Thursday, December 02, 2004

Battle of the Bulge

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you…
And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
~ John 6:27,35 (NKJV)

Have you ever wondered why it takes six months to take off the weight you gained from only overeating one week during the holidays?

That happened to me several years ago when we drove to Minnesota to spend Christmas with my brother Joe and his family. Joe’s wife, Cindy has a yearly tradition of getting together with several of her friends and baking every type of Christmas delicacy you can imagine. Then they divide them up and everyone goes home with a smorgasbord of wonderful treats for their family.

Well, I have a terrible sweet tooth, which I constantly battle, but that year I just couldn’t resist. So, after deciding in advance that my overindulgence would be well worth whatever consequences I might have to suffer, I sampled one or more of nearly every scrumptious variety. Six months later, when I was still trying to lose the extra pounds I’d gained during my gluttonous binge, it didn’t seem like such a good idea.

Once I hit forty, I noticed that I began putting on some extra weight, even though I didn’t think I was eating any more than I normally did. My doctor explained that our metabolism slows down as we age, so if we don’t do something in the way of exercise to counteract that sad fact, then we’ll find ourselves losing the battle of the bulge.

The good news is that studies show exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous in order to be effective. One time my doctor asked me if I exercised. Since I didn’t work out at a fitness center, I sheepishly answered no. “But my husband and I walk several times a week,” I quickly added. Her response was a pleasant surprise. “What do you mean? Walking is one of the best forms of exercise around.” I guess I should have known that, because I lost twenty pounds when Keen and I walked once or twice a day during the seven months we spent waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down a decision.

Our son Josh is a second year medical student at KU and he has always been a great source of information and encouragement when it comes to health and nutrition. He says it’s a numbers game – like depositing or withdrawing money from the bank. By exercising, we can attempt to “withdraw” more calories than we “deposit.” He reminds me of the importance of keeping active so I’ll stay healthy long enough to enjoy my grandchildren.

One article Josh emailed me stated that we can lose 10 pounds in a year just be eating one tablespoon less fat per day (although some fats like olive oil and those in fish are actually good for you). “It’s not about making sweeping overhauls that are doomed to fail,” said Katherine Tallmadge of the American Dietetic Association in an interview with the Associated Press. The article went on to state that it’s time to “stop stuffin’ it and start huffin’ it.”

Here’s another email Josh sent me awhile back:

Hey Mom,
I needed a quick study break so I thought I’d find out a little moreon that book for you. It’s only $7 on If you type in
"Intuitive eating" you should get a book called "Intuitive Eating:
A Recovery book for the Chronic Dieter: Rediscover the pleasures
of eating and rebuild your body image." Also at that website you
can click the link “search inside the book” and it'll let you read
the first 10 pages or so. Within the first page I was reminded
how much I love this book.

Here's what I mean:

" . . . Dieting had made her more preoccupied with food. Dieting hadmade food the enemy. Dieting had made her feel guilt when she wasn'teating diet-type foods (even when she wasn't officially dieting).Dieting had slowed down her metabolism . . ."" .

. .Each diet teaches the body to adapt better for the nextself-imposed famine (another diet). Metabolism slows as the bodyefficiently utilizes each calorie as if it's the last. The more drastic the diet, the more it pushes the body into the calorie-pinchingsurvival mode. Fueling metabolism is like stoking a fire. Remove thewood and the fire diminishes. Similarly, to fuel our metabolism, wemust eat a sufficient amount of calories, or our bodies willcompensate and slow down . . ."

Alright, the cat's outta the bag, now you know where I get most of myanalogies. But Boy howdy does that say it all or what. And the wholebook is like that!I would be happy to sit down with you anytime. Back to the books,
test tomorrow, pray for me.Josh


In an email column titled “Faith to Faith” from Kenneth Copeland Ministries (, Kenneth shared his past struggles with weight and how he’s lost literally hundreds of pounds over the years, only to gain them right back again. He said he used to pray that God would help him lose weight, until he finally realized that he didn’t have a weight problem, he had a food problem.

“I wanted to lose weight,” he said, “but I didn’t want to permanently change my eating habits. I was like an alcoholic who wants to be able to drink constantly and not be affected by it. I wanted to eat nine times a day and still weigh 166 pounds!”
With the exception of those rare individuals who seem to be able to eat everything in sight and never gain a pound, most of us struggle to varying degrees in this battle for good health and physical well being. After all, it’s not about looking like a runway model, it’s about achieving a weight that we feel good about and that’s healthy for us.

I’d like to close this column on a more humorous note with the following poem by Dwight Burgess, who graciously gave me permission to share it with you.

By Dwight Burgess
Wamego, Kansas

Two gals chanced to meet one day on the street
There in front of the Café Sublime
“Oh Sylvia dear, imagine meeting you here,
Dear, it’s been such a very long time.”

“You’re looking great, you’ve lost so much weight,
why I hardly knew who you were.
It seems it’s more than a year since I saw you, Dear,
we need to catch up on old times, for sure.”

“Why, Dear, bless my soul, let me buy you a roll,
tell me how things are at your house.
Our lives change so much, we seem to lose touch,
are you still married to that louse?”

Then Sylvia said, slowly nodding her head,
“I’m afraid that the answer is yes.
I live with that hog like a whipped puppy dog,
I’m a glutton for punishment I guess.”

“Heaven knows it’s a job putting up with that slob
it’s been even tougher of late.
He smells such a fright I lose my appetite
that’s why I’ve lost so much weight.”

“And you better believe that I’m going to leave,
and heaven knows I’ve sure got grounds.
I won’t let the door hit my backside anymore,
but first I want to lose another 12 pounds.”

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
~ Romans 14:17 (NKJV)