This may be unpopular, but it needs to be said. In America, and much of the world, the Church has many privileged people. Naturally, richer people are able to indulge more, and do less physical labor. This makes them more prone to gluttony and sloth, two serious sins. If you go to just about any suburban or rural church in the US, you’ll see an abundance of overweight people, wearing their sins on their sleeves. If you are one of these people and you’re getting really mad, now you know how others feel when their sins are called out, but either you can heed the Spirit and embrace change, or justify your sin and “shoot” the messenger. And I am not even really the messenger; I am just a messenger of the original Message, the Holy Bible:
Proverbs 23:2 – “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.”
Proverbs 25:16 – “If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit.”
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.”
Philippians 3:18-19 “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Ecclesiastes 10:17 “Happy are you, O land, when your king is the son of the nobility, and your princes feast at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness!”
Proverbs 12:24 “The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Proverbs 15:19 “The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway.”
Ecclesiastes 10:18 “Through sloth the roof sinks in, and through indolence the house leaks.”
Proverbs 24:30-34 “I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
The bottom line is you shouldn’t be fat. Fat acceptance and excuses like “I’m big boned” are worldly distractions meant to satisfy the flesh, and they are satanic deceptions meant to keep you complacent in your sins. A lot of people try to lose weight and get in shape, but they don’t see results fast enough, so they quit. The thing is, if you’re obese, it takes a lot of time to undo the deformity you caused your body (or your parents caused by feeding you wrong and letting you live too sedentary). But it can be undone. What you need is not a diet and a weight loss program, you need to eat differently, forever, and exercise regularly, until you die. And not namby-pamby little 1 lb pink dumbbell and a 15 minute walk workouts meant for 110 year old women, but serious, sweaty, hard grueling workouts and a disciplined diet. Instead of cringing you should be praising Almighty God that you live in such a time and place that you literally have to invent physical labor for yourself (exercise) on your own time of your own choosing to make up for the labor fate did not force upon your shoulders by birth!
Now, I am not the kind of person who would leave you hanging without a path to follow in order to get in shape. I am not Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I learned a lot about fitness through study and from being in the Army, and I am trying to get myself in the condition needed to compete in the annual CrossFit games, which is no easy feat. The fact of the matter is that there is no perfect diet and exercise plan, but there are good ones. I recommend the paleo diet and CrossFit, as they have worked for me.
The paleo diet is basically only eating things our ancestors would have access to, or what “cavemen” would eat. I don’t believe in a lot of what the paleo folks preach as far as cavemen go, being a creationist, but, the diet is sound and it works. The foods you can eat are plentiful and it’s really hard not to lose weight when applying the diet correctly, and best of all, there’s no calorie counting. For more information, I recommend this website.
Now, the paleo diet is recommended on the official CrossFit website. CrossFit is an excellent fitness regimen that will push you very hard, but does not require really more than an hour a day in the gym. Done by the book, its 3 days on, 1 day off, and there are workouts that require no equipment for when you are deployed in the military, living in a hotel, etc. There are other methods of doing CrossFit besides the 3 days on 1 day off routine; the most popular probably being doing CrossFit only on the weekdays with the weekends off, but I like the former set-up personally. As long as you pick something and stick with it, you won’t go wrong.
I like to do the workouts of the day (WOD’s) on the www.CrossFit.com official website. I may be in good shape, but even I have to scale workouts down a notch sometimes, and so do some of my Army buddies. For example, there’s a workout called the Fran. I literally cannot complete the first round, 21 barbell thrusters, with a 95 lb weight. I have to switch to something smaller, like a 75 lb weight, and as long as I keep progressing someday soon enough I’ll be doing the workout as prescribed.
Once you get into CrossFit, you’ll notice that most workouts are short (although the one I did yesterday, 4 mile run and 60 burpee pull-ups with my military body armor on, took about an hour). I’d say most take between 7 and 30 minutes to complete. This gives you some time within the hour to workout to stretch or work on strength. I like to stretch, get some practice with an Olympic lift in (such as bench press, deadlifts, the overhead squat, etc) and at the conclusion of my WOD, after a short break, I’ll work on a callisthenic exercise that I need to be good at for job purposes (such as push ups or sit ups), provided that that callisthenic wasn’t already included in the WOD.
The aforementioned paleo diet website and the CrossFit website can explain things better than I can. I highly recommend joining a real CrossFit gym and learning from a certified trainer, because most Olympic lifts are dangerous if done incorrectly (but don’t use that as an excuse to stay lazy). By eating paleo and doing CrossFit you tend to save money overtime, even if it looks initially expensive, because you’ll be healthier (less doctor trips, less meds, better quality of life). Plus, you won’t be buying junk food, only very rarely will you eat junk food (I stick with Christmas, Super Bowl Sunday, New Years, Thanksgiving and a few other days throughout the year, such as family reunions).
What is important is not the paleo diet or CrossFit though, those are simply tools that work very well and I use that I wanted to let you know about in case you need something to work with to begin to overcome sloth and gluttony. Christ will definitely aid the Christian in putting these sins to death, as He has already defeated them on the cross, but the paleo diet and CrossFit just might be the means by which He works in your life, as they have been means in my life.
I urge every Christian to flee sloth and gluttony as they would any other sin, such as adultery or theft. They have no place in the body of Christ. I also urge Christian leaders to be bold, and lovingly preach on these subjects to their congregations that their flock may purge these sins from among them. People will likely be offended, but when people are always offended when the sins they love are disparaged, and it’s for their own spiritual wellbeing that the truth is preached. God didn’t hide the truth to avoid offending anyone, and neither should we, although everything should be said with love and tact.