Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Weight of Motherhood (Series, Part 5)

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This is the last post in this series. So far, I have been discussing my relationship with my weight as a woman and especially as a mother. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.

In this last post, I want to discuss my weight in relation to my faith.

I recently read a wonderful book, Dear and Glorious Physician. It is the story of St. Luke. In it, St. Luke or Lucanas as he is called throughout most of the book, learns the ways of medicine and ministers to the poor as a physician. Again and again, a theme is present: the connection between body and soul.

"The disease is not only the whole man, but also his soul. A sick spirit creates a sick body, or a sick body creates a sick soul. Not only must the flesh and its disease be treated, but the mind also. It is very possible, though not proved, that all diseases, even those epidemic, originate in some secret chamber of the soul."

Of course, today we have a much different understanding of medicine. However, I do believe that there is some truth in this. How can our spirits be thriving if we do not take care of the temple of our bodies?

Another example. Recently we watched The Mission, a wonderful movie. In it, Father Gabriel ministers to and evangelizes a remote, indigenous tribe of people in South America. In one scene, Father Gabriel canoes upriver and climbs steep cliffs to reach the tribe. His body is in immaculate shape. His body is a temple. He is  able to minister to the tribe because of the condition his body is in.

What do I make of this? I'm not sure. I am still reflecting on it. But I do believe that there is a connection between how we take care of our bodies and how we serve the Lord.

In the last part of this series, I explained a couple of reasons why losing weight has not been that important to me. However, if I could find a connection between managing my weight and living out my faith, I would find a lot of motivation in that.

I am in search of a book that explains this connection. I began reading Celebration of Discipline by Robert Foster, but have not finished it. There is a section in there about fasting that interests me.

We are called to seek sainthood. In doing so, we must consider how we take care of our bodies.

All of this makes sense to me in a theoretical, logical way. However, when it comes down to living out my daily life, I have difficulty making the connection. I eat ice cream, watch TV and press the snooze button to try and catch up on a little sleep. How can I incorporate these lofty ideals into my daily, messy, busy, crazy life?!

I hope you have enjoyed this series, The Weight of Motherhood. I have shared with you my journey thus far. It is helpful for me to remember that everyone is different, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and no one is good at everything. This is a weakness of mine. I have not been blessed with a high metabolism that burns off everything that I eat. I have not been blessed with the discipline to make good eating choices often enough to maintain a healthy weight. This is an area that I will continue to work on, probably even more so once we are getting regular sleep at night! I will let you know how it goes.

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