Monday, May 24, 2010

Is spiritual health more important than physical health? Not sure...

I seriously don't have much time to write this post, but I just had to get my feelings down before I forgot or they changed again.

I've been thinking so much about the last post and the comments I've been receiving, and about spirituality and healthy eating in general.  My mind has drifted down a different path, yet again.  Today I'm thinking that this whole "be one with the universe and all falls into place" is a farce.  Or at least a semi-farce.  Why?  Because here's the bottom line folks- yes, being one with the universe is important, if that's what brings you peace and happiness.  Obviously we're all seeking peace and happiness.  But what's more important is that if you want to be thin and healthy, you have to follow the laws that govern health.  Plain and simple.  If you eat healthy foods, you will have the energy to work out and get through your day.  You will also be taking in less calories just by simply eating healthier than if you were pounding buttery steak and cheesy mash potatoes (mmmm!).  You can be one with the universe, and be happy with everything around you, and still eat like crap.  I don't agree with this lady that your physical appearance is an outside reflection of how you feel about life and yourself (someone told me that this is part of the book).  I know too many women who may be a tad bit overweight and still love life and are super positive people.  I feel like I love life to the fullest on most days, and yet that doesn't translate to me being skinny.  You can search your soul- you can resolve issues that you have.  Those are both wonderful things that need to happen in life anyway.  You will feel burdens being lifted off your back (literally) as you resolve issues and find peace within yourself- or if you "fix" things that need to be fixed on other levels, such as spiritually and emotionally.  But you still need to eat healthily and workout.  You won't just naturally go to a restaurant and order X and only eat a few bites of it, if that isn't in your nature.  If you're not doing that on a consistent basis anyway, it's not just going to happen overnight.  Maybe the book inspires people to start thinking about this- and if that's the case, that is wonderful and I support it.  But health laws are health laws and they don't change just because one finds inner peace.  Of course, if you find inner peace and that stops you from "stuffing" your emotions with food- that's great.  But I just don't think that all of this "stuffing" down emotions with food is anything new to the world...and yet in this day and age people are fat; and they weren't so in previous era's of life.  The reason?  I would like to argue that I think it's because of the Abundance that we are afforded in this day and age.

We have abundance in this society, and like anything else, we still have to have discipline when partaking.  Just because there is plenty of wealth out there (whether we're talking financial wealth, food, clothes, whatever) doesn't mean we need to keep hoarding everything in front of us.  We still have to have discipline because too much of anything- bad OR good can be bad for our health.  Moderation is key- whether it's moderation in drinking, moderation in eating, moderation in spending your money, whatever.  That's the law we need to learn to live by.  If the book inspires you to learn to love yourself and see yourself as God sees you- that is great and I commend that.  But you still need to learn to live in moderation.  We all do- that is my biggest problem right now.  It's HARD to learn this; if you're like me, you'll spend a lifetime trying to learn to control your impulses.  In era's past, they weren't afforded all of the abundance we have today, so they didn't have to learn the same level of discipline that we have to.  So what?  None of that matters- what matters is that you learn how to control your eating habits; and that you make healthy choices.

That's why programs like Weight Watchers is a great program- because it helps you learn to control yourself. Yes, being God's daughter is great and can help us overcome some of our internal lack of confidence.  Having confidence will help us to make better choices because we'll start to believe that we're worth it.  I'm here to tell you that you are.  You are worth trying for.  I am worth trying for.  I am worth the struggle every day to learn moderation and do better for myself.  Yes, I need help sometimes.  I need to be reminded (often) that I can do this- we can do this.  But I can.  And so can you.  We can make the right choices and see the 'fruits of our labors'.  We can reap what we sow- and we can sow something great for ourselves and our futures and our families and loved ones.  We CAN be thin, beautiful, happy- and we can rejoice in our abundant lives.

Don't get me wrong folks- I'm not bagging on the book- I've never read it and like I've told many of you- if it's something worth reading, I will (and probably should) pick it up.  I'm just voicing the lines of thought that the book has provoked in me and in conversations I've had about it since I heard about it.  What I've said here is all my own thoughts and is in no way a reflection of the book, because, like I keep mentioning, I haven't read it.

That is all- have a great day.



  1. I think something to consider is emotional eating (which you've mentioned before) vs. your point now of overconsumption due to abundance. IF you're emotionally eating & not just overeating because food is abundent, then there is a deeper issue/arguement. I have not read the book either, but understand the point of living a Christlike life, which to me is the epitimy of moderation & depending on God for your needs. If you truly do, then I believe you'll be able to solve the underlying issue and change your behavior surrounding emotional eating and become a truly fulfilled person; to your point that won't make you thin magically, but it can alter your behaviors around food going forward allowing you to lose and maintain the weight successfully. Not a scientifically proven theory, just a different perspective.

  2. I so gotta get this book - love this line of thinking and completely agree with you. No surprise there huh?

  3. lol.. I was just gonna ask, did you get this book and read the whole thing in the last few hours?? You are on FIRE girlfriend... I LOVE IT!!

  4. i think it's possible to be overweight and happy and positive. honestly, sometimes i wish i could be that kind of person and just "accept" myself. but in my case i'm overweight because i eat my emotions- very much not temperance. i haven't surrendered all to Jesus. it's such a struggle for me to trust 100%, and i hate admitting that!!

    i see parallels between my eating and how i treat issues and people in life (lack of temperance, fear, etc.). and so that author's quote resonated with me.

    i think you're right about the differences between now and then in terms of all the abundance we have, in every realm. (just go to the cereal aisle!) not everybody gets fat eating their emotions, and it's just easier now to get fat, period. i love the point Gina made above. and no matter why you're overweight -or, if you're not overweight, why you have food issues- i think it comes back to being conscientious and seeking balance and respecting the food laws you speak of.

  5. Good questions. Good analysis. Abundance is definitely an issue; you're on the money on that one.

    I'm going to exercise right now because I'm worth it.

  6. :D

    I'm still plowing through "the book." She has some good points--as long as you can get past her attitude that God is a what rather than a who--an impersonal force rather than a personal savior. Which would not be a problem IF she didn't purposely tie her spiritual beliefs in with her therapy method.

    And, really, her "good points" are pretty fundamental therapy ideas--nothing new in them at all.

    Anyone can apply therapeutic bits of wisdom to their own problem--be it food, relationships, drug addiction, whatever..

    Any good therapist will talk to you, eventually, about living in the moment, avoiding denial, valuing yourself, identifying underlying issues, as well as the lies/stories we tell ourselves... Pretty basic counseling 101 stuff.

    So, some of the points are good and if you aren't a therapist (or haven't had therapy), it seems new and enlightening--and IS good info to have. Info that can really trigger insight and shine some light on areas that need to be revealed.

    I think, too, (and this is in line with your post) that not all people think food is quite as important as the author. Really.

    I'm in with the emotional eating part since I absolutely use food as an anti-anxiety medication. NO doubt about it. But is it the center of my universe--no, it is not. Would it be helpful to have a better coping technique than eating to numb the anxiety--absolutely.

    And any good therapist will tell you that--even ones who eat chocolate when they're anxious. chuckle.

    Keep at it, fierce girl.


  7. i dont know what book this is but i like your argument on convinced me..have a great day..kelli

  8. That's really interesting... sometimes I reflect on the past few years, pre-crappy economy and think back on all the indulgences of just spending a lot of money going out - which went with excessive amounts of food and alcohol that turns out, didn't do my figure any favors. So not that the down economy has been any fun, but its totally toned down the exessive and abundant lifestyle I was living, and without all the stuff - I feel better about tackling some food issues. I've also been trying to not say that I "deserve" some food. Ick. Tired of that entitlement mentality - its time to work for the body I want...

    Ugh. Do you wonder if the food obsession is primarily an American cultural thing?