Thursday, December 17, 2009

Upcoming enrichment trouble...

Folks, I was really excited last week when I was asked to do a nutrition/fitness lesson for Enrichment in January. Now I'm worried. Weight is a very sensitive topic, especially for those who know they are overweight, but try not to think about it. Part of that is spawned by magazine covers and movie stars who have unrealistic bodies (and budgets to achieve those bodies). The attempted new, miracle diet or pill is tried with the end result that we are slightly chubbier and infinitely more hopeless and discouraged and depressed!

Of course, my lesson is supposed to be filled with facts and gospel references. I have been amazed at how strongly the spirit has testified of truth as I study fitness & nutrition! I honestly believe that body stewardship is real and that we can actually lessen our potential and ability to do things if we mistreat our bodies. Here is a crude example. At present, our society refuses to call certain behaviors a sin. If you do they refer to them as "value judgments" because immorality is against my values but is not a sin which would recognize God exists and that men are accountable for their actions. The majority of societies are very sexually liberal. It's everywhere & in all types of media. We are considered odd and old fashioned if we adhere to the God given commandment to abstain before marriage, exercise complete fidelity, and abhor pornography.

Similarly, the majority of the American society, and at alarmingly increasing rates other societies, have adopted the behavior of abusing their bodies with food. Now, I clarify that it usually isn't a conscious choice at first. The human brain is AMAZING! It remembers that when you were 13 and the kids at school teased you about your braces. To make you feel better Dad took you to McDonald's for dinner. It was just you & him & he gave you his undivided attention! It was an incredibly rewarding experience! Now you're 16 and you just got seriously rejected by the boy you've been dreaming about for months. It feels awful & as you drive home you pass the McDonald's where you had that wonderful evening with your Dad. Those wonderful feelings tickle the surface and temporarily ease your disappointment as you dip those fries into the ketchup and begin on your Big Mac. The fat in these foods re-enforces the temporary mood lift and the connection between McDonald's and feeling better. Without even noticing it you've started to condition yourself to seek out high fat foods when you are feeling blue.

The problem is life is extremely stressful... all the time! And, these foods are at our finger tip CONSTANTLY! It is my personal testimony that food is fuel! When it is used as rewards or other emotional substitutes it only digs emotional craters that are extremely difficult to climb out of. If we used food at fuel then the piece of cake and ice cream at a birthday party would be completely acceptable and very enjoyable. However, most of us fill our pantries with rewarding indulgences to be partaken of constantly.

The body stewardship problem is that when you eat foods that are not fuel you are actually harming your body. Being over weight isn't about comparing yourself to Barbie. She isn't real! Body stewardship is about taking the best care of your body. Your body will work for you now, last much longer in a much higher quality of life, keep you free from all the negative physical & emotional side effects of being over weight & unhealthy. And possibly the most important, you will be healthy & ready to do whatever the Lord has for you to do. When you are overweight, you usually are on several medications to ease the side effects, your heart is working much harder than it should, you get out of breath extremely easily, you don't sleep well, you are at a much higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, and cancer.

My aim is to help each sister realize that she can and needs to achieve & maintain a healthy weight, without offending anyone or using too much of my personal opinion. To me it's also about self mastery. In the Doctrine & Covenants in the revelation about the Word of Wisdom the Lord tells us that is can be followed by even the weakest of saints. I would honestly say it's a bit different how where we don't have to work for our food. It's in the store on the shelf, at the office in the break room, at home in our pantry, and every mile and a half in between. But, I feel a strong desire to master this part of myself to increase my ability to master other characteristics, like anger, patience, compassion, hard work, integrity, etc. And, the quest is a lot easier when those you love are on the same journey with similar goals & desires.

1 comment:

  1. I am delighted that you have posted. Body Stewardship IS back on my radar. I am working mentally on a post and some questions for you. They come from the values clarification thingy I am working on. I think I am almost ready to move beyond "smells"...body stewardship is next. I am glad you are keeping us aware. I will be sad if I have to miss your lesson. I think I have a fhc commitment already that night.