I’ve really procrastinated writing this particulate blog entry as well as delaying its post. But I’m blessed to have a husband that believes in me and has held me to task, so here it goes…..
Does the world hate fat people? I don’t think so. I have a little more faith in humanity, but I do think there is a general uncomfortableness and aversion. At worst, there is a widespread disapproval. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we have all felt that sense of dread when an obese person is assigned to the seat next to us on the plane. We have felt disgusted when watching the overweight friend or family member overindulged in pizza, sweets or soda. Repeatedly our society has portrayed being fat as a death sentence or personal choice. There is certainly some truth in that, but it’s not the whole truth. Biology, genetics, illnesses, and social/emotional factors also contribute to being overweight and some of these issues are not within our control. Lastly, not all thin people are healthy and not all overweight people are unhealthy.
The aforementioned being acknowledged, it’s important to focus on the weight and health factors which we can realistically control. One of those factors is our relationship with food and exercise.
Somewhere along the way my relationship with food went astray. I spent my twenties and thirties battling illness and struggling with infertility. Step parenting has involved more stress and compromise than I could have ever imagined. On the road from thirty to forty I have found myself 50 lbs heavier. Yes, I said it – 50 lbs!
Sure, I have some medical reasons for weight gain. Let me give you the list: total hysterectomy, auto-immune and thyroid disease. That may account for the first 15 lbs, but the rest is all about my relationship with food. I hate that I have a “relationship” with food. Food is nourishment; it should not be my friend. For me, this “relationship” started with my disease and infertility in my mid-twenties. During the past fifteen years food somehow became my friend who celebrated with me when I was happy, cried with me when I was sad, and kept me company when I was lonely. Food went from being sustenance which fueled my body to sustenance which fueled everything.
As a Christian I believe that our bodies are a temple of God and that the Holy Spirit lives within me. COR 3:16
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
Now, I’m not a complete narcissist; I know that St. Paul is not referencing my weight in his first letter to the Corinthians! St. Paul is reminding us that in the Old Covenant – God was in a Temple (building). Now through our New Covenant in Jesus Christ – God is now in every Church (both local and Universal) and in every individual Christian person. This makes not only our Churches Temples, but our human bodies Temples as well. It is because of scripture that I know the Holy Spirit dwells within me. I know that I am made in the image and likeness of God in body and soul. I know that I share in the love of the most Holy Trinity.
If my body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit then is it a sin for me to be fat? Put simply no. Fatness is not a sin, but gluttony and sloth are. Some would argue that gluttony and sloth make fatness sinful, but I disagree for the reasons I outlined in the first paragraph of this blog post. Fatness is not always a result of gluttony and sloth and even if it is, one is not always in a state of gluttony and sloth (even if they are in the condition of fatness). I would however whole heartedly endorse that we are morally obligated to take care of our bodies; and this is where I consistently fall short.
The question I have been asking myself is this: Am I going to waste this gift of my body or make use of it? I’ve decided that I want to use this body that the Lord has given me in a way which is honoring to Him. This means being honest and sharing my struggle with you. I’m sure there are many Christians, both men and women, who share my unhealthy relationship (and dare I say addiction) to food. Thankfully, others have overcome; I hope these folks can offer some guidance.
My food journey is similar to my faith journey in that I know I will have success, fail, repent and try again. I sincerely and humbly ask for your prayers so that I may:
- Make known the Holy Spirit which lives within me.
- Put food back in its proper place.
- Use some of the tools recently acquired from a clean living coach to obtain health and fuel from my food.
- Be a healthier example to my friends and family.
- Use my body and soul in ways which are honoring to Christ.
- Bring my temptations to Christ and meditate on His Passion.
- Use this journey towards health to bring me closer to Christ.
All this I will pray for you too; LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.