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  • Discussion Body Weight

    I am curious to see what fellow Christians have to say about their weight, and how/if it relates to their faith. I am an American, and I know we are generally heavier than others outside of the country. I've been to other countries, and have heard this subject brought up before.

    When I've heard this subject brought up in the past, I've heard some reference the passage of 1 Corinthians 6:19 and how our body is a "temple of the Holy Spirit", but in context it is speaking of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:12-20). Any thoughts?
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  • #2
    Good question. I would say that the Bible asks us to take care of our bodies because they're God's.... but at the same time, God knows and understands that many factors might lead to someone having weight issues - thyroid, metabolism, extreme depression, family or relationship problems, long-ingrained habits.... other issues. The GOOD news is that God is a healer, a redeemer, and knows us intimately, and can help us pull away from a past that might have helped to damage our body in some way.

    No condemnation there. God's pulling ME away from my old bad habits, stressful memories, and it's slowly helping me with my battle with weight.

    (On a lighter note.... food IS good. It's yummy! And sometimes, churches put on AMAZING meals that might just have a few too many calories in them. In circumstances like that... I'll be honest. I DIG IN!)
    -- Your ~sister~ in Christ.... a "Kaffinated Kittykat"!!

    ROMANS 5:8. Forgiven. Freed. Humbled. Amazed. Grateful. Relying on Christ.

    Love is not a place to come and go as we please
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    We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.....
    Warren Barfield



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    • #3
      I think it falls in the same catagory as to how anything "looks"... God looks on the inside (your heart) and people look on the outside... your weight, if you're tattooed, clean cut or not, long hair/short hair, dressed nice or not, what you drive... etc.
      Slug1--out

      ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~

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      • #4
        This always brings up some interesting discussions. Some are overweight by their own doing, some because of medical reasons, medications can cause some to gain weight.

        Topics this could be under are many. Stewardship, fear, bondage, self righteousness, trust, faith, prosperity. They may or may not apply to all who are overweight.

        What I know is this. Our bodies were designed to function best in a certain proportion. I know that when I'm lighter, my back doesn't hurt, my allergies aren't as bad, I sleep better, I have more energy and want to be more active.

        I have watched that program on PBS where the people live for 6 months or something like that as the pioneers did. They had to live like the early settlers did. Put up fences for livestock, grow food, plant a crop to feed the animals, build a house, milk the cows, prepaire for winter, etc. Totally living off of the land. There was this one guy who wound up not feeling well and he thought he was wasting away because not only did he loose weight doing all that work with the body he became what he thought was underweight. Turns out that he was fine. His weight was good for his height, and for the times in which he was pretending to live he would have been average Joe. Visually for today's times he was a bit skinny, but nothing gave the doctors concern.

        Healthy weight is less than what we think. We do need to take care of our bodies because it was given to us by God. That's stewardship.
        Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
        Not second or third, but first.
        Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
        when He is the source of all hope,
        when His love is received and freely given,
        holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
        will all other things be added unto to you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CoffeeCat View Post
          Good question. I would say that the Bible asks us to take care of our bodies because they're God's.... but at the same time, God knows and understands that many factors might lead to someone having weight issues - thyroid, metabolism, extreme depression, family or relationship problems, long-ingrained habits.... other issues.
          I am quite skeptical that the North American obesity problem can be blamed on anything other than eating too much and exercizing too little. I have been to South Korea several times. You never, repeat never, see an overweight adult. Surely it cannot be the case that Koreans are immune from thyroid problems or depression or relationship problems.

          Food has, unfortunately, become the pornography that Christians are "allowed" to indulge in.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by drew View Post
            I am quite skeptical that the North American obesity problem can be blamed on anything other than eating too much and exercizing too little. I have been to South Korea several times. You never, repeat never, see an overweight adult. Surely it cannot be the case that Koreans are immune from thyroid problems or depression or relationship problems.

            Food has, unfortunately, become the pornography that Christians are "allowed" to indulge in.
            That seems a bit broad, but I do think you are generally correct. Purely anecdotal, my wife struggles with her weight - but it's not due to overeating and no exercise (i don't really want to get into specifics).
            Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
            Ecc 7:10

            John777 exists to me only in quoted form.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by kbm0329 View Post
              I am curious to see what fellow Christians have to say about their weight, and how/if it relates to their faith. I am an American, and I know we are generally heavier than others outside of the country. I've been to other countries, and have heard this subject brought up before.

              When I've heard this subject brought up in the past, I've heard some reference the passage of 1 Corinthians 6:19 and how our body is a "temple of the Holy Spirit", but in context it is speaking of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:12-20). Any thoughts?
              "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." I Timothy 4:8

              Being 'health obsessed' is never the goal. Paul tells us that it is far better to practice godliness than to pursue physical fitness.

              With that being said, we also cannot ignore I Cor 5:19....so there has to be a balance. God gave us bodies to feed and care for, and we should be no less diligent in being good stewards to our bodies in the same way we are good stewards with our time and money. A person who is overweight and wrought with medical issues brought on by that extra weight will undoubtedly sacrifice something spiritually because of it. If we just try and stay healthy by eating right and exercising, that's one less thing we have to worry about. We have more energy to serve God and care for our families.

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              • #8
                Some years ago I was of a normal weight but become overweight and then obese through meds. Thankfully I am off of them now, but keeping that weight off is hard. I think some of it is because we as Americans have gotten used to riding in cars and buses, and balk at even having to walk a mile. Plus we like to eat a lot, and I know people from other countries have commented on how big our portions are.

                We as a country are eating ourselves to death.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Metalwolf View Post
                  We as a country are eating ourselves to death.
                  Sadly, I think you are right. Widespread obesity cannot be something beyond our control. There are other societies (e.g. South Korea) where obesity is almost unknown. So we really cannot say that "bad metabolism" or "depression", etc. is the problem. After all, Koreans are human beings just like us - they get depressed, they get thyroid problems, etc.

                  The reason why Koreans (as an example) are never obese must have something to do with their diet - much less fat, much more vegetables - and their exercise patterns.

                  This is really an issue of calories in versus calories out, I think.

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                  • #10
                    I think our body is the house our spirit lives in so it just makes sense that the better we take care of our house the better our spirit will feel and you could live longer but....
                    As I've had a doctor tell me once..it's not always the number of days you have, but the quality of the days you have.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by drew View Post
                      Sadly, I think you are right. Widespread obesity cannot be something beyond our control. There are other societies (e.g. South Korea) where obesity is almost unknown. So we really cannot say that "bad metabolism" or "depression", etc. is the problem. After all, Koreans are human beings just like us - they get depressed, they get thyroid problems, etc.

                      The reason why Koreans (as an example) are never obese must have something to do with their diet - much less fat, much more vegetables - and their exercise patterns.

                      This is really an issue of calories in versus calories out, I think.
                      Unfortunately the needed vegetables and fruits here are expensive. It is prohibitive to buy them at times because of their price, and go for the less expensive and more refined items instead. What is sad is that we make junk food out of healthy food, turning apples into the sugary laced filling in commercially made pies, refining naturally whole wheat into the carbohydrate laden white flour, and saturating meat with high fat gravies and salt. These transformed foods are cheap, available and abundant.

                      I work at a supermarket as a cashier, and often through my line there are many people who buy a lot of junk food, especially the ones that are poor. I have heard that it is because they have a very limited amount to spend, and often they have kids. The kids must eat, but the vegatables are expensive, so they go for the premade microwave pizzas, sodas and other stuff which is cheaper. A lot of times they are Hispanics from Mexico, and many of these are fat.

                      My advice is: If you want to avoid much of the junk food in a supermarket, stay to the outer edges of the store. At the outer edges there is mostly plain meat, milk, vegatables and fruits. In the center is where a lot of the junk food lies. There is some junk at the edges, but its not as bad like the interior.

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                      • #12
                        Obesity could be caused by sin (lack of self-control). On the other hand, some people are just bigger by physical makeup and will simply never be very thin. We should each attempt to be good stewards of the bodies God has given us and make sure that we are living a healthy lifestyle.
                        The Matthew Never Knew
                        The Knew Kingdom

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Metalwolf View Post
                          Unfortunately the needed vegetables and fruits here are expensive. It is prohibitive to buy them at times because of their price, and go for the less expensive and more refined items instead. What is sad is that we make junk food out of healthy food, turning apples into the sugary laced filling in commercially made pies, refining naturally whole wheat into the carbohydrate laden white flour, and saturating meat with high fat gravies and salt. These transformed foods are cheap, available and abundant.

                          I work at a supermarket as a cashier, and often through my line there are many people who buy a lot of junk food, especially the ones that are poor. I have heard that it is because they have a very limited amount to spend, and often they have kids. The kids must eat, but the vegatables are expensive, so they go for the premade microwave pizzas, sodas and other stuff which is cheaper. A lot of times they are Hispanics from Mexico, and many of these are fat.

                          My advice is: If you want to avoid much of the junk food in a supermarket, stay to the outer edges of the store. At the outer edges there is mostly plain meat, milk, vegatables and fruits. In the center is where a lot of the junk food lies. There is some junk at the edges, but its not as bad like the interior.

                          As far as price goes, for whatever reason I find the opposite to be true. I usually make meals from scratch and have found it to be fairly inexpensive. Now, I will admit that we rarely eat fresh fruits or vegetables and instead often opt for frozen or canned low salt or low sugar fruits and vegetables.

                          I'm also in the same boat when it comes to weight gain from meds. I was 125 before being put on a certain med then went up to 230 despite no change in eating habits and being very active in martial arts. Now that I am off the medication the weight is coming down but s l o w l y. I almost broke below 200 before getting pregnant and gaining a lot of it back. It has been coming off again though. I am also no longer in martial arts so my activity level is down but I try and walk about five miles several days a week.
                          The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
                          --Isaiah 9:2

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Lady Amalthea View Post
                            As far as price goes, for whatever reason I find the opposite to be true. I usually make meals from scratch and have found it to be fairly inexpensive. Now, I will admit that we rarely eat fresh fruits or vegetables and instead often opt for frozen or canned low salt or low sugar fruits and vegetables.

                            I'm also in the same boat when it comes to weight gain from meds. I was 125 before being put on a certain med then went up to 230 despite no change in eating habits and being very active in martial arts. Now that I am off the medication the weight is coming down but s l o w l y. I almost broke below 200 before getting pregnant and gaining a lot of it back. It has been coming off again though. I am also no longer in martial arts so my activity level is down but I try and walk about five miles several days a week.
                            I forgot about the "from scratch" part. Stuff made that way does tend to be cheaper as you can make a large batch and/or control the amount you make and eat. Plus you can control the ingrediants
                            Usually the stuff that I see in the store looks like it should be one serving, as it comes in a single container, but on the back it says that its two or three. And like that chips commercial says, you can't eat just one

                            I was 127 before the meds that made me gain, the final weight that I ended up on them was 190. And I am 5'0." My med that did this was Zyprexa, which seems to be notorious for this. I am 135-140 now, but it took forever, and there was a lot of ups and downs with weight. I also exercise now, so I guess that keeps me kind of even.

                            Did you know that doctors are advising women now to gain less during pregnancy then they did a few years ago? It is because they are finding out that a lot of women who gain weight during pregnancy are not as able to lose it, and this makes them at risk for becoming obese. But I think this is because many of these ladies might not exercise as much and don't breastfeed, so they can't lose it as good. Plus the extra extra weight's not good for the baby.

                            To keep things on a biblical topic, I imagine that if you are too heavy it is harder to go out and evangelize, because your mobility is effected somewhat, and plus being heavy can make you tired. Plus its uncomfortable if you are in hot places.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Metalwolf View Post
                              To keep things on a biblical topic, I imagine that if you are too heavy it is harder to go out and evangelize, because your mobility is effected somewhat, and plus being heavy can make you tired. Plus its uncomfortable if you are in hot places.
                              Thanks for the replies everyone! I know that some mission organizations don't allow you to go into the mission field if you are overweight. When I first heard that I was very intrigued by the reasoning behind that, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense!

                              I think based upon what others have posted and what I see in the Bible relating to the subject it seems that we should definitely take care of our bodies, but not when it interferes or takes priority over our relationship with Jesus.
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