Sorry, this post ended up being much longer than I anticipated, but you did ask about the religious side of dieting, and these are the things that I believe, and that help me along my journey, so here you go...
As a child, I experienced some abuse at the hands of 2 family members, which left me with extremely low self esteem
. To prevent any further abuse, I made myself as unappealing to others as I could; using the only method I had at the time… food.
I was raised in a non religious family, but started attending weekly church meetings with a friend almost 7 years ago. I was baptized on mother’s day weekend of ’09. During this time I have come to know that we are all made in the image of God (which means that he has physical body!
), and that our bodies are his temples. Although we are given the gift of free agency, we are expected to use it to better ourselves, and to help others to the best of our ability.
In the time that I have been involved in the church, I have managed to cut out almost all of my self-destructive habits (smoking, drinking, etc) and am trying to cut out all caffeine (so far coffee and tea are out of the picture…now all I have to do is cut out the sodas and energy drinks!). The only real vice I still have is food. Unlike the others, food is actually necessary for our survival, so I can’t just stop eating.
We are asked to fast on the first Sunday of each month, and give the money that would have been spent on food as a fast offering to help support others in the congregation who are in some sort of financial hardship. Although I can’t fast for medical reasons, I find that this tradition helps us remain mindful of what we consume, and the effect that it has on the vessel the Lord has given us for our temporal journey.
I spent more than 25 years (from the time I was 10) feeding myself garbage, so that my body would match my self-esteem. I’ve had a very hard time learning how to nourish myself properly so that I may be a worthy vessel for His presence. I’m hoping that through prayer, scripture study, and this site, I will gain control of my issues surrounding food. I do have the basics down though…
In part the “Word of Wisdom
” (the church’s doctrine on health) says…
“Inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, it is not good…Strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.”
“And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.”
“…Hot drinks are not for the body or belly” (That would refer to coffee and tea, either hot or cold!)
“…All wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving” (Eating FRESH, local, sustainable foods)
“Also flesh of the beasts and of the fowl of the air, I, the Lord have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; never the less, they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or of famine” (Many assume that this is do to poor refrigeration techniques, assuming that the meat would spoil and cause illness before it was all eaten, but, in my opinion, we still eat to many animal products for our health…and yes, I am including myself in that statement!)
“All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life… All grain is good for the food of man; and also the fruit of the vine… whether it is in the ground or above the ground”
“And all who remember to keep and do these sayings… shall receive health in their navel and marrow in their bones… and shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint”
I truly believe that these ordinances were promptings of the Lord, and are meant to guide and direct us to live healthier lives, and keep his temples pure so that He may dwell with us… for the Lord does not dwell in unclean places.
These are the beliefs that I hold dear, and I am trying to live within the guidelines of this doctrine as best I can, though I still find myself struggling with portion sizes.