Once upon a time on the outskirts of New York City there was a small wood-framed house. It was located on the poorer side and riches were seldom seen. No one drove new cars or wore fine apparel.
Inside the house lived Melba and her son Jacob. Life was cruel for Melba had to work seven days a week to provide for herself and her son. Jacob was three when his father left them and they had never heard from him since that time.
When Jacob was five Melba noticed that he had gained so much weight she could no longer find or afford his clothes. Jacob was so ashamed of his size and his clothes he refused to go to school. All the other boys and girls made fun of him and called him “The Meat Beast”! The pain was too much for Jacob so he was allowed to be home schooled by his mother.
Melba went grocery shopping on Saturday’s and stocked the refrigerator as best she could with good foods for Jacob to eat when she was working. She always left him money just in case he needed something. Guilt was no stranger to Melba. She worked at the local hospital during the week cleaning and at a massage parlor on weekends. There were no vacations and no days off.
Each day Jacob visited the fast food restaurants leaving with bags of cheeseburgers and French fries. Each day he gained a few more pounds. By the time he became a teenager he was a prisoner in his own dwelling. He slept upon a mattress on the floor and watch television all day and all night.
His mother felt so sorry for him that she visited the dietician at the hospital for literature to help Jacob eat properly. She purchased foods that she knew would be good for him. Yet he continued to have neighbors bring him cheeseburgers and French fries daily. He sold everything he owned to buy food. All he had left was his mattress, the television and his computer. The computer was his only outlet to the world and no one could see what a whale of a monster he had become.
One day Jacob was trying to bathe himself and he looked at himself in the tall mirror on the wall. Tears ran down his face as he gazed upon the pounds of fat hanging like balloons from his body. He could not even bathe himself for he could not get into and out of the shower. He could not reach parts of his body that lay hidden beneath the deposits of fat. Blisters broke out underneath the globs of fat and the stench was disgusting to Jacob. He was still too embarrassed to have anyone give him a bath.
Finally one day his mother spoke with a doctor at the hospital and asked him to come to her house. She wanted him to help Jacob lose weight for Jacob had lost the will power on his own. Dr. Cornell from the hospital came one night while Melba was working. He saw the mattress on the floor and the enormous size of Jacob.
“If you will work with me, I will help you. If you do not do just as I tell you then you will die right there on that mattress.” He spoke firmly.
Jacob agreed and the battle began. Jacob began the decline from seven hundred pounds downward. All the neighbors were informed they could only bring fruits and salads. No cheeseburgers or fried fast foods were allowed in the house.
“I can’t live like this any longer. I cannot even give myself a bath. If I do not change I will never be able to love a woman nor have children. I will die fat and alone. I am a food addict and I will do whatever I have to do to change the way I look.” He screamed out tearfully.
Time passed and after one year Jacob had lost almost one hundred pounds. Dr. Cornell was delighted but kept the pressure on watching Jacob continuously. Addictions are very hard to break, even food addictions.
Two years passed and Jacob weighed four hundred pounds still much more than he would accept.
The battle raged on day and night.
Finally after four years Jacob stepped upon the scales and looked at the numbers, three, zero, zero. His smile met Dr. Cornell’s smile. They were winning the battle. Now Jacob could walk and exercise. He would wear clothes and go outside.
“I’d like to tell all those young people out there how ugly being obese is. Your friends may tell you that you look ok but they do not want to hurt your feelings. The truth is they are hurting you by not being honest and getting you help. Don’t wait until you become a whale of a beast to fight back. Get help and get it quickly!” He wrote to his computer friends. They were his friends only because they had never seen his size. They could not see where he slept or the clothes he wore.
Jacob continues the fight against his food addiction. He is winning daily and he wants you to win with him. If you have an addiction of any kind, don’t be too proud to ask for help. There are those who will help you. Be a winner not a Meat Beast or Drug Addict!!! God did not give you a spirit of fear but of love and peace and a sound mind. Use what God gave you! Do it starting TODAY!! Gluttony is a sin!
When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,
2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.
3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.
Question: What does gluttony mean?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved
Story is true but names have been changed.