I was struck this morning while perusing web news sites by a large number of headlines focused on weight loss, body image, changing eating habits, etc. Several had posts about the most popular New Year’s resolutions and yes, weight loss is not only included but ranked as one of the most important. For men and women an attractive shape has become a measure of success. These days it is also considered an indication of health – pleasingly plump is questioned as a gauge of well being.
A few years ago when my husband and I were new in town, one of the first questions a neighbor asked me was, “How do you do it?’ Seeing my puzzled look she noted that we were both grandmothers, but my figure was one of someone younger.
I had struggled with my weight growing up. As a teenager and young adult, many were the diets I had tried. Then over 30 years ago my approach changed.
Instead of trying to stop a bad habit – for me overeating – I focused on adding a good habit. In response to a temptation, Jesus answered that it takes more than bread to sustain life. In other words, to me the lesson was that just as it is necessary to eat every day, so it is as important to take in spirituality too. Here was a good habit to add to my life!
Finding myself much heavier than I had ever been after the birth of my first child, I decided to adopt a daily diet of spirituality. So in addition to a regular Bible study, I added an inspirational article. My weight eventually normalized as did my eating habits, though that was not where I was placing my attention.
Occasionally in the decades since I have revisited this lesson when finding myself stuck in difficult circumstances or wanting to overcome negative personal tendencies that crop up. I’ve learned that a consistent spiritual practice helps to find success in many areas, including weight loss.