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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Alive Again--More than a Metaphor

To all celebrating the victory of the Lord Christ over death: Happy Resurrection Day!

I was going to wait to post tomorrow, but I'm feeling much better--finally--today, and as this is the day of joy and new life, it's fitting.

Having been sick for three weeks has derailed me,making a mockery of the "Easter Challenge" during which I did NOT challenge myself. It's time to start fresh and renew what has been ailing.

I stepped on the scale and it was 273. A gain of 4+ over my lowest weigh-in. So, definitely, I need to rise up and move on and get with it. I failed. All is forgiven: Move on.

There is no giving up. You and I succeed or you and I, eventually die, and die as non-losers. And I believe that would be very sad indeed.

There is no pity party here. Just a deep sadness that I got off track, a frustration at my body, and a self-reproach at my lack of self-control. Even sick, I should have made better choices.

Let's bury our self-destructive ways. Let's rise up with fresh resolve.

I've spent most of my life over-indulging. That doesn't give life. It robs life from me.

Scripture talks about dying to sin, and a resurrection into new life. Of walking in the Spirit, and not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

Overeating is a complex thing--some of us have physiologies that will not let us be easily satisfied, we have medical issues, we have longstanding bad habits when it comes to food--but for the person of faith, there is always the other component: the spiritual. Gluttony is sin. Overeating is wrong. Not just because it damages the body, but because it shows that something governs us other than the Spirit, something controls us other than our rational and godly will. Desire controls us. Pleasure controls us. Temptations control us.

This is, I believe, why it is so difficult to get to a healthy weight when one has become very overweight. We have developed a pattern of giving in to desires, to satifying "the flesh," and that's always hard to break--be it via sex, overspending, anger, gossip, vanity, complaining, worrying, sloth, etc.

Today's holiday reminds me that at the root of anything that harms us is, generally, sin. And it has to be dealt with, especially if we call ourselves people of faith. As a Christian, I don't get an out. Our traditions have always condemned overindulgence in food ( just go study the practices of some saints and Church mothers and fathers when it came to what they ingested.)

God gave us a beautiful planet full of amazing things to nourish us. But we abuse it. We abuse it when we eat foods that are not good foods as our "usual" staples. Cookies and cakes and candies are supposed to be treats--occasional, rarer than wholesome fare. We abuse the gift of good food when we eat so much of any of it (or all of it) that we distort our bodies from their sound functions. I have mobility issues because I am so heavy. I've distorted myself so that I can't function properly.

Granted, at the other end of the spectrum is the denier of nourishment or the person caught up in vanity, the excess self-absorption of size and appearnace, that causes people to obsess about food for another reason--to be sexually desirable and beautiful. It's a gift to be lovely. It's wonderful to be attractive for, especially, the person who is our lifemate. But spending inordinate time on beauty and fitness regimens for the purpose of looking "hot" is vanity, just as stuffing ourselves with food to make ourselves feel good is gluttony and displaced affection.

The New Testament, in the epistle to the Galatians, says this:

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Obsession with eating is a yoke. Obesity is a form of enslavement. We know that, dont' we? It's so hard and it comes with a terrible price. We are not truly ourselves, because we aren't free to go and do as much as we'd wish. Our liberty is curtailed. We are not our masters, some days, most days, but rather food is.

For the believer, the remedy is supposed to be this:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

Why? Because the Spririt is power; because in the list of the "fruit of the Spirit" is...self-control. (see Gal 5:22)

A person doesn't get to 300 lbs (as I did) without a serious lack of self-control, no matter what other factors (medical, psychological, familial, cultural) come into play.

I want self-control. I want it bad. But do I want it enough to get past all the obstacles? Wouldn't it just be simpler to get the mechanical-surgical fix? (And, hey, I don't diss that. It's tempting to me, and it is a legitimate resource. But it still leaves me with a spiritual problem unresolved.)

I'm examining myself today--and have been all this weekend--because I've focused on groceries and food lists and weights and measures, but I've seriously neglected what, to me as a person of faith, is the most-pressing component, the spiritual aspect of overeating and of dieting and of health.

So, what I pray for and wish for all of us today, those who believe like I do and those who don't, is new life--inside and out. Renewal. So that we can live more abundantly.

And may next year's holiday see us better in body, mind, and spirit. Happier and healthier. Set free of gluttony. Healed of diseases. Restored in all ways. Out of the tomb of obesity and amazingly full of life!

Onward and DOWNWARD!


Heather said...

I think forgiving yourself for your slipups is such a healthy way to live. and you didnt fail, you just had a bump in the road, which we all have. what I have learned is that no one is perfect, and that everyone who is losing weight experiences times like you have had. so Im glad you are moving on and I know you will get that weight back down again. happy easter!

*ccc* said...

Wow--what an incredibly inspiring and different look at what ails so many of us.

Perhaps that different kind of look, that different kind of approach will help you--and me, and many others, I'm sure--move closer to conquering this problem.

But as Heather said--forgiveness comes into play here too. Forgive yourself for what you did, and move forward.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter surrounded by family and friends!

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Forgiveness and showing ourselves a bit of grace ALWAYS is key. Absolutely.

Hope y'all had a great weekend.

The Princess

Donna said...

Hey, I just came across your sit and I love it. It's always nice to find fellow christian weight losers. I hope you don't mind if I add you to my blogroll. ;)


Chubby Chick said...

Amen, sister!

I'm glad you're feeling better. :)

Lyn said...

How ya doing now? Have you "moved on"? I hope you are eating healthy and smiling! I overate on Easter weekend too, but am back on track now. We can do this!!

Donna said...

Hey, where did you go? Hope you're doing well :)

Lyn said...

Where are ya? I miss you! COme back and post. Never, never, NEVER give up!