“A New Jersey woman is waging a campaign to become the world's heaviest living woman, admitting that she is as hungry for attention as she is for calorie-rich food.”
That’s the opening sentence of a Reuters article about Donna Simpson, 42, of Old Bridge, New Jersey. Simpson currently weighs 600 pounds. But what really sets her apart is not so much her weight as what she wants to do about it. She doesn’t want to lose weight, she wants to gain more. She wants to be the world’s heaviest living woman. Her goal weight is 1,000 pounds.
She says she has received a book offer and she hopes to be featured in her own reality TV show. She claims that she’s doing it all in order to make obesity more socially acceptable.
Let me be clear. It’s one thing to struggle with weight and eating and how you deal with food. I sure can sympathize with that. And I certainly can’t pretend to have the right to throw any stones her way for that.
And I can certainly appreciate what she has to say about the way we exaggerate the importance of external beauty. She’s right. We place a stigma on the overweight that isn’t helpful. And I can sympathize with her desire to “…be a voice, so that people can see a woman of size having a regular family." I get all of that.
But is that really what’s going on? How “normal” can her family life actually be? How much will her aspirations cost her two children, ages 3 and 14? Besides, it seems to me that intentionally doing what she’s doing to her body isn’t the only way to achieve her goals. Does she need to spend $750 a week (which is what she currently spends) on food? Can’t she do her part to remind us of our own vanity in a way that doesn’t pose a threat to her life? How good is any plan that ends with her early death? There’s a disconnect between Simpson’s words and the outcome of her actions.
This Sunday we’re going to be looking at a warning that Jesus gives to his followers concerning how to judge people. What he says is, don’t just listen to the words that they say. Pay attention, as well, to their actions and to the outcome of their actions. Don’t just judge a person’s words, judge them by the “fruit” that they produce.
Our faith is about more than our talk, it’s about what we are making happen. I hope that you’ll take a moment and ask yourself, what fruit is my life producing?

—— Robert