Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gluttony, Body Image, Health, Self-control, etc.

To be honest and frank, I'm glad the sin of gluttony is allowed in the church. I've struggled with it most of my life.

About two years ago I tipped the scales at my highest weight ever, 240 pounds (pic on the left). At that time I started to commit my eating habits to the Lord with the accountability of some people I trusted. Over the past 24 months my weight has gone up and down, but my basic eating and exercise habits have improved and the overall trend in my body weight has been downward.

This morning during a physical I weighed in at 195 (pic on the right from last Thurs.), a milestone I haven't experienced in over 13 years- the last time I was under 200 pounds. I feel healthy and exercise discipline is going well right now, but I still struggle with making food an idol.

Here's an interesting observation about all this- Today on Facebook I listed my status as having achieved the goal of getting under 200 pounds for the first time in 13 years. In response several friends said "Great job!" and "Keep it up". It's the "keep it up" part that intrigues me. How does one interpret such an encouragement? It brings a chuckle because I know people are totally well-meaning, but are they saying "Great...but don't stop, you really need to lose more"? Maybe they mean "Well now, that's good, but dude, you're still pretty pudgy"?

I just find body image issues so interesting. I don't think I have ever been terribly insecure about being "husky" (I even had "Toughskin" jeans that said so when a kid), it's been my lack of control about how much I eat that has convicted me constantly. So discovering that I apparently still look like I need to lose weight is downright interesting to me. Am I making too much of this? My heart rate, blood work, and blood pressure were right where they need to be, but I apparently don't look like it? I can run circles around several skinny people I know, but apparently I still don't look just right?

The truth is, the charts tell me I should be 175 for my height. I haven't been that weight since my second year of college. I think staying under 200 is a difficult but possible goal. My past tells me this will be a constant struggle. So, I don't write this post with any sense of finishing a goal but rather noting an interesting phenomenon about the way we view ourselves and possibly the way others see us. I also post this as an encouragement for those who like me, struggle greatly with self-control in the area of food. Any periods of victory over the temptation to over-eat are opportunities to praise God and ask for continued grace.


jeff said...

Congrats on getting below 200! I, too, wore husky jeans as a young lad. As far as your current weight is concerned, if you feel physically good, energetic, and you keep yourself doing physical activities, you shouldn't worry so much about hitting that 175 mark. Those charts are too general anyway. Your high of 240 is about where I should be, as a 6'3", large-framed person. I was 235 right before I got married. According to the charts, I should be 215. If I was 215, I'd look sickly. I'll just be happy to get back to 235.

Anyway, Congratulations again!

Frontier Forest said...

You know, in my over weight opinion, the only thing worse than a vegetarian are those who lose weight and keep it off. After all, when I go see Jesus, He will give me a new body, then I won’t have to worry about a diet. When I am in glory I plan on eating Jack’s Stack Spare Ribs and his fantastic baked beans with plenty of dripped grease and chopped brisket, for all eternity.
I give you an “AT-A-BOY” Pastor, you have done very well! By the way, well disciplined people annoy me too.
I go to see Doctor Troy Burns tomorrow for my semiannual physical and I am sure he is going to tell me what I already know, my blood pressure is way too high and my bad cholesterol is outrageous.

Reepicheep said...

You are hilarious Woodster. There is no one like you!

Chad Toney said...

I think a more charitable interpretation of "keep it up" would be "don't stop doing all those good things you've been doing", not necessarily "lose more weight, you're still flabby."

I lost 45 lbs myself last year (225-180), and am still focusing on getting down further, to single-digit bodyfat. Seems to be near impossible for me, but I am actually trying to "keep it up", so that comment doesn't bother me!

Qayaq said...

What they probably mean is that taking the weight off is good but keeping it off is the hard part. Most people who lose that kind of what gain it back with a vengeance. They go into eating overload thinking they can eat what ever they want and wind up heavier than they were before.
This winter when you are not able to exercise as much you might put some weight back on so you will have to find some way of exercising when it is cold out.
Now you are ready to start doing organized bike rides, organized runs and triathlons.
Congrats by the way.

Reepicheep said...

Good points guys.

Rick Calohan said...

Now if you remind yourself with these daily affirmations by Senator Stuart Smalley, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." You could be our next Senator from Kansas.

"That's just stinkin' thinkin!"

"Listen to me. I'm should-ing all over myself."

"Whining is anger through a small opening."

"I'm going to die homeless, penniless, and 30 pounds overweight."

"It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world."

"I would never ordinally say this, but... is there any way you can get to a pound cake?"

"I'm a perfectionist and if I start making changes, I'll never stop."

"My father grew up in the Great Depression - his mother's."

Zach said...

I thought you were looking rather svelte in those Horn Creek photos. Well done. I'm also glad to see the departure of that despicable hair you used to sport on your chinny chin chin. Shoot, that probably took off a pound or two right there!

Husky jeans, ah, the good ol' days.

Reepicheep said...

Thanks Zach...how much do you think I'd lose if I shaved the fro..straight cueball look like yourself? What do you think?

Zach said...

You were blessed to inherit your father's copious coiffure, so you'd probably shed a good half dozen pounds that way. Mine was so thin to begin with that finishing it off did me little good.

Ladee Bugg said...

I know from personal experience--like all my 65 years--- that gluttony is a harsh taskmaster--but, oh my, the taste buds get giddy and "Just one more bite--" and it has happened to me that one day--it all arrives like a paycheck.I need to do what you did and ask the Lord to check my desires.
I know how very good you feel because at times I have felt that way too--and, if I keep on breathing I will again--Enjoy this wonderful victory--that's what I say!!

christianlady said...

Thanks for writing this. In the newest trend for "spiritual disciplines" I had been feeling wishy washy about actual Christian discipline. I have a fluffy mom body, 6 kids and many pounds to prove it...in fact, I am really close to your before picture and I'm a female. One day it hit me hard. I have been blessed with a body that has successfully carried all these children. That is such an awesome thought, and yet I would abuse it with food. I decided to begin exercising and stop drinking the poison Dr. Pepper daily (I only have it once in a while). I do need to practice moderation also with many foods. This is a sacrifice I can work on daily, something I can train my body to. Of course, now I'm not allowed to loose weight because I'm pregnant again (yay!)...so that frustrates me, but it does motivate me to take better care of myself to be a healthy for me and the baby... and think beyond the birth to the day when I can work toward self control that will cause weight loss. My main goal is better health overall and taking care of the body God made for me. Seems a shame to waste such a resource.

Frontier Forest said...

I was right. And Doc Burns said I was old and ugly too!
All the more reason not to diet.

Reepicheep said...

Oh come on Woody..You're not ugly.

Frontier Forest said...

Was that was a lame attempt at a humor or a left-handed compliment? I can get those kinds at home, but from my preacher?

Reepicheep said...

Woodster- you said you're "old and ugly". I'm saying you're not ugly!