The Obesity Epidemic: Fight Back Today with God's Help!

Submitted October 31, 2013

Bathroom scalles
Source: iStockphoto.com

Obesity.  Every time I see this in the news, I think "What an ugly word!"  For anyone who is overweight or has reached the state of obesity, that state is nothing but uncomfortable. Nobody likes it. The condition often carries a social stigma.  

Why am I interested in this and writing about it? I have personally experienced the challenge of gaining weight and then struggling to lose it for much of my life. With God's help, I have dropped 50 pounds sensibly—but this time I have maintained this loss for the better part of a year. For me, it's presently a great feeling of relief and freedom! 

But I know firsthand what it feels like when you're trying to lose weight and it's not working. It hurts. It's an emotional burden. It's discouraging. What can I say to readers who know someone who is overweight or are themselves facing this major challenge?

Consider this: to achieve healthy weight loss and sustain it, it's going to take a commitment. And to be truly successful, it's going to take direct help from God Himself. I know that for a fact. I've experienced it. There is hope!

Here's how I used to feel when I was seriously overweight—perhaps you can relate: You find that you don't like the way you look and feel very conscious of it, especially around other people. You don't like how your clothes fit and how you feel. You want to lose weight and periodically go at it with one of many diets, methods or plans that are advertised…only to give up and gain back weight that you had lost. In frustration and emotional agitation, you do exactly what's going to hurt the worst: You eat things that you KNOW are not good for you and continue to suffer the consequences of the ugly word: obesity.

Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing prevalence in adults and children. It is one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century. Obesity is stigmatized in much of the modern world.

In 2013, the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease. Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of eating excessively, lack of physical activity, but also of genetic susceptibility. Other factors contribute as well.

Consider this: since obesity has been re-classified as a disease, that should relieve some of the emotional stigma that accompanies it and lessen the toxic emotions that contribute to it. If someone tells you "Just use more will power to lose weight," they don't understand the true nature of the condition.

However, this does not excuse you from not doing anything about it. Accept the fact that it probably took a while for you (or the obese person you know) to get to the condition that you're presently in. Accordingly, it's going to take a while to get back to a healthy weight. Quick fixes rarely work, and they of themselves can be very unhealthy.

# 1 - So let's call that principle number one: after you make your commitment, accept the fact that it's going to take some sustained time to reverse the overweight/obese condition.

# 2 - Principle number two then would be to realize that you need to come up with a plan that includes modified diet and exercise. Don't make it so complicated that it collapses after a day or two. Keep at it.

# 3 - Principle number three includes the fact that you may blow it occasionally. Falling off your program simply means you persevere and pick up where you left off and don't get discouraged.

# 4 - Principle number four might include this: get your emotional house in order. Untreated or unaddressed chronic anxiety or depression can and will probably sabotage any real success you can achieve. Eating often makes us feel better because of the dopamine and other blood chemistry changes it induces. That's a powerful force to counteract!

# 5 - Principle number five and the most important principle is this: lay your plans before God and directly ask for His advice, direction, help and encouragement! Remember, Proverbs:16:8 is a promise that God makes to you: "Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established" (Revised Standard Version). God's will is for you to be healthy. He already knows your mind (1 Chronicles:28:9) and He knows what weaknesses you have—so don't be afraid to ask for help!

Why not start right now?  It can be done, and I'm living proof!

We have a website that helps with challenges like over-eating, addictions and other dysfunctions.  Click here for direct access .

You can lose weight and take yourself out of danger—I encourage you to take the first steps—however small—by starting today!

 

PS:  I'm just touching on this subject.  I want to offer hope to you, because you can break free from it like I did. It takes some effort physically and psychologically.  Publicly I do not endorse any particular diet or regimen, but would be happy to tell you how I did it if you write to me at victor_kubik@ucg.org .



Blog posts do not undergo review by the doctrinal review team of the United Church of God. This post represents the personal opinion of the author and should not be considered the official stance of the United Church of God. If you have any questions or concerns please direct them to webmaster@ucg.org.


blax

blax's picture

Thank you for bringing the importance of losing weight to UCG members attention.

I have lost 45 lbs. since January under my physician's direction. Losing weight has been a lifelong problem for me.

I feel better healthwise and about myself as an individual.




Lorelei Nettles

Lorelei Nettles's picture

Thanks Victor!

What a timely article for me. I just recently started another diet and the points you make are so true. There is a stigma and it is a struggle, but we can and should rely on God for help. Thanks for reminding us of that.

The only thing I would add is for those who are around a person who is dieting. The dieter really doesn't need advice on what or how much they should eat unless they ask. Dieting is hard enough without feeling like you're being monitored. Many a dieter has failed due to too high of expectations from others.




Linda Finley Martens

Linda Finley Martens's picture

Thank you for this. I have always struggled with my weight. It is a subject you don’t usually see addressed by “spiritual” leaders, but it is a condition that affects how we see and accept ourselves – and how we retain the self-confidence to relate to others. Anything that affects our psyche so deeply can be labeled a spiritual problem, I believe. Yes, in some ways our concern with our appearance seems superficial, as we are striving to perfect our heart and inner being. We also perceive that an obese figure is what a judgmental world may first behold, and it is hurtful to be dragging along this weight that becomes not just physical but emotional. Thank you for the kind and compassionate encouragement.




Ladydar03

Ladydar03's picture

Thank you for your blog. It is very helpful.. When your morbid obese the pain and struggle is very hard. Very damaging to your mind and emotions. Especially being called by God. No disrespect but 50 lbs to someone like me who is morbid obese ( the clinical term) comes off and on. Even if it stays off you know you have so much more to go. The struggle everyday to loose is constantly on your mind, because of the pain your in and your commitment to God. A lot of times you feel like a failure, because of not succeding to be thin. I agree you should never give up , it's apart of your conversion, your life. At the same time you have to make an covenant with your self, that sometimes Gods grace is sufficient enough for you. Otherwise your thoughts and emotions will drive you mad. Anyone who needs to loose weight can be a struggle for them. But obesity is a true form of evil. It effects your body, and your mind. When I see someone like me, all I can do is beg God to save them. I know their pain and struggle. I pray constantly let me be the one to help them. I am not for sure how to do that yet, because I am still struggling myself. But I know in the kingdom the horrible pain will be turned around. Until then Our God sets us free in spirit, and with perseverance on our part too,our bodies. Your steps on making a plan, and a commitment is very helpful. To be reminded to have a plan is really a good thing. Sometimes you get lost in your own disappointments.. This I know I am weak, but with God all things are possible. I pray that people reading this will take a little time to understand obesity, and encourage people as I feel like you did. Thank you so much for addressing this disease.




ladydlc

ladydlc's picture

Thank you Vic Kubik for speaking out on a subject which is so important for all of us. It is necessary to lose weight slowly and make life style changes which can be followed through out our life span. Your five principles are very good, especially number 2 and number 5. We all understand that it is necessary to have discipline in spiritual matters and it is also necessary to have discipline in taking care of our physical bodies. There is much material available which can help us learn how to make the changes necessary in order to increase our overall health and productiveness of our physical bodies. You are setting a good example and it is much appreciated.




babsie

babsie's picture

Thanks, Mr. Kubik, for your encouraging thoughts.

I have personally been on a diet since I was 5 years old and was the constant laughing stock of my school. I am now 15 lbs. overweight but am up and down like a yo-yo. The emotional stress from my childhood keeps creeping back, so it is imperative that parents keep guard on their child's weight so this yo-yo affect does not plague them the rest of their lives!

It is a daily battle that I wage, and God helps me wage it! More information needs to be given to parents, so that this battle never even becomes necessary.

Great article, and congratulations on winning yours!!



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