Do you struggle with your weight? Are you unhappy with how you look–are you too heavy, too thin, too lumpy, bumpy, or padded in all the wrong places? Have you tried various diets, but not actually lost anything of consequence, or alternately, trimmed down only to gain it all back (and then some) after you got off your particular diet? Or maybe you achieved your weight goal, but you still don’t actually look like what you imagined you would? What’s wrong? Why isn’t your diet working as it should?
“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” (I Corinthians 4:2 NKJV)
The reason your diet isn’t really working is because your focus–your goal–is all wrong. God blesses us when we align ourselves with His desires for us, but when we either adopt the wrong goals, or the right ones for the wrong reasons–not so much so. So what wrong attitude might we have about dieting, and our bodies in general?
The main one is being vain–maintaining an exclusive or unhealthy focus on appearances. This is not to say we shouldn’t make an effort to look good, but if all we want is to reach a certain weight loss goal, we might be tempted to indulge in behaviors that might actually threaten our health, such as anorexia, bulimia, excessive fasting, only eating certain foods that aren’t sufficient to properly feed our cells or that might actually be poisoning our bodies, etc. And using weight loss strategies that are dependent on unreasonable amounts of will power tend to backfire. Vanity is a sin, and as a long-term dieting strategy, not typically one God blesses. So what should our attitude toward dieting be?
Our attitude toward dieting should be to steward well everything God has entrusted into our care–and this includes the proper maintenance of the physical bodies He has given us. We accomplish His purposes in these bodies of ours, and therefore, they need to be strong and fit and healthy enough to do the “…good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV) Causing them to become dysfunctional in any way, whether through neglect or overindulgence, is being an unfaithful caretaker of that which was entrusted to our oversight, and it minimizes our impact for Christ! So, our goal should be to maintain our bodies at peak operating performance levels. How do we do this?
Maintaining our bodies properly is a many-pronged strategy. We eat modest portions of food that nourishes our bodies–what our cells need, not what our cravings want. That might be something slightly different for each of us, but for me it is almost exclusively lots of raw veggies, fruit, whole grains, milk, beans, nuts, some fish and meat. I avoid sugars, but I allow myself 85% dark chocolate, because it’s actually good for me (in moderation, because of the sugar). I avoid processed grains, margarine, and other fats (besides modest amounts of pure butter and olive or coconut oil) because I recognize they are poison to my cells. Do the research on what’s healthy and what’s not; it’s easy these days!
It also includes getting enough sleep and exercise because that helps our cells regenerate. For me it also means spending some time in the sun, maintaining good relationships with the people in my life, enjoying my work, and most of all, spending time with my Lord and Savior, because being right with Him puts it all into perspective. Everything–including the proper functionality of my physical body–is for Him to begin with: “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36 NKJV)
And, a nice side-effect of faithfully stewarding our bodies is that we actually start to look better as we become more fit. We may never look exactly like the models we see in magazines or online because that may not be our particular physique, but we will be the best “me” that we can be, and hopefully, remain functional for our Master’s purposes for as long as He sees fit to keep us here!
So, do you struggle with your weight? Is your diet working? Change your approach from just a number on the scale or specific size to a fit and functional body for God’s purposes, and watch Him bless your efforts!
Help me treat the body You gave me with respect–help me nourish my cells, rather than indulge my food desires; help me get enough sleep; help me exert my body enough physically when I’m rested for optimal health; help me maintain good relationships. Most of all, help me be right with You, because when this is true, everything else falls into place! Amen.