Last winter as I was eating my ice cream after three pieces of pizza, I felt sharp pain in my chest. As a nurse, I immediately started assessing the situation. Blood pressure = normal, heart rate = normal, no shortness of breath. Hmm, could it be I gorged myself into heartburn? Yes, antacids took the pain away. I certainly was relieved, however, for the first time, I actually looked at this ‘behavior’ for what it truly was, gluttony. Oh my, gluttony is one of the 7 ‘deadly’ sins! I hadn’t ever thought of my eating as sinful!
With the Holy Spirit enlightening me, I am able to spiritually ask for forgiveness for this sin and work on the discipline needed to control the habit of overeating. I can take my weakness to God who loves me even in my fragile human condition. He knows me and wants only the best for me.
As the apostle Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it”.
In the late 90s, our then Parish Nurse, Marge Kalinowski, began a new “Spiritual Growth, Weight Loss” program called Light Weigh, by Suzanne Fowler. This has been “the way out” that God brought into my life. Spiritually, I have gained more than the weight I have lost. (I lost 25 lbs within the first 12 week session, my blood cholesterol, blood pressure both dropped from borderline high to normal. My joint pain became tolerable and exercise enjoyable again! In fact, life in general became more disciplined and less stressed. Through the years since the first time in the program, I have had my ups and downs but the first 20 lbs lost have never returned and at this time I am down 10 more.)
I only mention the numbers to state the facts. My overall feelings of health and ability to be of service to others as a wife, mother, grandmother and Faith Community Nurse at our church, are my motivations. God is my strength in this struggle. I now see that he cares about every detail of my life, even the food I eat!
Yes, God is invested in our behaviors, wanting only the best for all of us.
Dear Lord, please help me in my emotional attachment to food. Instead of using food as an escape from pain or loneliness, a reward for achievements or a crutch in social situations, assist me in putting food in its proper place in my life while coming to you when lonely, hurting, celebrating and socializing. Bless me with the grace to understand how eating in excess prevents me from becoming the child you created me to be. Amen.
Nancy Zaczkowski leads Light Weigh One King, a 12-week session, at her parish of St. Anthony in St. Cloud. The next group begins in September. Call the St. Anthony church office if interested in information or starting your own group at 320-251-5966.