Fat and Faithful was given to me for review by Frontgate
Fat and Faithful author, J. Nicole Morgan, grew up fat and loving Jesus. She saw her weight as her biggest spiritual flaw. That made me sad when I read this. How can being overweight be a spiritual flaw? When I discussed this with my daughter, she immediately answered, “Gluttony Mom.” I was again taken aback and thought I should spend some time in prayer over this.
I felt a lot of resistance as I read Fat and Faithful. It brought up issues I have experienced over the past 20 years becoming 100 pounds ‘too much’. Over the past year I have shed 50+ of those pounds and am working on the other 50. Never once did I feel that these extra pounds were my biggest spiritual flaw. Is there some skewed thinking here? Reading and praying…
From the book’s sales page at Fortress Press, “In Fat and Faithful, she shares her journey from body shame to fat acceptance and shows us how to care for the image of God found in every body–including our own. When the world tells us that our bodies are too much, J. Nicole Morgan reminds us that all people–no matter their size or ability–are beloved of God. Bodies of all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities are expressions of the body of Christ. When our first prayer isn’t about changing our bodies, we create space to care for our neighbors and to celebrate the unique ways we are equipped to serve our communities in the bodies we have. Fat and Faithful shows us that the world is wider than the size of our waistline.”
Nicole tells of the Fat Acceptance (FA) Movement that advocates for various rights for fat people. SHe writes, “The prevailing narrative in the church is that we honor our bodies, our temples, by making them thin (and presumably healthy).” She goes on to note that, “This theology is influential” to people who decide who gets a job, who can rent an apartment, who can give you grades or a chance to excel. Heady stuff to pray about. “Honoring our bodies is not the same things as being thin,” she states.
Anti-fat Bias is a recurring theme and helps differentiate between gluttony and fatness. Her courage to embrace herself and her body is to be commended. My favorite section of the book is the Appendix, which give resources for people who want to learn, understand, accept, and teach others about fat shaming and fat acceptance.