Corpulence . . .

We all have them in our lives, in one form or another. People who are dear to us, sorely in need of our help. We know that they need to hear the truth, but we withhold it, falsely believing that it would do more harm than good.  

How much worse would it be if we later found out that the withheld information could have turn the tide from despondent and depressive thinking, if only we had had the courage to tell our loved ones what they needed to hear, as opposed to what they wanted to hear.  

Incalculable number of husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers lament and wish they would have been more outspoken and forceful being a harbinger, and prognosticator as opposed to sympathizing with the ne’er-do-well, who gladly uses any excuse for their plethora of ailments caused by their corpulence. 

What is even more startling and hard for loved ones to fathom is the ardent belief that individuals in this obese state cling to that their myriad of maladies are attributed to something else. They scorn and look upon the medical professionals they seek help from with disdain, when they are told that he or she cannot find anything wrong with them. 

I speak from experience and will not expound on the matter further for brevity of space. I have chronicled my fitness journey “A Little Exercise Woudn’t Hurt” and know firsthand the superfluity of excuses one uses when one is unable to face the true nature of their condition. 

Loved ones and well-meaning friends can be unknowingly cruel when attempting not to profess the truth. My own daughter, years ago, when describing me to her mother, “I always know when daddy’s coming. First you see daddy’s belly, and then you see daddy.” 

Her assertion coupled with what my doctor’s declaration about exercising emboldened me to begin my fitness journey. Had I been fortuitous to overhear my daughter’s comment or perhaps she had meant for me to hear. In any case, statements such as the aforementioned, and a slew of others more subtle from loved ones, coworkers, and well-meaning friends are pelted at unsuspecting corpulent individuals, through the guise of joviality. 

The truth hurts, so rather than declare the obvious, loved ones and well-meaning friends utter some of the following statements . . . 

“Nonsense, there is more of you for me to love.” 

“You’re not big, you just have big bones.” 

“I wouldn’t say you’re fat, just pleasingly plump.” 

“Honey, do you really need that piece of cake?” 

I have warned my daughters to guard against statements such as the one listed above. Perhaps some are content with their portly demeanor, while others suffer in silent agony at their inability to lose weight. Why are some motivated to make a change while others are not? 

In my case I had to face the inevitable conclusion, I did not like the way I looked in the mirror, and it drove me to do something about it. My younger daughter had surpassed her mother in weight, and was coming precipitously closed to equaling mine, when she beseeched me to help her. 

The young woman she blossomed into, now brimming with confidence, after shedding over fifty-pounds has been a startling transformation.  

If we truly desire to help the people we care about and love, we would not try to appease them with superfluous mendacities about their corpulence and simply tell them the truth. It will hurt their feelings, and if they choose to never speak to us again, but ultimately do something about their obesity, it’s a price we should be willing to pay for their health and well-being. 

Bradley Booth