Losing weight is hard. I get it. My weight has gone up and down and up again for as long as I can remember. It’s only been in the last couple of years I have been able to break that cycle of yo-yo dieting and finally understand how to feed my body the right balance of nutrients. As I look around, most Americans haven’t yet figured out how to break that cycle:
“Americans are fatter and sicker than people in other comparable countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finds… Americans are fatter, die younger and don’t get particularly good treatment for many diseases, with the exception of strokes and cancer.
“The OECD survey compares the 34 member countries to one another on a range of measures, from lifespan and spending on drugs to infant mortality. It shows the health of Americans is worsening even as other countries improve things for their citizens.
“While life expectancy in the United States used to be one year above the OECD average in 1970, it is now more than one year below the average,” the report reads. The U.S. ranks at 26th in life expectancy out of 34 OECD countries.” – NBC News
That NBC News report goes on to say Americans eat more, are “by far the fattest” with an obesity rate of 36.5 in 2011, and are near the head of the pack with the rate of diabetes.
Dr. Chris Perrin spoke at the homeschool convention I attended this weekend. He talked about vices that “disorder” us.
“To be disordered is to not be right with God – distracted, irritated, out of sorts.”- Dr. Chris Perrin
He said disorder is not supposed to be our “default” state. He was talking about areas like sloth, sensuality, pride, and envy. But his definition explains perfectly the state I lived in for so long with eating, yo-yo dieting, and an obsession over the number on the scale. As Americans, we are living in a disordered state when it comes to food and nutrition. It’s not the way God intended us to live. Not only are we making poor food choices, our food supply is getting further and further away from “real” food, if you consider how much processed food we consume on a regular basis.
The Bible talks about the importance of controlling one’s appetite. Look at Exodus 16, where God rained down manna for the Israelites. They were instructed by God to collect just enough for that day for each family member, an “omer” or about three pounds per person. When they collected more than they needed and kept it for the next day, it became filled with maggots and began to smell.
We are instructed to avoid gluttony, the act of overeating or drinking in excess. The Bible calls us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. Gluttony is not often emphasized as a sin, but it is a desire of the flesh and distracts us from worshiping and serving God.
“Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” – Proverbs 23:20-21
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
If food or your appetite is an issue for you, I urge you to ask God for help. God wants us to desire Him more than anything in this world. He can transform you from the inside out. By taking care of ourselves, we are better able to serve God. Afterall, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9