“You big fat tub of lard!” John was in a lousy mood and as usual he used it as an excuse to humiliate her because of her weight. He had had an especially bad day and now his wife Josie was a convenient target for his wrath.
“You’re disgusting!” he continued. “Just looking at you makes me want to puke.”
Josie looked down and started to cry quietly. This was always the worst time of day for her, the time when she had to undress and get ready for bed. She would usually try to change in the privacy of the bathroom, but she still had to come out sooner or later and let him see her huge body under the folds of her silk nightgown.
He would look at her angrily, as if it were a personal insult to be married to such an unattractive fat woman. Then he would hurriedly get into bed and turn on his side facing away from her, trying to ignore her very presence.
She would switch off the light and climb in too, pulling the covers up to her neck to hide herself. Then she would suffer in silence, taking care not to make any noise when she cried so he wouldn’t hear her. Sometimes she had to take a sleeping pill to help her fall asleep.
She was a stay-at-home mom and the dreariness of her daily existence had induced her to gain weight year after year. She had been plump even when they got married, but at that time she was a young, sexy brunette who was still able to arouse her husband. Now, after twenty years of marriage, she had gradually ballooned to well over 400 pounds; she had nothing better to do all day than watch cheesy soap operas and shovel food into her mouth at every available opportunity.
Her husband, on the other hand, had more or less kept his youthful figure, aside from an insignificant little bulge of fat that had developed around his middle. He was an asshole, but a good-looking one, and even though he was now into his forties, the women at his office still found him an attractive catch.
He often came home late, telling Josie that he was swamped with extra work or that he had stopped at the gym for a workout. He often looked as though he had indeed had a workout, but Josie doubted that it was at the gym. She was no fool, but what could she do about it? She was a shy, quiet person and not the kind to make a scene or challenge her husband. So she swallowed her pride, along with the doughnuts, cookies, chocolate cake, and everything else she used to comfort herself.
Once she had read in the tabloid she got from the supermarket about a jealous housewife in Texas who had chopped off her husband’s cheating dick with a meat cleaver. “A Longhorn No Longer” or something similar had been the lurid headline. It was a fascinating idea, but she knew she could never bring herself to do something so gruesome.
He never hit her, but the constant verbal abuse about her weight was worse than a beating. Sometimes Josie thought he was actually glad she was so fat because it gave him a reason to disgrace and belittle her. If it weren’t my weight, he’d find something else to harp on, she thought.
Besides the food, the only thing that gave her some solace was her spiritual life. She had been raised in a religious household and she continued to pray devoutly, especially late at night in bed.
That night after her husband’s latest verbal lashing she prayed silently and tearfully. “Oh please, dear Jesus, if it be thy will, remove this burden from me. Take this fat from me and cast it away from my presence. Be pleased, oh Lord, to deliver me. Make haste, oh Lord, to help me. When I wake up tomorrow morning, please let me weigh only . . . ”
She paused to consider her options. 120 pounds was probably asking too much, and at 200 pounds she would still be too fat. She decided on a compromise. “Please let me weigh only 150 pounds!” It seemed like a reasonable request. Surely the One who had turned water into wine could manage to melt some excess poundage away from his humble maidservant’s body.
She fell asleep and slept soundly, confident that her Lord would not forsake her.