Tackling Obesity is a Spiritual Issue

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Much has been said of late of the government's involvement in Obesity issues.  I think it's interesting how much "socialism" talk surrounds different programs the leadership of America tries to implement to help us. 

Sure, nobody can tell you what to eat or how to eat it, but let's be honest; if you choose to eat unhealthy, why should the rest of us be forced to take care of your poor decisions when your body starts shutting down?

Michelle Obama's fight against child obesity has taken so much heat, it causes this faith journer to wonder how much political hatred is involved in something so common sense. 

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I'm not advocating we let others decide what we eat, but I do think it high time we take responsibility for our own actions. 

Doctors say obesity is going to be the highest reason for health care increase in the next 10 years, and we sit back idly longing for our next Super Sized meal here in America. 

Just walk the local beaches, the malls, or even travel down to Disney world and see the high rate of obesity among Americans today.  It doesn't take rocket science to see we have a BIG PROBLEM.  (no pun intended.)

But even if you're ready to throw the politics of this issue out the door, don't get to crazy to think it's not something God doesn't address. 

The Proverbs talk about eating habits in two separate places. 

  • Proverbs 23:20-21 "Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."
  • Proverbs 23:2 "And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite."

St. Gregory, and ancient church Father, put together 5 of the major reasons to be wary of our eating habits. He even included stories in the Old Testament to build the theory. 

  1. Eating before the time of meals in order to satisfy the palate. (1 Sam. 14:29)
  2. Seeking delicacies and better quality of food to gratify the "vile sense of taste." (Numbers 11:4)
  3. Seeking after sauces and seasonings for the enjoyment of the palate. (1 Samuel 4:11)
  4. Exceeding the necessary amount of food. (Ezera 16:49)
  5. Taking food with too much eagerness, even when eating the proper amount, and even if the food is not luxurious. (Genesis 25:30)

In his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas even commented on similar issues as Gluttony is a part of the list of deadly sins.

  • Laute – eating food that is too luxurious, exotic, or costly
  • Nimis – eating food that is excessive in quantity
  • Studiose – eating food that is too daintily or elaborately prepared
  • Praepropere – eating too soon, or at an inappropriate time
  • Ardenter – eating too eagerly.

Look, I love eating as much as the next guy, but when we see a major problem plaguing our civilization, we need to take a hard look at the issue, and make some commitments.  So, I'm making a commitment. 

In 20 days, I'm doing a Half Iron Man to show a commitment to eating well and exercising. I'll be sure to include pictures, and interviews on April 10.  I'm not saying I've got it down, cause it's certainly going to be the hardest thing I've ever done, but what I am saying is WE CAN ALL DO SOMETHING!

Ok, I'm not asking that everybody join me, but I am asking that you take a personal interest in the way you eat, the amount you eat, and how much you are committed to respecting the body that God gave you. 

Certainly, you don't have to run a marathon, do an iron man, or ride a bike 100 miles.  But take some short steps to getting off the couch, choosing carrots instead of Cheetos, and let's start taking our physical bodies as series as we take our spiritual development. 

Stop letting politics drive your choices, and take some personal responsibility as you let your physical body and your spiritual body come together while we're here on earth.

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