I've been on a diet/cleanse deal, not so much to lose weight to "look good" but more because I've realized that I'm not healthy. I found myself getting winded doing things that shouldn’t wind me and there are other family health issues that I want to avoid. I also discovered that in holding my friends kids at church I was rapidly losing my lap. So it was time for a change.
I think that its a big mistake to allow how the world perceives us or defines us to shade how we define ourselves if that isn't really what we are. But too often I think that's the case.
A few months ago my brother got onto facebook and went photo wild, he started to post pics that were decades old of me when I was in college and post mission. The funny thing was that at the time I really thought I was huge, like really fat. Now looking at the pics I'm shocked at how sickenly thin and gaunt I looked. Growing up I was made fun of because I was the fat kid in school, I wore glasses and I was the only Mormon. So yes, this opened me up to all kinds of persecution. Because I didn't participate in all the partying and sex talk in high school I was defined as a fag. Looking at those pictures now and seeing that I wasn't anywhere fat makes me wonder if I've also allowed those people to influence my SSA, because honestly I don't remember a time before school when I felt that way.
I have a good friend who is pretty into the whole gay scene and who is for lack of a better word what a lot of us would define as hot. However while there isn't an ounce of body fat anywhere on him, he is constantly on one fad diet after another to lose weight. I know that it’s because he has immersed himself in a club culture that does put more value on age and body appearance then what is really important. I know that he is covering up real issues with these body issues. Part of it comes with having people around that love you for who you are not what you are. I feel so bad for him because he says he's happy but I can tell he isn't.
I think that part of our mortal struggle is to balance who we are with what we want against what we believe. I think at times when what we want is over shadowed by what we want at the moment we run into trouble. Again my doctor explained to me that appetite is of the mind and is an emotional need but real hunger is of the body. We need to feed the body to nourish it. When I started the cleanse I went cold turkey and stopped eating surgery, refined and processed foods and other things like that. Almost immediately my body rebelled and I went through four days of the worst headaches ever. After that though, I felt a lot more energy. But those four days were horrible.
Isn't it funny how the things we crave can attack us if we don't bend to them? I think there is a moral lessen there. I know that the natural man is the enemy of God and that we need to strive towards the eternal and put away the natural man. But it’s not always easy when on one hand you really want to be faithful but on the other the sugary stuff really is good and will satisfy us for a short time. But in the end look at what it does to us. In the end it’s the stuff that provides the real nourishment, not the empty calories or the sugar rush that makes us healthy.