Monday, May 7, 2012

Fat Body, Fat House

Our bodies live in houses of brick or wood. And our souls live in houses of flesh and blood. Each of these "houses" need constant maintenance, nourishment and care and trouble arises when these are out of balance or neglected. 

Think about it:
A fat body breeds disease, arthritis and heart strain, etc.
A fat house (clutter) breeds filth, disorder and chaos, etc.

A cluttered house has...

Too much incoming             and            not enough outgoing

Likewise a fat body has...

Too much incoming           and            not enough outgoing

Body Fat &  House Clutter

For some people, getting a cluttered home in tidy order is as daunting as losing weight is for others.  And the bigger the problem the longer it takes to conquer it. 

Measurable success comes from clearly defined goals. Creating new habits

takes time. I have to remind myself that there will be hills of success and valleys of defeat on my journey to physical fitness. Knowing this ahead of time helps steel my resolve and weather stormy feelings that always accompany changes in habit.

For me, my house is easier to manage than my body. I think personal habits play a key role. It's going to take a lot of determination for me to excel at being fit.  And time.

If our habits and mindset doesn't change, then our behavior will lead us right back to the problem we seek to conquer. 

If a cluttered house were overhauled quickly by a professional organizer, but the homeowner made no marked changes to keep it that way, the place would return to a mess. 

And people who lose weight quickly through gastric bypasses or lapbands but don't make permanent dietary & exercise changes, tend to gain the weight back again in a short time. 

Why is that?  I believe it's from not changeing the bad old habits with new good ones.  And sometimes, plain ignorance. 

I learned how to make a home through reading and lots of practice. I have several books on home cleaning, decorating, organizing, small repairs, laundry. And there are many inspiring homekeeping blogs, too. 

Many people can tell us us how to lose weight.  Many people can tell us how to organize our homes.  But at the end of the day, we are still left to our daily decisions and habits. 

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

If a person with a clutter problem is not mindful to put things away and throw out trash on a daily basis, their clutter will always remain. 

If a person with a weight problem is not mindful to count their calories and exercise to burn away the excess ones on a daily basis, their fat will always remain.

The first step in getting a handle on either problem, is to get a handle on our feelings. Because house clutter and excess body weight both originate in emotions. So conquering clutter or fat involves conquering feelings. 

I believe that clutter stems from over-sentimentality. People with too much stuff and no where to put it are emotionally attached to their posessions.  They live as if their stuff owns them rather than the other way around. 

Overweight starts with eating too much.  Many people subconsciously turn to food for their pain and end up emotional over-eaters.  This is the worst of the two and much harder to correct. 

But do you see how both problems involve an excess?  It's just all too, too much. 

Change Your Thoughts & Actions Will Follow

Actions begin with thoughts.  in Phillipians 4:8 it says to think about whatever is good, pure, lovely, just, honest and of good report.

We have to train our thoughts to hold on to the truth. Both of our "houses" function at their best when they are balanced and trim. 

But fat bodies and fat homes inhibit us on EVERY level.

They both:

  1. hinder movement
  2. dwarf effectiveness
  3. limit activities
  4. diminish social stature
  5. injure health
Too much stuff. Stuffed full. Stuffed houses. Stuffed bodies.

Earthen houses and bodily houses that are stuffed full cause all sorts of troubles. I believe our American culture has a lot to do with these troubles.  The Bible says that believers in Christ are in the world but not of it. 

1 Peter 5:8-10 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Our adversary is the devil. He's like a lion roaring in the streets.  Notice that the Bible never tells us to fight this enemy, only to resist.  Resistance is passive, a non-act. God does our fighting for us. All we are told to do is resist.

But how?  How does a dam or mound resist a current of water? Passively. By standing unmoved and interrupting its progress.  So it is with our enemy. 

We have been told to conquer him through resisting.  Resistance is often easiest to accomplish through avoidance.  Someone with a weight problem can practice resistance through avoidance by keeping sweets in the house to a bare minimum. 

I like to keep only the ingredients around - no pre-made sweets that are just a hand grab away from going right in the mouth.  When sweets have to be prepared first, they are more likely to be occasional rather than daily. 

Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Someone with a clutter problem can resist by setting limits of what comes into the house. If something comes in, something goes out. And taking 15 minutes a day to unclutter one small area of the home can really add up.

Someone with a weight problem can resist by setting limits on what goes into their bodies. Eating 3 servings of vegetables and 2 fruits per day is easy.  Getting a 30-60 minute walk in will create a calorie deficit that will lead to weight loss and stronger fitness. 

In either case, placing physical, external boundaries around us is a good strategy to aid us in resisting.  Knowing that God stands ready to help us at any moment. He is only a prayer away.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
In the verse above, we see that coveting is the opposite of contentment. The sin of coveting is wanting something we don't have.  And it's listed in the ten commandments alongside hideous sins like murder, adultery and theft.  It is major.  

We all have a deep desire to be content. But true contentment comes with being satisfied with our portion.  And in the above verse the Lord gives us the ultimate reassurance:

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
God is our father, our provider, our comforter and our portion.  He promises to never leave or forsake us. 

That knowledge is where our comfort must spring from, not from filling our homes with an overload of "stuff" or our stomachs with an overload of food. 
Psalms 73:26-28 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
So many of us carry personal failures around with us instead of standing on the precious promises in the word of God: that we are more than conquerors.

As believers, we have the power of the living God, the creator of the universe within us. I rest in his ability, not mine. HIS strength is made perfect in our weakness. My job is to walk with him.
Romans 8:37 all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Philippians 4:5 
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  Colossians 3:16-17 

If you have a fat body, I encourage you to simply get up and get some exercise each day. I have been walking on my new treadmill since January and I'm up to 3 miles 4 days a week. I hope to increase it to five days a week soon.

If you have a fat house, I encourage you to simply get up and unclutter a small area for a few minutes. It's amazing what an impact just 15 minutes a day of decluttering can have.

Whichever problem you identify with, remember that faith without works is dead.  You can do one thing each day toward your goal. But first you must have a goal.

The difference between a dream and a goal is a time line. 

Walking with the Lord means never walking alone - God is with us every step of the way on our journey.

Now THAT is comforting!

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