Monday, January 12, 2009


Those of you who have read this blog for any length of time know that I have been quite candid about my own struggle with gluttony. And, yes, it's an uncomfortable and extremely unpopular topic to talk about.

I've been a skinny glutton, with a high metabolism that kept me from gaining weight.

And I've also been a...well, less-than-skinny glutton.

So I don't equate gluttony with being overweight or being obese. I also know that "overweight" is a loaded term, and one that can be difficult to define. According to one medical weight chart, I am currently, at 130 pounds, overweight for my age, height, and frame size. I could make excuses, insist that I am healthy at this weight, etc., etc. but I know the real truth: I am at this weight because I've been eating too much and not exercising as much as I should, especially over the holidays.

For some people of approximately my size, 130 pounds would be a wonderful weight. The weight chart says I should be at around 115 - 120. I know that, at this stage in my life, I don't want to drop that many pounds. But I do know that I can't use that as an excuse to indulge my appetites.

Some people are so afraid of legalism that they would simply throw up their hands in disgust at this entire post. Others will no doubt quote the Scripture about "physical exercise profiting little" as a rebuke to me, suggesting that it would be far more godly for me to be a couch potato and do little or nothing to prevent/forestall my genetic ticking time bomb of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, and osteoporosis.

But I am too grateful for the gift God has entrusted in my care: my physical body. Oh, it's quite plain, boring and used up by contemporary standards, but it has been a blessing to me. It has borne six children. It is the tool I use to enable me to serve God in my daily life. Why should I not take care of it as my way of thanking God? Why should I not be a good steward of my health?

Besides, the Bible is clear that gluttony is a sin, modern ideas to the contrary. Binge eating is not cool. Eating like a pig is not a sign of healthy masculinity. Pretending it's more gluttonous to be health-conscious and watch what one eats than it is to eat everything in sight is...plain goofy.

Being overweight or obese is not a sin. But the way that most of us get there is. Yes, there are some people who will always be "overweight" though fit and healthy. But obesity is a different matter. Yes, in a few cases, there are medical conditions that prevent a person from losing weight, no matter how hard they work out or how carefully they eat. But that is far from common.

There has been a big brouhaha over on the Bayly Blog about obesity. I know one of the parties that has weighed in. (Haha...poor attempt at humor there.) I think it's interesting that some people are so afraid to admit that, in most cases, obesity is easily preventable and is caused directly by two things: eating too much and not moving enough. But I guess it's horribly judgmental to say that. Horribly judgmental to think that men who show off how fat they are maybe, just maybe should be ashamed rather than proud...not necessarily ashamed for being fat, but for what they almost certainly had to do (eat too much and work too little) to get that way.

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