To those of you who are watching your waistlines, like I am, I want to share some verses from Romans my mom shared with me when I began my weight loss journey. I have read these verses several times before, but never in the light of working out and eating right.
"So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh - for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'"
As a Christian, this is really the motivation behind why I want to lose weight. It's not so that I'll look skinnier, fit into smaller sized clothes, or be able to run a marathon. It's ultimately about putting to death the deeds of the flesh - essentially saying "no" to giving in to the wants of my flesh and saying "yes" to the self-control of the Holy Spirit. Another passage comes to mind.
"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body...Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body."
1 Corinthians 6:12-13, 19-20
As believers saved by the power of Christ, we should never become controlled by our appetites, and this includes our appetites for food. God has richly blessed us with all things that we need for life and godliness, including food, but we should never let food become an idol in our lives. Our flesh desperately wants to gain control over us in any way possible. Have you ever considered that overeating and laziness could be considered disobedience to God? I'm not saying that you can never eat chocolate again or that you can't sit on the couch and watch TV (which is actually what I'm doing as I write this), but I'm encouraging you to think about eating right and exercising as obedience to God.
Be careful to avoid extremes. Just as we can go overboard with how much we eat, we can go overboard with how little we eat. Don't take this as me saying you should never eat again and exercise yourself to exhaustion. That's called an eating disorder and you need to get help if you find yourself in that boat.
All I'm saying is that, as I've gone through almost 2 months now of a healthy diet and regular exercise, I've begun to look at it with more spiritual eyes. I'm learning to gain self-control over my body and mind. I'm learning to eat with balance and moderation, instead of eating according to feelings. I'm learning to make myself exercise even when I don't feel like it. And what I'm learning in this area of my life, transfers to other areas of my life as well. I'm learning to be more disciplined with my sleep schedule, with my housework, with things like blogging and journaling, etc.
Let me encourage you, if I can do and learn all this, so can you. But more importantly, if you are a child of God and have the Holy Spirit inside of you, then by His mighty power, you can succeed in disciplining your mind and body, in caring for His temple, in glorifying God with your body, in mortifying the deeds of the flesh.
Don't let food be your master. Don't return to a spirit of slavery. You have been bought with a price, and with that purchase you have received ALL the power you need to succeed. Therefore, glorify God with your body!