Even As I Sin

by David Padfield

In 1984 a debate was held in Indianapolis, Indiana on the subject of forgiveness. One brother affirmed that Christians are forgiven "even as they sin." This view led to a lax attitude towards sin and minimized the need of genuine repentance. I dug into my archives and retrieved this satirical article I back penned in 1987.

The winter months have never been a good time for my waistline. After Christmas dinner I make Orson Wells look like a famine victim. Last year I finally decided to do something about my weight problem. I joined Weight Watchers.

I was a bit nervous at the first meeting. After going through the dreaded doors I realized there were many people just like me (i.e., fat). After paying my dues they put me on the scales. The scales stopped spinning at 235 pounds. After consulting a weight chart they concluded I was 65 pounds overweight. They set my goal at 170.

After filling out all the necessary paperwork, I was introduced to our instructor. She appeared to be genuinely concerned about my health. She sat down with me and explained their guide book—a list of foods that were "legal" with the Weight Watchers plan. I could tell my instructor was sincere and had a very good knowledge of the plan.

During the first week I lost nine pounds. I was so proud when I stepped up on those scales! I could just visualize how handsome I would be when I reached my goal of 170. It was quite an incentive to stay on the diet. During the first month I shed 24 pounds of ugly fat—only 41 pounds to go!

My first setback came during the fifth week. On Monday, some of my coworkers invited me to go out to lunch with them. I had tried to avoid this group during lunch because I knew their diet was different than mine. When I told them I had changed my eating habits, some of them laughed. I knew deep down inside they all respected me. They could see the change in my waistline. One of my coworkers told me they went to a restaurant that had a nice salad bar. I was thrilled when I realized I could go with them and stay on my diet! I made a fantastic salad that day, one my instructor would be proud of. I went out to lunch with my coworkers every day that week. I couldn't wait till Friday evening when I weighed in at our meeting. But something strange happened—I gained three pounds! I couldn't understand it. My instructor asked me what I had been eating. Come to find out, all of those salads were topped with Blue Cheese dressing (90 calories per tsp.). No one had ever told me that Blue Cheese dressing was "illegal" at Weight Watchers. My instructor said that information was in my book, but somehow I had overlooked it. I promised myself I would never eat "illegal" foods again.

My third month was as still one of progress. I was well on my way to reaching my goal of 180 pounds (170 was very unrealistic).

A major turning point came during the fourth month. I was on my way home from work one evening when my car broke down. I went into a Dairy Queen to call AAA. They told me it would be 40 minutes before the wrecker could get to me. I decided to stay at Dairy Queen and wait. After staring at the menu behind the counter for about 15 minutes, I gave in. In a moment of weakness I ordered a Hot Fudge Brownie Delight. At first I felt a twinge of guilt, but after all, I'm just human. As I was attacking the last brownie I felt someone tap me on my shoulder. To my shame, it was my instructor! She saw my car on the road and just stopped in to see if she could help.

I dreaded our next meeting. I could just feel others staring at me. I told them what had happened. How in a moment of weakness I destroyed two weeks of dieting. Several people came to comfort me. They explained this type of thing is rather common. After all, we're just human. They made me realize that I'm still a Weight Watcher, even though I do slip sometimes. Being a good Weight Watcher is an attitude towards food. They told me I was a Weight Watcher "even as I ate" that Hot Fudge Brownie Delight.

They told me if a man had been a good Weight Watcher for 20 years and yet, in a moment of weakness, he started eating a Banana Split, then choked on one of the bananas and died, he still would have been a Weight Watcher. This was the only Banana Split he had in 20 years! You would not discount all of his dieting just because of one minor slip-up.

After nine months on the plan, I continued toward my goal of 190 pounds (180 was unrealistic, and besides, I have big bones).

A McDonald's restaurant opened up next to my office about two months ago. Through my own weakness I fell victim to a Big Mac attack a few times (about three a week). But my attitude is still that of a Weight Watcher.

I have put on a few pounds recently (27 to be exact). The other day a good friend of mine called me "fat." Can you imagine that? And who is he to judge me anyway? He just doesn't know my attitude of heart. Besides, I'm just a weak and hungry human!

Regardless of what men might say, I am going to keep on working at my weight. I am now only 17 pounds away from reaching my new goal of 225 pounds.

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