The hand of God is such an amazing thing. I finally declared I was taking control of my life and actively working to lose weight and be healthier. I bought a scale (or, rather, requested that Paul buy me a scale), bought a new scale that worked, even if I had to accept that my starting weight for our biggest looser challenge was incorrectly two pounds lighter, started eating better, and then, out of the blue, I got a phone call.
Hi, this is [name] from Curves. I’m calling to let you know that you won a free month.
How did I do that? (I was surprised.)
She helped me remember that the previous week at the bowling alley I had filled out a paper for their giveaway while waiting for the boys to put their shoes back on and exit. It was just one of those mindless things; of course I never thought I’d win, I never win those things.
But I did win. It was so clearly the Lord saying, “okay, Heather. You’re finally taking control. You’ve made some real steps instead of just lipservice. You’re going to do it this time. So let me help you.”
I know there are those who think it’s silly to think of weight loss as a form of repentance or caring for your body as a form of worship, but that’s how I see it. In our church we have been given inspired guidelines to follow called “The Word of Wisdom” (full text of revelation) in which we are discouraged from items that would be harmful to us, or addicting, and encouraged to eat healthy foods sparingly and in season.
The milk of the law is clearly the don’ts: don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs … and once a person establishes a lifestyle without these things, it’s pretty easy to maintain. Instead of thinking of this as a freebie law, one that would require overt disobedience, we need to remember that the Word of Wisdom includes so much more, and the rest is considerably greyer in terms of obedience, but therein lies the meat of the law.
It’s a very slippery slope for me from appreciating all the wonderful foods the Lord has provided or inspired to a complete lack of control or moderation. That is exactly where I have fallen. Food is more than just a utilitarian input of energy, but it is an art. It’s also a tool we use for celebration. All that is fine in moderation, but when we fill our bodies with junk or simply fill our bodies with excess we fail to see our bodies as the temples that they are and we disrespect ourselves and the Lord.
Conversely, when we appreciate good food for what it is, but also appreciate the healthy limits of our own bodies, and exercise restraint, we are putting aside our natural inclinations and showing deference to God. It is in putting God’s will before our own that we worship Him. In showing respect for ourselves and our bodies that we show respect for Him.
Making restitution with my body isn’t going to be easy or instantaneous, it’ll be a long time before I’m at a healthy, normal weight. Fortunately I’ve already been able to reap the blessings of my new-found perspective. My energy levels and moods have increased. My stamina is close behind, which is fortunate, because I just got this free month at Curves, and I plan on getting my money’s worth!