I don’t know if it pays to remind people, but I’m pretty sure part of the reason Jesus stayed so thin was all the damn walking around he did long before cars were invented, and all the junk food he didn’t eat because it didn’t exist and all the work he did instead of sitting on his ass watching Jersey Shore.
A Virginia congregation has lost a bit of weight over the past few years by following a weight-loss challenge issued by the senior pastor of their church. Steve Reynolds of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale lost over a hundred pounds of his own and claims the number of pounds lost by members is around 12,000. The cynic in me wonders if he counts backsliders and the dead. They could count toward weight loss, too, since they aren’t coming around to be weighed anymore. “Mrs. Henderson weighed 150 pounds, maysherestinpeace…”
Joking aside, he’s the author of a book called Bod4God and the idea is a good one in terms of getting people to commit to an achievable health goal and encouraging them to stick with it. It’s part of why Weight Watchers and other groups like it remain popular. (Often with the same people coming back after the pounds do.) TODAY Health goes into more detail about the program, which uses the first commandment “Thou shalt have no gods but me” as its starting point.
In contemporary Christian churches, this verse is usually interpreted to mean simply, “Put God first.” Reynolds believes that some American Christians who struggle with their weight may be unwittingly valuing food over their faith.
I wouldn’t say valuing food is the problem. I think valuing good food over shitty food is where the emphasis should be so far as that goes. I’ve been ordering a bag of vegetables and grains from the Saskatoon’s CHEP group for over a year now. Initially set up to help inner city families get access to sorely needed fresh produce, they’ve expanded their service so more people can benefit should they wish. They deliver twice a month and the result has been me finding new recipes for onions and beets so I can use them up before they deliver more. You should have seen the size of the cabbage I was given in the fall. It was the size of a basketball. That took some inventive cooking to get et…
Coming back to the article, it lists a few other interesting tidbits, specifically a study involving young people, church, and future weight gain. It sounded familiar and sure enough, I’ve mentioned it before. I’d never blame my mass on 7 years of Mass, mind you. It had a lot more to do with my lunch bag and the “Cuban Lunch” chocolate nut bar that featured prominently (for what seems like years, but probably wasn’t), and my natural proclivity toward reading rather than running.
More research points toward the usefulness of group involvement for losing weight and it’s evident from others that picking a noble purpose (in this case, honouring God through weight loss) also helps focus attention on the follow-through.
“It gives you power to know that you’re never alone, that God is with you,” Reynolds says. “And that he gives you that motivation and that willpower that you need.”
I remember overhearing a woman at Walmart once who was talking about how much weight she lost and credited God for the miracle. I felt like asking her if the 20 pounds fell off her body overnight because that’d be the real miracle. Deciding to eat better and exercise isn’t a miracle in the making, it’s just good sense. If people think they need belief in god to keep motivated, believe in god, then. If that’s a help, it’s a help. My interest in weight loss is less about dress size and more about improving my overall health and fitness. I’ve been bouncing around the same minor losses and gains for the past few months but I’m really looking forward to long walks outside again and I think I’m going to invest in a decent bike soon. My last one was cheap and terrible and I let it get stolen. Sorry to whoever was daft enough to take it.