I read a post Monday morning from Erik Raymond on why are pastors fat. I thought it to be right on target (for 99% of the pastor’s who are unhealthily overweight). But, I didn’t want to just stick with pastors (because I’m not one) – so I thought I would take his same points – and spread the wealth – to all of us who are overweight (I am preaching to myself on this one). So, be encouraged, Christ has also won the battle over this one, too (Romans 8.2)
1. Schedules. All of us are busy. I don’t know anyone who isn’t busy. With some thing or another. And that being busy, those hectic schedules, don’t allow us to always make healthy choices in either food or activity. I know if I’m busy, I’m going to head up the road to Salsa Fresh and grab a taco or quesadilla instead of going shopping over the weekend, bringing yogurt, fruit, granola or soup for lunch – or heading somewhere out where I can make healthy(ier) choices. I was just chatting with a friend on facebook, and he ended our conversation like this “be particular about your yes and be liberal with your no.” Meaning – learn to say no to some things. If you can’t always say no, plan things around exercise, not always a meal.
2. Lunch Meetings. Ok – since I harped on eating out in the first one, let me hit on eating in. When there are lunch meetings or brought in lunches at places I’ve worked in the past: pizza, CFA, paninis, mayo-based salads, chips, brownies, cheesecake. Um, anything healthy please?
3. Extremes. I love going all out. I know a lot of you love to be passionate about the things you do – why not, right? Well, our extremes may be bingeing on food, eating 3 plates at Golden Corral just to get our money’s worth, having a contest to see who can eat the most pizza or wings. Our extremes should not lead to gluttony. Gluttony is sin. Remember, I am telling this to myself as I write.
4. Lazy. Wow, look at the opposite factor from number 1. So, we have busy schedules but we are so lazy. Most of us have desk jobs (especially if we are involved in ministry). Then at night we are either hanging out with our kids (video games, homework, reading, prepping, tv) or we are in a meeting (with snacks and sodas). I just am lazy since I’ve moved to NC. I don’t make it a priority to exercise. I do on the wknds or when I have more time (like on my days off), but not a daily habit like I had back in KY. What can you do to work in exercise in your schedule? Maybe take the stairs, or park further away, or walk to the grocery store, or walk to the mailbox. Listen to sermons or podcasts while on a treadmill or elliptical or running in the park.
5. Hypocrisy. Wow. This one always hurts. I can talk a good game, but so often I live a hidden life with food. So do most of us. Also, we teach on truth but don’t want it to permeate our food-lives. Well, this has got to stop. Anyone, please ask me how I’m doing. I ask for accountability. Who are you accountable to with your food intake and your exercise output?
6. Reward Mentality. I think I’ll add celebratory mentality to this. We feel like (especially as Americans or Latin Americans or Italians) we have to celebrate everything with food. So do I. I love to bake other people’s fave desserts for their birthdays. Why not? Its their special day. But, how often do we turn that special day into a special week, or just celebrate everything with cheesecake, curly fries, fried oreos, etc.
7. De-Emphasis on the Body. We don’t want to be sinful in our attention to the body, so we disregard it altogether. Then we slack. God never said don’t care about the body at all – in fact, He said that our bodies our the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we need to eat and drink to the glory of God. Not to the excess to please man. I know when I am not at the weight I want to be (which is now) I lean more toward accessories because none of my clothes fit the way I want. That’s not right either. Change one god for another, right?
God has beaten this. In fact, I think Christ said it well on the cross, “It is Finished.” My struggle with weight and food is not a struggle just with weight and food. It is a struggle with the flesh, with sinful nature, a sin that I am not holding captive to the death and resurrection of Christ.
Be encouraged and changed by the Gospel – even in the area of food.