Yes, it’s a strange juxtaposition, but as Dave Barry would say, “I am not making this up.” I recently received a postcard in the mail from Burger King advertising its new home-delivery service. About the same time, I heard talk about an 800-lb. bride-to-be named Susanne Eman whose goal (I kid you not) is to eventually weigh 1,600 lbs.—far exceeding the Guinness Book record for the world’s heaviest woman at 1,200 lbs.
But is that a world record you really want to beat?
Eman has a skinny-as-a-rail fiancé who happens to be a chef and prepares most of the 20,000 to 30,000 calories she eats daily. One run to a Carl’s Jr. for a snack cost her $50.
So do I blame Burger King and other fast-food chains for our nation’s sorry state of obesity? To Burger King’s credit, the front of the postcard I received looks like something from Whole Foods. In the foreground is a tasty- and nutritious-looking salad, flanked by two tall fruit smoothies. In the background are some chicken strips. No Whopper or fries in sight.
The flip side of the postcard tells a different story, though. Those smoothies aren’t available yet (hey, FTC, isn’t that deceptive advertising?). According to the card, they are “coming soon.” Hmm. Looking over the menu, as you might imagine, it’s heavy on burgers and chicken. But, okay, there are more salads and wraps than I would expect from a fast-food franchise.
Burger King says the D.C. area is a test market. Apparently Burger King already delivers in its Asian markets, so here in the States we’re just now getting this latest “convenience.”
Back to our 800-lb. bride—there may be a happy ending. Turns out she weighs a mere 541 lbs. Dr. Phil had her on his show last week and challenged her to weigh in (yes, your intrepid reporter subjected himself to this spectacle via the Internet, but only to ensure the veracity of his reporting). Eman was shocked (or feigned it) to discover that she was nowhere near her goal. Aw shucks.
Actually, it saddens me to see a morbidly obese person working hard to gain more weight. It’s all about choices. You don’t have to order Burger King take-out; or if you do, you can order a salad. You don’t have to smoke, take drugs or hang out with people you don’t think are a good influence. You don’t have to spend yourself into debt. You don’t have to stay in a dead-end job. You don’t have to chase someone else’s dreams.
I know, easier said than done. We’ve all made choices that we later regret. That’s part of growing up. The question is whether we have the maturity and courage to make better choices over time rather than repeating the same bad ones over and over.
Some people, like Eman, feel trapped in the cycle of choices they’ve made. That’s a hard rut to get out of.
I thought Dr. Phil said it well at the end of the episode when he called on Eman to end her quest to become the world’s largest woman and start losing weight: “You’re not defined by how much tissue you’re carrying around on your frame…Believe in yourself enough to know that everyone’s going to love you and value you if you’re not infamous. Do this for you; do this for the people who love you.”
Not everyone has her own pop psychologist, but we all have people—family, friends, co-workers—who can lend an ear. Or who can lend a hand. Sometimes asking for help is the first step to better choices.
I was thankful to happen upon your blog when I searched for “What Color Is Your Parachute” guided activities.
I will be turning 28 this September and in a month will be celebrating my 4-year anniversary with the company I currently work for. I graduated 3 years ago from a Christian college and should have my school loans paid off by the end of next year. I have excellent medical benefits, a 401K, and earn close to the top salary in my current position.
Looking from the outside one might think I have it all. I just may…but having it all has left me feeling burned out and as though I’m just working to pay the bills. I fell into this job while finishing my college degree and stuck with it after graduating because it was a stable job and had promises for career growth. I am slowly realizing that 2 things need to change.
1.) I need to return to the foundation of my youth that was built on having God has #1 in my life. Slowly and sadly I’ve left Him out as a top priority in my life.
2.) I need to change careers before I end up working a job simply because it pays the bills. I want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to be travel and meet new people. I want to learn new things so I can improve my life and the lives of others around me. My current job has me at a desk all day working 8-10 hour days (and with no window to even get a glimpse of the sun while working.)
Thankfully my family supports me 100% in whatever changes I need to make. 🙂 Now I just need to really motivate myself to examine who I am, what gifts God has blessed me with, and then put them into action. I read through a few of your blog postings and they really hit home. I will be following your blog for continued posts and hopefully can use your blog as a source of support in my new journey to make some life changes.
I look forward to reading more about the journey you embarked on back in September of last year.
Becky, I wish you all the best on your journey. Taking that first step is sometimes the hardest, but it looks like you are on your way!