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How can God redeem and save my life if he’s not even able to help me maintain a healthy weight?

Somehow, my body is sizable enough to undermine the power of the Gospel.

Women, on the other hand, have narrowed down their lists primarily to non-negotiables: growing in the Lord, bathing regularly. When getting to know a guy, I like to hint at my weight loss journey (truly a lifelong battle — I remember being on a self-induced diet when I was only 8), because it seems the only kind of tolerable fat person is the one who’s not okay being fat, the one who despises it as much, if not more, than everyone else.

I’m sure much of what I’m writing will feel familiar to others struggling with weight, regardless of their faith walk.

Only with those who consume three slices of pizza at Bible study and weigh significantly more than a chart demands can we assume gluttony is the secret sin. And yet these factors are rarely considered when a well-meaning friend sends me a link to the latest fad diet or a man avoids my eye as he announces to the waitress that no, we won’t be dessert.

[Not what I expected from my interfaith marriage: One teen is Christian, the other Jewish] Often I think others identify me by three adjectives, and always in this order: fat, single, Christian.

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We don’t like to look closely at this fact, especially inside the walls of the church where we hope to find less superficial dating criteria than one’s pant size, but the surplus of single, godly, intelligent plus-size women speaks to reality.

This problem only seems to be magnified by another byproduct of conservative Christian culture: the pressure to be married.

As a single woman, I have often felt like an outlier in the church.

But what’s particular to more traditional believers is the conviction that my weight reveals some evidence of spiritual trouble. Therefore, to be fat is a sin because many believe to be fat is to be a living, breathing testament to overindulgence or lack of self-restraint.

To be fat is to be a bad witness for Christ — or so I’ve heard some pastors preach.

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