Overweight or Undertall?
“The bravest person is the one who overcomes his own desires
more so than the person who conquers his enemies;
for the hardest victory is the victory over self.”
Being satisfied with less than our best is the latest trend. Have you ever heard (or said) the following? “I may be overweight, but I’m not as big as her…overweight is normal…God doesn’t care about my weight-He only cares about what’s inside…skinny people are annoying…my metabolism is slow, I can’t lose no matter how hard I try…I don’t have time to work out…my family makes me keep tempting foods around and I can’t resist!”
Sadly for many of us, the more weight we pack on, the more we seem to justify it and get comfortable with it. And Christians-we who should to be the healthiest, most free, and most self-controlled-are no different. We don’t want to deal with this out-of-control area. At least it’s not alcoholism or a sex addiction, right?
I’ve thought this through for years…just how does God feel about all of this? Does He care? Is there a balance between living to eat on one extreme and living for the way you look on the other? I go back to the Garden of Eden and I can’t imagine an overweight Adam and Eve. Although it may have followed soon thereafter since the very first sin revolved sneaking unnecessary food. I truly believe that God made people with an innate desire to be thin, healthy, and fit. Of course, some people take it to the extreme and center their lives around their body image. You can take any good thing and twist it for the wrong purposes. It’s all about motives (heart), and balance. I want to be fit to glorify God. I want to show God that eating food and gratifying my fleshly desires is not more important to me than Him. I also want to show people that God is my first passion and that I am free in Christ. I want people to notice that I am free and then want to know my secret–to learn how to let God be their first passion, too.
When I was a kid–a couple years ago–overweight people were unusual. Now it is practically the opposite. In Old Testament times, whenever God’s people had a period of rest and prosperity, they invariably pursued idolatry in the form of overeating (among others). Undisciplined, gluttonous, and rebellious behavior went hand in hand. Notice Deuteronomy 32:15 “But Israel soon became fat and unruly; the people grew heavy, plump, and stuffed! Then they abandoned the God who had made them; they made light of the Rock of their salvation.”
Freedom comes with a price but ends in satisfaction and peace. Bondage appears free at first, but ends in emptiness and steals your life away.
Contrary to popular opinion (I’ve asked this as an interview question to many Christians), being overweight due to excessive eating is a very serious issue to God. Why? Because overeating, just like any addiction, is really a spiritual problem. Our outward appearance can reveal areas of captivity and can be an indicator of what’s going on in the heart. Some possible areas of captivity related to overeating (you must search your own heart with God’s help): Pride. Idolatry. Spiritual independence. Unbelief.
“I [God] took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, then you became proud and forgot me.” Hosea 13:5-6
BUT!!! Here’s the awesome thing. Doing things God’s way isn’t as scary, hard, or depriving as you might think, especially in the long run. By asking you to submit this area of your life to Him, God isn’t trying to keep something from you. He’s NOT trying to make your life miserable or take away your fun. Quite the opposite. He’s trying to make you FREE!! He wants you to submit your addictions to Him so He can release you from bondage and oppression!
I know if you’re struggling with food, you aren’t at peace on the inside, because I’ve been there. That’s the way I lived for 35+ years. There really is a better way and I’m going to give you all the help I can in getting free from this monster that especially plagues women (all the way since the garden of Eden). Take heart. You truly can get to the point where food no longer controls your life. And by the way, as you begin to apply and live out a fit lifestyle, pass it along to your family. Encourage them to be fit and balanced–they’ll thank you forever!
Freedom isn’t the absence of temptation.
Freedom is the victory over temptation.
Here’s a profound yet simple way to look at eating. This is taken from author and fitness expert, Dino Nowak www.espfitness.com in an interview I did with him last year (2005). If you have a car, and you fill the gas tank and park it in the garage, you aren’t going to need to keep putting more gas in the tank because it will overflow. But if you take the car out of the garage and drive it around a lot, you will use up the gas and then you’ll need to fill it.
It’s the same with your body. If you eat and then sit around doing nothing, you’re not using up much fuel so you can’t keep filling up the tank until you use what’s there. Otherwise, it overflows and turns into fat. An active lifestyle will keep using fuel but you’ll want to wait to fill your tank until it’s getting close to empty. The more exercise and activity, the more quickly you use up your fuel. They key is, wait to fuel up until your body has used up what’s there.