I think it was March of 2016 when I started my weight-loss journey. When I began I weighed 350 lbs. Just saying it now is embarrassing. It’s even more embarrassing as I look back at pictures from that era. On April, 20 I weighed 236.2 lbs. To keep you from doing the Math, that’s -113.8 lbs. While that is a great accomplishment, it is one that should have never been needed. I am proud to say that I have succeeded in my weight-loss journey without any weight-loss supplements or surgeries. However, I have not accomplished this without help. It has been a work of grace. In typical grace fashion, it required repentance and a change of behavior. But grace always comes with empowerment from the Spirit.
The approach I shall take in this blog is two-fold: Firstly, I shall share my personal testimony, and secondly I shall share a theology of health. I will be as discreet as I can on the personal testimony portion and still make my point. And I shall be a humble as I can on the theology side portion and still make my point.
I have battled with my weight my entire adulthood. I have rarely been fit. It has always been a matter of how out of shape I was. And for much of my life I have I was obese to the point of embarrassment. However, I was never able to reach the place in my mind and will to where I could make long term choice for health.
I was very sensitive about it even though I always laughed it off. If people joked about my weight I would externally laugh with them, but it made me feel horrible inside. It led to depression and extreme insecurity. And no amount of shaming me resulted in me losing weight. This makes for the perfect opportunity to say if you have a loved one that is overweight do not try to shame them into losing weight. It will not work. It makes them feel worse and they will eat more as a coping mechanism. For me I would be depressed about my weight and appearance and so I would eat to drown the depression. You can see how this becomes a vicious cycle.
For anyone to decide to lose weight they have to find something in life that means more to them than their appetite. Sadly, in many cases this is a life crisis. For me it was divorce. Becoming coming physically healthy was one of the ways that I responded to tragedy of losing a 19 year marriage. I will talk about systemic health later. My point is this: you can’t make up anyone’s mind for them. They will have to come to that conclusion themselves—however that is.
For me it was shortly after deciding to get emotionally healthy from my divorce that I decided to get physically healthy. I shall suggest that in most cases emotional/spiritual health and physical health go hand-in-hand. Obesity is almost always a reflection of a mental or spiritual dysfunction. I willingly confess that this was the case for me. I needed healing a grace that could only come from my Father. I shall explore this idea further in the Theology of Health section.
The Theology of Health
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV)
My journey to systemic health began with emotional health. It then flowed out into physical health and continued into my spiritual heath. Every part of man (spirit, soul and body) is connected. The goal is systemic health. I will not be able to discuss this fully here, but I will give you the big picture.
It is important to note that the God of peace must sanctify in order to realize systemic wholeness. Why the God of peace. Paul is drawing from the Hebrew idea of shalom. And shalom (peace) is not just absence of conflict, but rather wholeness or to be set at one again. The God of wholeness wants to make us whole. The way that happens is to create in us health I spirit, soul and body. This is peace. And we lose peace when we lose health and any one of these three areas. It is our responsibility as spirit filled believers to allow the God of peace to sanctify us wholly—including our bodies. I will do a Facebook live video about this later. But as Christians we do not glorify God when we do not allow the Holy Spirit to produce physical health in us. Yes God is concerned about your body. After all it is his temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). I am writing this to encourage my fellow Christians to take care of your bodies for the glory of God.