Yes, that IS an Indiana Jones reference. Thank you for noticing. Sometimes that’s how I feel about my bod – it might be God’s temple, but it definitely also the Temple of Doom. I’ve always had a funky relationship with my body. And by ‘funky’ I mean I have disliked my body for most of my life. I was always “too” something; too tall, too fat, too thin, too busty, too chubby, too broad-shouldered. In my mind, there was always something wrong with my body.
I’ve used food as a way to control my feelings (about my body, ironically) for looooong before I knew that’s what I was doing. I used exercise to counteract what the food did to my body. For some time, I didn’t even exercise, I just stayed sedentary. Such a big mistake.
At 5 feet 9 inches, my ‘ideal’ weight is 150-175 lbs. I think I was in that range in high school when I was a cheerleader. When I chose to live as a blob on the couch, I ballooned up to 315+ lbs. Whenever I saw 315 on the scale, I was horrified. That was after deciding to take control of things, exercising some, and eating better, so I know at some point I was heavier than 315 lbs.
Now let’s be clear, I am ONLY discussing my own personal choices, feelings, and opinions about MY body. Whatever other people do is their business. For me, 315 lbs was completely unacceptable. I have a slew of diseases on both sides of my family that are only made worse by being severely obese. My maternal grandmother passed away from complications to unchecked diabetes, my maternal grandfather passed away from colon cancer, and there’s a laundry list of others whom have had various cancers, heart issues, etc. That doesn’t even touch upon the mental health issues and how weight affects that! I was a walking time bomb.
Truly though, I recognized that I was treating God’s temple with no regard to how precious it is to Him. Paul told the Corinthians their bodies were the temple of God!
“God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” – 1 Corinthians 3:17 NLT
When I was letting myself lounge around eating entire pizzas solo, all I was doing was disregarding how carefully God made me to be so much more. That’s like taking a beautifully crafted piece of handmade pottery and carelessly tossing it on the floor. We have to see ourselves the way He sees us, in every aspect of life. We have to see His love for us goes beyond forgiving our sins – it seeps into every part, including how we treat our ‘temples’.
One thing I always worry about is that people will think this is all about weight loss. It is not about weight loss. That is just MY story. I have a few beautiful sisters and brothers in Christ who have overcome anorexia, EDNOS, body dysphoria, etc. In those disorders, their temples were just as wounded as mine was. Recovery takes all shapes, weight restoration is just as important as weight loss.
Health is the absolute goal, nothing else.
In LIFE group, you learn about spiritual order. It is something I’m still working to understand, but I do know one thing I completely understand; if your body and soul are hungry or thirsty, they will pitch a fit until you DO something. If you are literally starving your body, it yearns for food, and that longing will overtake every part of your life. If your soul is longing for love, acceptance, or peace, it will thrash around and throw you into turmoil you might not even see coming until it is too late. Your spirit, the part in-tune with God, needs to lead your soul and body. However, you need to care for your soul and body as well as letting your spirit lead. Satan will use anything, hear me, EH-NY-THING, to get you away from being spirit-led.
So while running a 5k might not be your idea of a good time, please make sure you’re keeping all your parts healthy and aligned. Please remember you are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) by The Creator, the same God who crafted Mt. Everest and The Grand Canyon and puppies and bunnies and sunflowers, that same God made YOU. Love your temple!