it needs to stop. We all need to stop doing those snap judgements. Sometimes the snap judgements may be correct, but that doesn’t make them the right thing to do. Just because someone is (insert trait here) doesn’t make them (insert trait here). I think most people who saw me on the Camino would never have guessed I was walking the whole 500 miles. And yet…I did. They would have probably also been surprised to hear I’ve run a marathon, 3 half-marathons, two triathlons and a bunch of other races as well. Again, not to brag, but rather to show that our initial judgements can be way off, so how about we say hello before we think we know all we need to know about them.

Go out there and say hello to someone. Take a chance that your judgements are wrong and find out for yourself.

God, Weight Watchers and Satan

Most of you all know that through most of my life I have had a battle with being overweight. Five years ago I weight over 400 lbs and got the weight down to under 230 at one point, but since then I have gained close to 70 of it back. I think I finally figured out why.

Whenever people would ask me how I lost the weight, I would talk about how I started eating better and I started working out more. Notice a theme in that sentence, yeah I thought I did something special and I wanted people to know what I did.

For most of the time that the weight was coming off it was a constant battle with Satan to overcome my addiction to food. My phone’s background simply said “remember.” In my pocket, every day, was a piece of paper with 1 Peter 1:13-16 written on it to remind me of how I should be living with God in mind, not my old ways and yet when people asked me how I did it, I told them how I did it, not how God held my hand through the process.

13So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16

When it comes to food, I have slipped back into my old ways to satisfy my own desires, but no longer. I joined Weight Watchers the other day and with that program and my reliance on God to help me with temptation I am planning on getting to the best shape of my life before I move to Germany.