I sit here writing this, finding it hard to type as my hands are shaking. I don’t know why. It’s not as if the essence of what I’m about to convey is a secret—most of you likely already know, having seen me over the last ten years in various states.

However, part of me is more broken than any of you probably imagine. This part is largely unknown to anyone except my family, and even they, most certainly, only have a throttled understanding. I am continually overwhelmed with guilt and shame. Thoughts filled with self-loathing likely comprise more than half of my prayers. I wrestle with God about this, and my hip has been displaced for years. Still, I don’t submit.

The core of my battle lies in my being fat.

I realize it may not be politically correct to phrase it this way, but I take liberty since it involves me, and I want you to understand the nuances of my internal dialogue.

332 lbs

I weigh over 300 pounds. There, I said it. In the past 15 years, I’ve gained well over 100 pounds. To be precise, the last time I weighed myself, I was at 332 pounds. To some, being over 332 pounds might not seem significant, but to me, it is! Here’s why:

I’m not agoraphobic, but aside from visiting a few familiar public places, I haven’t been out in public for three years. I’m reluctant to let anyone who knew me before see what I’ve become unless I can control the environment. It’s difficult to reveal this transformation, but it’s time to open this casket.

Let me backtrack a bit…

I Don’t Fear Change

I understand that we all age, undergoing changes that may not be aesthetically pleasing. Wrinkles appear, bags form under our eyes, and our hair starts to grey. This is a natural progression, and it’s not what I fear. In fact, I would often tell my wife, even as she plucked grey hairs from the sides of my head, that I looked forward to appearing older—and presumably wiser—as a preacher. My fear of aging is no more intense than the average person’s.

“I’m Too Fat to Do Your Mother’s Funeral”

Due to my weight, I avoid public situations intensely, akin to avoiding the plague. To illustrate this personal predicament, let me share a recent, particularly shameful experience, one that even my wife is unaware of.

A few months ago, my wife, Kristie, lost her mother. Those who know Kristie understand how devastating this was for her. The death of a family member was her greatest fear, far exceeding any other. It’s a common fear, but for Kristie, it was magnified, deeply ingrained. I deeply care for her and wish to alleviate her pain and comfort her in her darkest times. However, as her mother’s passing became imminent, my predominant fear was for myself. I dreaded being seen at the funeral, reluctant for family members I hadn’t seen in years to witness my transformation. It was painfully self-centered—my thoughts fixated on myself when they should have been solely on Kristie and her family.

When the inevitable occurred, Kristie was shattered, and as I held her, my mind was clouded with the thought, “Now, I have to attend the funeral.” Then, my utmost fear materialized—her father, Frank, requested me to conduct the funeral. The terror of facing others and revealing my current self was overwhelming. The sheer shame of my selfishness and pride haunts me, and I deeply regret that my thoughts were not entirely with them in those heartbreaking moments. I extend my sincerest apologies to Frank and Kristie.

Illustrations of My Shame: “I Miss My Dad”

This is my reality in every situation. I predominantly stay at home, avoiding interaction. When a friend needed shelter, despite my financial constraints, I arranged for his stay in a low-cost, unsafe motel to prevent him from witnessing my transformation. Dining out is a rarity, as the prospect of fitting into a booth is daunting, and I don’t want my struggles to be visible, even to my wife. It’s been a decade since anyone, even Kristie, has seen me without a shirt. When my son Zach turned 16, the prospect of teaching him to drive was overshadowed by the embarrassment of barely buckling the seatbelt around my waist. My daughter, Katelynn, expressed her longing for the active, involved dad I once was, her words, “I miss my dad…” echoing in my heart and emphasizing the necessity of expressing my feelings.

These instances are glimpses into my ongoing struggle, reflective of my perceived failures and shortcomings.

Big and Tall

One primary factor keeping me from appearing in public is the persistent issue of ill-fitting clothes. Squeezing into a 3X t-shirt is a feat in itself, though I acknowledge it isn’t considered extremely large, given that Big and Tall stores offer even larger sizes. However, the challenge isn’t solely the size; it seems no article of clothing sits right on my frame. Elevating my pants above my protruding belly is a futile effort, yielding little success.

To avoid unwanted exposure, I find myself obliged to opt for extra-long T-shirts (which are difficult to find). Compounding the issue, it appears none of the weight gain has made its way to my butt. This lack of butt-support results in my pants perpetually sliding off my love handles, leaving them to linger embarrassingly around my mid-butt region. These clothing woes make public appearances a source of significant distress and embarrassment.

My True Fear: Perception Then and Now

I am not saying it is a sin to be overweight. That is not the subject. I am not even saying that 300 pounds is that much. I know a lot of people are overweight. It is hard to define my anxiety. But it comes from fear of perception—the perception of who I was compared to who I am now and what must have transpired to get me here.

“There Goes the Good-Year Blimp”

Let me give you a little history.

When I was 8 years old, I was overweight. I wasn’t this overweight, but proportionally I was. It affected me a great deal. I come from a family that was perceived as beautiful. I hope this doesn’t come across wrong. I don’t mean to sound, in any sense, arrogant. But my sisters were all knock-outs. All three of them! They had guys chasing them everywhere they went. My dad was a doppelganger for Tom Selek. He even drove a 308 GTS Ferrari! Every man on the block stared at my mom. She was stunningly gorgeous. They all had personalities to boot!

And then there was me, the odd man out. Once people would find out I was a Patton, they would always say, without fail, “What happened to you?” or “Were you adopted?”

When I was in 7th grade, I dropped off a note to one of my teachers while he was in class. While I left, he whispered to the class, “There goes the Good-Year blimp.” Everyone laughed. I found out later what they were laughing about.

I was the friend without a girlfriend, deemed “the humorous one,” while my sisters were reluctant to acknowledge our relationship. Tears were frequent, and prayers for transformation were fervent during those years—a period that imprinted on me more deeply than I realized.

Finally a Patton

Finally, when I turned 13, I decided I would no longer accept the nickname “Fat Pat” or be termed the “adopted” Patton. Through growing tall and working out, I lost the weight very quickly. No one ever questioned whether I truly was a Patton.

By the time I was 21, I was fit, even working as a fitness trainer. My heart went out to those who were overweight. I initiated “Shape Fitness,” driven by understanding and empathy. I knew the hurt of being looked at and being asked, “What happened to you?” When I trained people, I gravitated towards those who may have faced ridicule due to their weight. I believed God allowed me to experience that as a kid so I could help others in similar situations (2 Cor. 1:4). I was content, especially since I thought there was no way I was ever going to be overweight again.

I married the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, stunning inside and out. But now, I have a new situation. Not only am I back to feeling like I’m twelve years old, but I also appear as a charity case for my wife when we go out. I feel for her.

“What Happened to You… Again?”

Around the age of 38 or 39, I experienced a significant change; I started to gain weight. It wasn’t just a few pounds that slightly altered one’s definition, but substantial weight leading to stretch marks. My weight had escalated from under 200 pounds to over 400 pounds. “What happened to you?” once again became my prevailing fear. It’s not predominantly about preserving my looks; I believe there’s more to it. It’s about the transformation from who I was to who I am now and, more importantly, what I perceive it signifies to others about my character.

What Others Think Defines You

There is a saying I encountered some time ago that has lingered in my mind and resonates with my current circumstance: “You are not what you are. You are what you think other people think you are.” Please, ponder over this once more. It underscores the erroneous manner in which we perceive ourselves. Our self-perception is not grounded in our true selves but in what we conjecture others think of us. When I encounter someone in public, especially after a significant lapse of time, their gazes seem steeped in astonishment. “What happened to you?” That’s the silent inquiry their expressions betray. I am certain of this as I find myself reacting similarly towards others who have undergone noticeable transformations.

“Poor Guy: He Must Be Depressed”

But it is their deeper, more profound thoughts that keep me at bay. I fear people say in their minds, “Oh, poor guy. He must have gone through massive depression due to the troubles that happened in the Patton family.” Or, “Well, I remember he was “Fat Pat” when he was young, so why should I be surprised that he became “Fat Pat” again?” Or, “Isn’t that the guy who used to train people to lose weight?” Or, “That can’t be the same guy I saw on those videos teaching people to follow God, can it? Would God want him to eat himself to a heart attack?”

Why Did I Get Fat?

The problem is not necessarily what they think. That is not what I am trying to get people to do right now: change the way you think when you see someone has become overweight, lost all their hair, gotten old, or whatever. It is only natural for people to try to figure out what happened to others. We are, by nature, concerned and curious. After all, no one is going to come out and ask, “Why did you get fat?” That would be rude and people are nicer than that. The assumptions they have about why I gained weight may be right. I really don’t know. So let’s briefly get this question out of the way. Why did I get fat?

Probably Because I Was Depressed

The short answer is: I don’t know. I really don’t. Maybe the tragic events that happened to the Patton family caused depression and anxiety. And maybe that caused some kind of chemical problem or hormonal thing. That seems reasonable to me. Or maybe people just revert back to their former selves. If you were fat when you were young, you will eventually be fat when you are older. Or maybe I just suddenly began to eat too much and exercise too little.

Don’t Laugh!

My weight controls everything. When you don’t want anyone to see you, you have a very limited social life, not to mention ministry. When you have no clothes that will stay up or will eventually flash your butt to others, what are your options? I don’t want to scare any children or make anyone have to go through the process of trying to be courteous and hold in their laughter.

Why I Don’t Accept Speaking Engagements

Why does it have to be so hard? I have been trying to lose this weight ever since I started gaining. I have read book after book on why we get fat. I have learned everything I can about this subject. I could teach a course on what the current understanding is of obesity and how to overcome it. I have been on every diet there is in the book. Eventually, I will figure it out or die trying. But being overweight is not the issue right now. The issue is how much it controls me when it should not. The issue is that I am completely controlled by what other people think of me. I am a Christian theologian who is supposed to know a lot and help people through their problems. Yet I sit at home all day, avoiding friends, family, and people at church just because I don’t like what they will think about me. I don’t accept teaching engagements because I am scared I won’t fit in the airplane seat and afraid they won’t recognize me when they pick me up from the airport (yes, that has happened).

My Prayer for the Last 6 Years

“Lord, please help me to lose this weight. But if you are not going to do this, why can’t you help me learn what you want me to learn in my current situation? If I am not going to be able to lose the weight, at least give me the strength and courage to live with it!!! Help me not to care what anyone thinks of me in this area. It is not about me. It is about You. Let them see my faith in You, not my timidity in myself.”

That is the essence of my prayer I have prayed a thousand times. This is the advice I would give to anyone in a similar situation. My hypocrisy is why I write this blog post. Not to admit I am fat and I hate being seen. But to admit I can’t even follow the Lord in this most basic way and put the Lord above the shame of myself. When I preach or teach, it is not about me. If I gained 500 pounds or set the world record for being overweight, what matters is who I am inside. And who I am inside right now is obviously not too great.

Pray for Me

Maybe this is part of the process. Maybe this is a good step. It is certainly a difficult step. I love the Lord and my aspirations go much further than this pride that you see represented here. I am not even close to letting up on my will to get in shape. I need to because it is right to be as healthy as one can. I don’t want to let myself go. Though my wife has been so kind and supportive of me, and my kids and sisters could not love me any less, I need to do this for them. I hope I change. Even if it is some divine miracle that I am staying fat (which I do not believe it is), I aspire to have my confidence be placed in who I am in the Lord and what He can do through me in spite of my weight and for that to be my first thought in everything. I see how prideful I am. I hate it. But I cannot stop trying to lose weight.

My Current Recent Progress

I have started a YouTube channel hoping that it will motivate me to not give up. I think I want you to subscribe to it. I suspect that if I acquire around 100 subscribers or so, I’ll feel more compelled to overcome moments of weakness. I inaugurated it a few months ago but haven’t been very active lately. I refrained from sharing it due to the perceived obligation it would impose. It’s somewhat ironic, as you’ll observe if you visit.

This year, I began using a CPAP machine, which has significantly helped, as I have lost nearly 100 pounds quickly (I had reached 420!). I had hopes that it would facilitate the shedding of all the excess weight, but it appears the remainder will require more rigorous effort.

Thank you for reading, and, albeit selfishly, I ask for your prayers that God guides me to transform into the person He envisions. I’m far from reaching that state.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    35 replies to "Physically Overweight and Spiritually Underweight: Chronicles of My Shame"

    • Alan

      Oh my. Understand that you are not alone. Except for some of the details I could have written something similar myself. I know that doesn’t fix anything. Those types of feelings aren’t often shared so we tend to suffer alone. Similar feelings and situations at times have overwhelmed me. You are in my prayers.

    • Ben Mordecai

      Michael, I have been thin, then fat, then thin again, then fat again, then fat and strong, and now lean and strong so I understand the struggle and I also understand the way that emotions can get tied up in the process.

      I wrote a guide for people looking to get started in fitness. I understand you have a background in fitness training, but sometimes it is helpful to have some “hand holding” while getting going.

      The goal here is to help people who know nothing and just want someone to tell them what to do to get results right away without a ton of vague answers like “it depends.”


    • Jacki B Surles

      Michael, dear friend, what courage to write this blog! I have shared your battle with fat all my life – the yo-yo syndrome is alive and well and I am 80, still battling the battle of fat!
      I know all too well the angst you feel. It isn’t an easy road to travel, this lonely road of shame and feeling of worthlessness. All the self-condemnation that goes on within the internal struggle at times leads to such despair.
      There is nothing I can say that you haven’t said to yourself a thousand times over. So, I am offering my prayers for you to find comfort in your struggle, and will be praying for you to continue in your courage – you will win this spiritual battle because I know Who is on your side. Keep moving forward, one step at a time, one pound at a time – you will overcome.
      Besides, just think – the battles you are facing now are making you strong for the job you will be given in the 1000 year reign! Now think about that! Blessings, J.

    • Maria Brush

      Michael, thank you for your transparency! Praying that you will be listening to your Heavenly Father’s voice and not the enemy’s, especially now that you have posted this.
      One of my Bible study nuggets was that when we voice our issue (whatever it may be), we receive freedom from being held captive by it…BUT GOD!

      Your Theology Program has been instrumental in my having a clearer understanding about God in every needful way – and you have my eternal gratitude for this. So, I humbly submit something that has been foundational for our physical transformation, in hopes it will be helpful for you.

      You will likely receive lots of suggestions (along with our prayers) in ‘how now’. We have found one that has made a difference, by a man whose story has similarities to yours…and also scientifically backed.

      https://www.facebook.com/thomas.delauer/photos/a.1431874407028777/1783777888505092/?type=3 You can find his videos on YouTube and perhaps start with the newer ones, as there have been some additional findings.

      This a just a starting point, with some simple takeaways. One of which is: break your fast with protein aprox 1 hour prior to your meal. There is also a mineral recipe to help your body during your fast. Surprisingly simple and certainly doable – we are a few years in and its just a regular way of life, even when not strictly followed.
      There is much to hear, and all of it is helpful.

      Praying with you and for you!

    • Linton Park

      Michael, I am praying for you. I am 5’6″ and weighed 200# a few months ago. I started eating only once a day and am now 170#. My goal is 160#. I also use a CPAP at night.

      • C Michael Patton

        Thank you!

        • Linton Park

          When I first grew from the 145# that I was for much of my life and people used to give me helpful advice, I would thank them but say that I will check with my Sumo coach first.

    • Edward G

      Hey, it is difficult when we find ourselves not where we want to be. Loosing weight is extremely difficult. Plenty of people support you, but instead I will leave a game plan for you to consider. As men it is our duty to put in the work, and just to be clear I believe in you. You can do this.

      Personally I struggled with weight my whole life, joined the Air Force. All of my PT tests were a pain to pass. Not because I couldn’t do enough pushups or do well on the run. My biggest issue was when we did the waist measurement. I was on the verge of failing my PT test and suffering the consequences that came with it. No amount of calories counting, working out, and eating a balanced diet was helping me loose weight. It only worked for the first 10 lbs and would slowly creep back up while my moral would plummet.

      One day I came across a guy on YouTube named Jason Fung and watched some of his content. I decided to implement what he was saying. Low carb and fasting. I lost about 50lbs in two months. Not only was my waist great for my PT test, but so were the rest of my numbers. During that time I completed a 14 day fast all while continuing to run every day and workout. Towards the end of that fast I got weak and I knew it was time to eat again. Another thing that fast did for me was remove my addiction to sugar, I can’t explain how impossible that was for me before. There was no stopping it for me.

      My advice food wise: Talk to a doctor to make sure you don’t hurt yourself before you try any of this. The fact of the matter is that I don’t know your medical situation and I am not a doctor. I also don’t want to get sued. Haha. — Look into the following: Jason Fung, fasting, carnivore (keto was ok, but I have since switched to hyper-carnivore which is a mix of veggies and carnivore and feel great).

      My advice workout wise: I was in an extreme situation, you don’t need to do what I did. Fasting and eating healthy will do most of the work, but you also need a workout plan. My advice, check out a guy called Mike Mentzer. His advice changed the way I worked out so much. I can go in the gym every week for 4 x 45 min sessions (this time can be far less than even this) and get a full workout for all of my muscles. The growth is better than anything I have ever experienced. — Also just start doing walking or hiking. Cardio is great, but you don’t need to go hard core right off. Just get your heart rate up and enjoy yourself. If you don’t enjoy yourself in doing these things… you will not continue to do it.

      Great books: Atomic Habits; Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins – I recommend you read both of them. The first one will give you a plan for change in general, the second will give you some motivation. Yes there are good Christian books out there, but there is also good information in non christian sources. Obviously filter out anything that is ungodly.

      Two concepts that you should be aware of:
      1. The Perado Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a concept that suggests that roughly 80% of the outcomes or results come from 20% of the causes or efforts.
      2. Parkinson’s Law is a humorous adage that states, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

      Keep those concepts in your head as you move forward. Richard Koch has a good book on the first principle and ways you would not even think about how it is applied. The second one I think is obvious, just try to set dead lines. It is ok to fail. It is ok to fail a lot. Just don’t fail slowly, fail rapidly to find out where you need to be. Once you figure out the time need to do something, keep it as short as you can to that deadline.

      Also, don’t forget to give yourself some emotional wins (for lack of a better way of saying it). Look in the mirror. Who is a boss, hustler, man after God’s heart, relentless, and loving. You are. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that. Yes you might have a loss. So what. Get back in the game, you got this! Self talk is important and must be positive. Yes accountability is very important, but you also have to be your own cheerleader. (By the way Extreme Ownership is a great book) Then after you loose 20 lbs. Reward yourself. Throw yourself a party. Give yourself a day on the couch. Something. Then… get back to work the next day. You got this!

      Life is hard, but as men we have to find other men to help build us up. (Iron sharpens Iron) I listen to a lot of great authors, like the ones mentioned, to help hold me up. Yes we need other good Christian men, but we also need masculine men to help push us to the next level. Again, filter out the bad advice, but as a Christian I think that goes without saying.

      I believe in you and praying for your success. Just like God provides for the birds, he provides for us. We just have to put in the work. The game plan, create small habits that get you there.

      (I imagine you can see the email for this comment, feel free to reach out. It is an Apple Hide-My-Email address, but I will still get the email. — Lot of advice here, but hopefully some of it can help. I know for a long time I didn’t know these things and it hurt me to not know.)

      • C Michael Patton

        Thanks so much! I’ve been following Jason Fung for quite some time. He actually is a guy that I trust more than anybody else. I read both of his books. It is great stuff.

    • Adam K

      Thank you for your honesty & vulnerability Michael. It moved me and has revealed a similar battle I am going through since injury has severely limited my ability to exercise, work or stay fit. Many layers of grief as the physical reality coincided with emotional hurts and abandonment by people who we trusted as friends and those we had ministered to among other things. Having to avoid much due to disability and pain, yet it goes far deeper – as you have said, shying away from people based in shame.
      I am hoping that I (and my family) are slowly merging from this valley, adjusting to new realities and ‘normals’, grappling with the issues of pride and not being able to be the same dad to my younger children that I would like, yet trying to submit to Him and being willing to serve Him whatever that looks like (and no matter the death to self it requires). I/we require His help, His strength, His perspective, His identity and, at times, His people.

      Good theology is one thing, but how we grapple and live it out is entirely another. I think of Psalms 51:6 (NLT) “But you desire honesty from the womb (alt heart / inner being), teaching me wisdom even there.”
      Well done in being willing to not ‘only’ be honest from the heart, but also showing the incredible strength to share publicly like you have done. The world needs to know how we grapple with real issues, walk out our faith through trials and rely on the only One who can truly sustain. We are not all Ned Flanders, though would genuinely love to be!
      In Him who first loved us.

      • C Michael Patton

        Thanks Adam. Thanks for being open as well! It is definitely a great need to know you are not alone.

    • Steve Rittgers

      Hey Michael – I just prayed for you. You’ll figure it out my friend. I have a saying when it comes to health and fitness, “The key to being healthy is to NEVER STOP STARTING OVER.”
      I’ve started over innumerable times. In fact, I started over today after coming off of an injury. And I’ve started over for less flattering reasons… poor diet, laziness, gluttony, emotional struggles, stress…
      But, I’ll never stop starting over. Today was a victory for me and you’ll have your day very soon. Maybe you already did.
      My dad once said to me while discussing fitness, “You’ll do it when you’re ready, you just will.”
      God bless you, Brother.

    • Mary Romero Duncan

      Awe Michael, I don’t weigh over 200 or anything but I do have tons of insecurities that I’ve had since childhood. I’ve heard if you do squats instead of running it will help you lose weight faster. I’m very happy that you’re dedicated to God. I am too. How’s my favorite teacher doing? She is still gorgeous. Don’t do any of those tricky lose weight pills. The weight will return. Slowly and surely you will get down to a comfortable size. I will pray for you and your family 🙏

    • Tom F

      I’m currently in the same situation of being fat -> in-shape -> back to fat. When I gained it back it was (I think) mostly due to stress. I had graduated seminary and was just exhausted and needed to rest, but then got forced back into action again due to an emergency and just gained weight unstoppably. Even though I maintained the same diet and activity levels as before that allowed me to maintain my previous weight for a number of years, nothing I did could stop the gain. I could not even fit into the clothes I wore to graduation 6 months later.

      During all this time I didn’t work a whole lot due to how exhausted I was. I mean I was basically running on adrenaline and stress chemicals instead of an actual energy source, like glucose. This more or less ruined all my post-seminary plans and has forced me to stay with my parents 4 years longer than I planned. To say I have been bitter and upset would be accurate. I was asking (and still do sometimes) all sorts of questions, like: what was the point of seminary if this is its result? Will I ever get back to normal? For that matter, what does normal feel like? Is this God’s way of telling me to abandon the whole ministry thing and do something else? And on and on the questions went.

      Then things picked up on the ministry front. And by “picked up” I mean I was able to find a small role (emphasis on small). It wasn’t much, but it was something. Now that role is poised to expand and that involves me leaving my little safe den that I hollowed out for myself and getting back out there and in community again.

      I also am currently 100+ pounds over my previous weight and it is definitely annoying. I was on Prozac for about a year (stopped a couple months ago in consultation with psychiatrist) and that finally got my parasympathetic nervous system to chill out. However, still have not been able to budge the scale weight, which is beyond frustrating for me. I am already 6’2 and have a hard enough time fitting into most things, like restaurant booths and airplane seats (even when I was at an appropriate weight I still hated flying due how uncomfortable the seating was), I don’t need the added weight as well making things an even tighter fit.

      I have, however, had a small but important victory: being able to maintain a workout schedule for 2 weeks. I used to always bonk at the end of week 2 when I had tried this in the recent previous years. This time though I managed to maintain it and have more energy compared to when I started. It feels good to feel good again and have some actual proof that finally things might change in the weight department.

      There are still things to do, like getting back into a routine and not staying up until 2a. But I have to say that I am lot more motivated and having much more initial success now with these other things than I did in past years where I just tried the brute force approach.

      So I guess if I had any advice it would be this: get that first victory. The road back to a “normal” weight is a long one and there are many steps on it. Break down that road into smaller segments and figure out the most basic one that you need to complete first. Once you get that first victory, that first success, even if it’s small, it can still be incredibly motivating and encouraging for you to continue the path.

      Also, I’ve found the Pro 5 shirts (available on Amazon) fit me pretty well and they have a large selection of regular and big and tall sizes. Having some shirts that fit was also quite helpful psychologically for me.

    • […] last blog caused me to lose some Patron supporters. This was due to the disappointment that I was not […]


      Thank you Michael I appreciate your authentic post, I think it benefits, the church body, I believe, especially in this day and age, that we all need to endorse a theology of “weakness” –

      Far too many people hide their vulnerability their weaknesses, due to shame, when I say far too many, I even mean myself, I will pray for you please pray for me to become increasingly more vulnerable, and to live with a theology of weakness

    • Eric Quek

      Part 1
      I am deeply moved by your openness and vulnerability. It’s not easy to articulate personal struggle, especially when they’re interwoven with deep-seated emotions, societal perceptions, and self-worth.
      Your story resonates because it encapsulates a universal struggle— the tension between who we are, who we think we should be, and who we think others want us to be.
      The narrative you shared is less about the physical weight and more about the emotional weight you carry. Many people wrestle with the question of self-worth and how it’s tied to societal standards, be it beauty, success, or other metrics. For you weight has become the symbolic metric by which you measure your self-worth. And here is the truth: You are not your weight. You are not your past. You are not others’ perceptions.
      You mentioned your fear about what others might think of you now versus before. It’s essential to realize that while people might have thoughts or reactions based on your appearance, their thoughts are fleeting. Most individuals are too wrapped up in their own lives, fears, and insecurities to dwell on someone else’s. Those that genuinely knows and loves you will see beyond the physical. They’ll remember the heart behind the words you speak, the love you’ve shown, and the character you’ve displayed
      Your relationship with God is deeply personal, and from your words, it’s evident that you are reaching out for clarity, strength, and peace. Faith is not about being perfect, it’s about the journey and the growth that comes from struggle.
      Focus on your health—spiritual, mental and physical. Live a live full of vigor, be a hedonistic Christian, strive for eudemonia, with the eventual goal of reaching boffo as God intended for us.
      Please know that you are not alone in your struggles. Many empathize with your feelings and hope for your peace and happiness. Your courage in sharing this narrative may also be the beacon of hope and solidarity someone else needed to see.

    • Eric Quek

      Part 2
      Focusing on the ESSENTIALS of Life while on Earth
      1 Corinthians 6:19
      There exists a profound synergy between our spiritual and physical well-being. While the world is flooded with a plethora of advice, our goal here is to distill the Essentials, the crux of well-being.
      The CDC reports that over 40% of Americans are obese. Put it another way, every third person you might encounter could be classified as obese. But what does obesity mean in real terms, and why should we be concerned?
      Obesity is defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. It’s essential, however, go beyond the numbers.
      1. Metabolic dysfunction. Not every individual who falls under the “obese ”category is metabolically unhealthy, and similarly, not every lean individual is a beacon of health. It’s crucial to understand this nuance. Some obese individuals might be perfectly healthy metabolically, reflecting good blood pressure, cholesterol, and fasting glucose. Data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease underscores this: there are about 33 million non-obese yet metabolically Unhealthy, while 67 million are obese with metabolic syndrome.
      2. FATPHOBIA. Western culture is notorious for its aversion to body fat. While excess fat might not align with popular aesthetic standards, it’s essential to differentiate between various fat types. Subcutaneous fat, often found in what may lovingly refer to as “love handles” plays an important role in metabolic health.
      3. Visceral fat. This is the hidden antagonist, hidden deep within wrapping around vital organs like liver, pancreas, heart, kidneys. This fat is clinked closely to metabolic syndrome and poses significant health risks.
      4. Insulin resistance. Chronic fluctuation of blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance. This constant roller-coaster eventually exhausts the pancreas, setting the stage for several health issues.
      5. THE HOLY TRINITY OF HEALTH: (Doing injustice here due to oversimplification)
      • Exercise: Enhance your mitochondrial function (powerhouses of our cells) by embracing the early morning sunshine’s near-infrared rays. A simple indicator o gauge the intensity of your workout is the talk test: at your upper limit, you should just about manage a conversation. This is zone 2 so aim for a heart rate around for you start around 60-70% of your maximum (which is approximately 220-age)
      • Nutrition: The world of nutrition can be a maze. But here is a simplified guide: Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Refined carbs to avoid include items like potato chips, pizza, breakfast cereals, sodas, sugary drinks like Gatorade, ketchup, BBQ sauce etc. Instead, opt for whole foods: choose orange over orange juice, indulge in non-starchy veggies like spinach, broccoli, consume high quality protein and fats like eggs, chicken breast.

      • Sleep: Prioritize sleep as it plays a pivotal role in both short- and long-term health. Clean you CPAP routinely especially the filters. Regular sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, impair your cognitive function and increase the risk of serious health conditions. Change those LED lights to good old fashion candescent light bulbs as they mess your circadian rhythm.
      In essence, the Trinity of Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep forms the cornerstone of holistic health.

    • Joe Thomas

      Thank you for your honesty, and I am sorry that some are abandoning you. It won’t help you to talk about gluttony – you already feel bad enough. Praying for you right now, and wishing you all the best.

    • Joe S

      Michael, tough story. I applaud your honesty and candor.

      A lot of advice on the board. Here’s mine, take it or leave it. Walk everyday. Walk for no less than 45 minutes. Walk with your wife and/or walk with your kids. If the dog comes along, fine, but walk with your wife and/or your kids. Try not to walk alone. Don’t skip. It will get cold outside soon. Bundle up and walk.

      There are a lot of people praying for you brother. You, and your ministry, are strategic. You are a target. Walk forward and walk confidently. Love you brother.

    • David Busby

      Wow! I just saw this. Truth is hard to hear yet, so good to be real. Life is hard Christian or not.
      I just turned 60. I’ve been under and over 300 lbs for over 20 years now.
      The struggle is real brother. I feel you.
      We’ve spoken before. You encouraged me while you were doing better.
      Health issues seem to be the primary motivator for me behaving foodwise.
      Still trying everything , keto, carnivore, lemonade fast., intermitent…
      I’ll pray for you. 🙏

    • Keith from Leeds

      Hello Michael,
      I have no idea how to help you, so all I can say is stop beating yourself up for being human. Don’t worry about what people think of you. They are too busy thinking about themselves. Who cares how big you are if you are preaching the gospel? If you look back at God’s servants, many had serious problems. David was a murderer and adulterer, yet God called him a man after my own heart! Isaiah was told to preach naked for 3 years ( Isa 20.1 – 3 ).
      There is no perfect Christian, we can only do our best. Perhaps if you stop worrying about it the weight will come off. I will add my prayers to those of your other supporters. God loves you but do you love yourself?

    • JulieAnn Smith

      Hi Michael ~ Thank you for your vulnerability and transparency. This is *exactly* how the enemy is defeated – you are choosing to turn your mess into a message and by doing so you are shining God’s light into the darkness of our struggles. That is a victory, no matter what the scale might say!

      Praying for you and your ministry, which I support. 🙂

      In Him,


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