I was chatting with an old friend when out of the blue she told me she’d heard that so-and-so had gotten “fat.” I bristled. She obviously didn’t know how mad these words would make me and I bit my lip. “What do you mean?” I asked. She repeated her statement again. I only vaguely knew the person she was referring to, but I did know the woman had gone through two life crises, one life threatening, and she’d survived. Most would see her strength and consider her a warrior.

Funny thing, I am about the size of the woman who was being called “fat.” Now I know I’m no spring chicken and yes, I’m over my ideal weight, but for someone to call someone else “fat” is not only mean, it also shows a lack of empathy.

Few have the chemical makeup to not have to worry about gaining weight. Some work their butts off to keep weight off. Others go to drastic measures to fight the fight and yet, there are those who have accepted who they are and are happy, extra weight and all. But let’s be honest, there are many who struggle every day when they look in the mirror.

Is this personal? Yes.

As a wardrobe consultant, I’m with women all the time. I see the tears, the battles, and the hurts these types of insensitive words have caused. I see women working so hard at work and working hard at home, often at cost to themselves. Most don’t have time for a gym workout, let alone a marathon.

Yeah, I realize the arguments that could be made here for good health and self-worth and on and on, but let’s be real.

We tell ourselves we are more tolerant than the last generation. We get mad and post blurbs on Facebook saying, “No more bullying.” But, what are we saying in our private conversations? What are we saying in front of our kids? Words like “fat,” “slow,” “ugly,” — you fill the blank, these words are telling to the attitudes of our heart. Bullying doesn’t just happen; it’s a learned behavior.

I ask you to join me this week to listen to our conversations and think about the words we are paying forward.

Matthew 15:18, NLT:

But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you.