Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Journey: Accepting that I must be a good steward of my body

As I moved farther along the road of this weight-loss last year, something occurred to me.

I would see these stories of men and women who so misused their food and completely ignored the warning signs of impeding danger happening in their bodies that eventually they became so morbidly obese that they would have to be cut out of their houses and hauled in special vehicles that could handle their weight to the nearest hospital that could handle the catastrophic damage they had incurred on their bodies.

Those stories left such an impact on me and I began pondering how and why such things could happen.
When most of these men and women reached a certain size, their poor bones just couldn't bear the weight anymore and they were often confined in an enormous bed in their living rooms.  I wondered how they continued to be able to eat.  I mean, if they couldn't walk, who was bringing the food to them??
Usually a family member.  And if that family member balked because they could see the danger this large person was in, that person would get extremely manipulative with them, and they obviously gave in to the large person's demands.  Obviously......I mean, how else could they sustain themselves?

So I began thinking......
"Is this really what God intended when He created our bodies?"

Why did God design our bodies they way He did?
Why did He create us with the need to consume food?  Such an enjoyable experience, most of the time.
Did He mean for us to literally feed ourselves to death?
Did He intend for us to use our food as a best friend?  A comfort in emotional times?  A way of escaping the boredom or stress or frustrations of the day?

Isn't that what He wants to be to us?
Shouldn't we find all our needs met in our relationship with our Heavenly Father?
Doesn't He want to meet all our needs?
Certainly He didn't intend for us to have a relationship with our food!!

Did He intend for us to just allow ourselves to slip into apathy, fatigue, and ill-health?

Now please don't think that I'm missing that some people have lots of things that are completely out of
their control that cause them to be unable to take good care of themselves.
I know there are single Moms out there who literally have no time for themselves between the needs of their children, their job, and their home.
I get that some people have illnesses that confine them at home when they would much rather
be out walking and getting some exercise!
That's NOT what I'm talking about.

I was just thinking about me.  
I learned that emotional eating is not just eating when you're sad.
Boredom, loneliness, and stress are all emotions too.
Three years ago, things were stressful in my life, but I had no IDEA the tidal wave of life that was about to be coming at me.
It happens.
But I wondered if the way I had responded to everything was what God has intended.
I only have this one body.
I don't have another chance.
Only one shot.
This is it.
How am I using it?
Am I taking the best care of it (this body) as I can?
I know that I cannot prevent every form of illness to come into my life.

No amount of vitamins, supplements, exercise, visits to the chiropractor, refusing to eat anything that is not hormone, chemical, or cage-free, tofu eating, or vegan dieting can prevent something that God has written into the appointment book of my life from happening to me.
But I do believe that He expects us to take care of the gifts He has given us.
I really think that our Intelligent Designer created us in the most spectacularly detailed way to function amazingly when cared for properly.
I have a responsibility to use this one body, this one life in the way He designed it, for His glory.

"For you are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit,
which are God's"
~ 1 Corinthians 6:20

"...but that with all boldness,
as always,
so now Christ shall be magnified in my body,
whether it be by life or by death."
~Philippians 1:20

How can I do that when I abuse it?
How can I be considered a faithful "steward" if I'm trashing what He has given me, or ignoring it's flags for help?
How can do my best for Him, be the hands and feet of Jesus, if I'm too exhausted from being overweight or some other physical ailment that just needs a little attention?
I have to be responsible.
No one else can do this for me.
It's up to me.
I learned that I'm in a race....not to see who can finish first....but who can stay in it and finish at ALL.
Better be training, and as healthy as possible, and shaking off any extra things that may "weigh" me down.

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,
but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win.
And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.
They then do it to receive a perishable wreath,
but we an imperishable.
Therefore, I run in such a way,
as not without aim;
I box in such a way,
as not beating the air;
but I buffet my body and make it my slave,
lest possibly,
after I have preached to others,
I myself should be disqualified."
~ 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27

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