Thoughts on body stewardship

This morning as we were leaving our neighborhood and feeling particularly self-righteous, we were criticizing a very overweight neighbor who neither picks up after their dog nor takes care of their car. "It's all about stewardship," we were saying, harping on the fact that this man obviously does not steward well his vehicle (the window was being partially held up with packing tape), his animal, his home (OUR home too) or his body.

When A pointed out how self-righteous we were being, I was reminded that none of us - apart from Christ's work on our behalf - are capable of taking good care of things. We treat our gifts as rights to be trashed rather than blessings given by a good Father. I include myself in this battle. Rather than looking at food as a good gift, I too often use it to satisfy my emotions or competitive spirit (surely I'm not the only one who sees competitive eating with my 6'8" husband as a legitimate sport?!).

After having lunch with friends this weekend who have been doing Weight Watchers, I've started looking a little more into the program. If you've been reading my blog long you know that A) I talk about food a lot and B) lament my weight gain frequently. So I started thinking that if only I could do a program like WW, which calculates points and how much I should be eating, I could get healthier. Then I started thinking that if only I would just cook with and eat more whole foods then I could get healthier. Then I started thinking that if only I viewed food - not as an idol and something to be obsessed with - but as a way to sustain this temple and worship the Lord, then I could be healthier...You see where I'm going?

I need help. I'm at nearly my heaviest point ever in my life right now, and I know I want to reverse that trend sooner rather than later. More than just losing weight, though, I want to have a body that does things I never thought it could do. I want to be amazed at how God created these earthly instruments to move and bend and work. I want my body and the way I treat it to be an act of worship, as it was intended to be. I've mentioned before that A has been doing P90X. As of yesterday, he started Phase III and I'm so proud of him! I occasionally join in with him (kenpo or yoga or stretching) but I am nowhere near as flexible or strong as he is, so I get discouraged easily. My preferred workouts are things like walking or Zumba.

What recommendations do you have for me? It doesn't have to be a workout program, or a diet, or anything specific. How do you think about your body, food, exercise in a way that is glorifying to the Lord and edifying to YOUR body? What tips do you have for me to be more self-disciplined? The woman we ate with this weekend said she knows a lot of girls that workout to eat, and we've heard the saying that Americans live to eat, instead of eating to live. I don't want that to be me. I'd love to hear your thoughts on ways to live, eat, workout and steward my body for the glory of the Lord!



Anonymous said...

I'm very thin (well, maybe not now, but in my normal state I am!) but that doesn't mean I'm a good steward of my body. I'm pretty lazy and I tend to eat whatever the heck I want. So I think it's important to remember that it's not about the way you look but about the way you take care of yourself.
I think now that I'm pregnant (and have ben scolded by my midwife) I'm really trying to eat better and exercise more...not just for my sake but for my baby's sake as well. It's not easy to change bad habits but it's definitely possible, especially with the right motivation.

Have you read Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick?? If not, you should. I think it would definitely be very helpful in thinking rightly about food, exercise, and body image.

Michelle said...

Hmm. I don't know if I have any really helpful insight, but I'll try!

I, like Kristel, am naturally thin. However, I do watch what I eat (gotta establish healthy eating habits for later in life!), and I used to exercise (before living in this huge city where I walk a ton everyday without trying to). I think that a good step would be to tackle one thing at a time. Small steps are easier to manage, you know? Start by finding ONE good, healthy, easy recipe that you like and make it every week. (My Chicken Tarragon "Pot Pies" is an excellent one, in case you need a starter recipe.) Double the recipe so you have leftovers for lunch. Once you're used to cooking that one recipe every week, add another. And so on, until you have enough healthy recipes that you can mix-n-match each week. Make sure to make enough so you have leftovers for lunch!!! Try to limit soda intake. We never kept soda, chips, prepackaged cookies, etc, in the house. If they were there, I would eat them. I always figured that if I wanted a soda badly enough to walk/drive to the store for it, then I could have it. If I didn't want it that much, well, it saved money and calories. And WW really is an excellent option if you don't know a whole lot about nutrition/caloric breakdown of foods/etc. It's a great program for helping you understand where you can splurge and where you need to exercise restraint.

As far as exercise goes...I think you have to find something you like to do and someone to do it with. Accountability is a must, and it always helps if you actually enjoy your exercise! I think the most important thing is to just try to remember what you already said: that your body is a temple. Take small steps to improve how you take care of it. Hope this helps!

Derek and Amanda said...

I got to a point where I was the heaviest I had ever been and even though people would tell me I was not heavy...I knew I was for my body. So, I went to You can track everything thing you eat. It keeps up with the calories for you. If you put in how many pounds a week you want to lose (be reasonable...another thing I learned) and then it will tell you how many calories you need to eat daily to lose the weight. If you exercise you add that in there. It is a great resource and it is free opposed to the expensive WW. Though, if you need the accountability of WW then I would do that but I lost 15lbs just doing Live Strong. It made me realize how many calories I was earting a day. I had no idea how it added up so quickly. :) Hope this is helpful!! :)

Ginny Alley McCullough said...

I'm with you Lauren, definitely at my highest weight. Part of the problem is that Adam wants chips and soda for lunch and he doesn't want baked etc. So they are here in the house. Ugh! And yet somehow he keeps losing weight. If you want an accountability partner I will join you!

Lindsay Bledsoe said...

Well from the last pictures I have seen of you, you look great! Healthy eating is something i think about daily, but don't always follow through. Feeding Hannah keeps me accountable at meal times, because I want to feed her little body the most wholesome food I can so I've been trying to eat what she eats ( I add extra stuff for me too), and I work out (could bump it up a notch) and I still don't lose weight...go figure. The best weight loss advice I have, is breastfeed, try to pump now! haha JK!! But seriously, that was the best metabolism booster, and now that it's over (10 months ago) I'm having to reset or work with the metabolism I have. I've also heard over and over to right down what you eat, record it, it keeps you more mindful.

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