We are each the unique creation of God, designed to have offspring, which in turn become family:
“And God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness . . . So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them . . . And God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply . . .” (Genesis 1:26-28)
In this Health Tip I want you to take a good look at your family. Now I am not writing this to be critical or hurtful, but rather I am hoping that you will take the occasion to take a good look at the physical health of your family and see if you are pleased with what you see.
As we begin, I am going to ask a number of questions in an effort to help each of us evaluate whether our family is on a road that will lead to abundant health, or on a path that will lead to increasing physical break down and possibly an early and untimely death.
For some, this will not be an easy journey, and there are no doubt some that are already afraid to go any further in turning the spotlight on their own family. But friend, if we don’t take an honest look at where our family is physically the future health of our family can potentially be far worse than it is today.
What Is the Size of Your Family?
I am not looking for you to determine how many different people are in your family. What I am asking is “How BIG is each member of your family? How much do they weigh? What is the size of their waistline and hipline?
Statistics tell us that 63% of Americans are either overweight or obese. In recent years there has been an explosion in childhood obesity, while at the same time parents are experiencing ever expanding waistlines. Now please be honest with yourself and take a good look at your family – your spouse and children if you have any.
What Do You See?
Please be honest here by allowing an honest evaluation:
Dad – Does dad have a slim, trim, muscular body? Or is there a bulge at the waistline? I am appalled at the number of preachers who get up to preach on a Sunday Morning, standing in a pulpit proclaiming the Word of God, and being anything but a good representative of the Lord because of a protruding waistline that resembles a beer belly. But it is not just the preachers, but the average man in the average congregation as well.
Mother – What is the physical shape of mom? I’m not saying that she has to have that muscular body that dad should have, but she should have a slim and trim body without a bulging waistline, fat arms and thighs.
Children – What is the body mass of your children? Are they slim and trim and an object of perpetual motion as God designed them to be? Or are they overweight, sluggish, desiring rather to sit and watch television, play a video game, or sit at a computer than participating almost daily in a physically active sport?
Now that we have taken an honest evaluation of our family’s physical body size and shapes, what are the choices? (1) Ignore it. (2) Recognize the need and do nothing. (3) Recognize the need to do something and start down the road to correcting it.
(1) Ignore it – Friend, you can ignore it, but that will not make it go away or improve the condition. Rather, if you ignore it, the problem will only get worse over time, and eventually (if some of the symptoms are not already being manifested) produce some very serious health challenges and no doubt an early death. Are you willing to gamble with your family’s health?
(2) Recognize the need and do nothing – Your results are not going to be any better than that of the person who chooses to ignore what they see.
(3) Recognize the need and do something about it – “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” (James 1:22-24)
We must commit and do our part to achieve victory!
The Bible warns us in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man [or women] soweth, that shall he [or she] also reap.”
It doesn’t matter how spiritual we are or how much we pray and ask God to take something undesirable away. This will not solve the problem. We created the situation and it is up to each of us to resolve it. In other words, God will not do for us what we are not willing to do for ourselves or at least be a participant in.
Now God will certainly help us achieve our goals, but we have to initiate the effort and we have to be committed to its achievement. Here is what God promises us if we will make the commitment and start down that road to victory: “I CAN DO all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:23)
Consequences of Ignoring
We just read in Galatians 6:7 that “whatsoever a man [or woman] soweth, that shall he [or she] also reap.” This is an irreversible law, established by almighty God that warns of consequences when we ignore what is self-evident. So what are the consequences of ignoring the condition of excess weight or obesity?
Being overweight or obese can become a matter of life and death. People who are overweight are more likely to develop a number of potentially serious physical and even emotional problems, which increases the risk of an early and untimely death. Following are just a few of the risk factors of being overweight:
Heart Disease – The more weight a person is carrying over their ideal weight the greater their risk of an early death due to heart attack. These heart attacks are usually preceded by elevated blood pressure readings.
These elevated blood pressure readings are caused by fat accumulation on the arterial walls that requires the heart to pump harder in order to push the blood through the accumulated fat clinging to the arterial walls.
Recently, a 45-year old Baptist Pastor in our area dropped dead due to a massive heart attack. The average child is already showing fat build up on their arterial walls, while in the Vietnamese war, autopsies on deceased 20-year old soldiers revealed as much as 50% arterial blockage.
When traveling, Rhonda and I will often stop at a McDonald’s for a bathroom break and I am appalled at what I see – children eating burgers and fries. I heard what was meant to be a joke the other day that really wasn’t funny: “The quickest way to gain entrance to a cemetery is through the Golden Arches.” Sadly, this is a true statement!
If you haven’t already seen the video “Super Size Me” this is a must see. It chronicles a man who at nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days and became seriously ill. (Please note: Although this movie provides a crucial lesson for diet and lifestyle, it is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for language, sex and drug references, and a graphic medical procedure. Viewer discretion is advised.)
Stroke – As with heart attacks, excess weight can play a significant role in creating conditions that set the stage for a stroke. As the fat accumulates in the arteries leading to the brain, it has the potential of shutting off the oxygen flow to the brain which leads to a stroke. This slow shut off of oxygen reaching the brain often contributes to a decline in mental abilities as a person ages.
Diabetes – As the number of overweight people continues to climb, so does the rate of diabetes. Excess fat makes the body resistant to insulin, and when the body is resistant to insulin, the cells are unable to get the energy they need. Diabetes used to be an adult problem, but today juvenile diabetes is sweeping the land.
There is a link between body weight and Type 2 diabetes. The link is the interaction of fat cells and insulin. The cells in the body need insulin to bring them glucose. But fat cells are resistant to insulin, leaving an unnecessarily high level of glucose in the bloodstream, thus not providing enough energy for the cells. Essentially, the fat is zapping energy and eventually the body becomes resistant to insulin.
Cancer – As the number of pounds a person carries increase, the potential for developing cancer proportionally increases. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that concluded that virtually all forms of cancer are more prevalent in people with a higher body mass. Body mass wasn’t only linked to new cancer cases; it was also linked to cancer survival rates, which are lower for heavier people.
Sleep Apnea – The more overweight a person, the greater and more severe the potential for sleep apnea. We have received some wonderful testimonies from folks who, after losing weight through The Hallelujah Diet, reduced the need for their PAP machine until they were able to eliminate the machine entirely.
Back and Knee Strain – A regulation bowling ball weighs 16-pounds. If you were to take your overweight pounds and divide those pounds by 16, that is the number of bowling balls your body is carrying mainly around your waist. This extra weight places a tremendous strain on the body to support this extra weight, especially on the knees and back.
This extra weight leads to knee pain, disc problems, and back pain. These problems often lead to knee replacement, and back surgeries. And these surgeries usually follow years of doctor visits, drugs, and pain. All these, along with other problems that are related to carrying excess weight, are so unnecessary because a person allowed their body to put on those extra pounds.
Click here for ideal weight for your height and body frame according to lowest mortality rate.
Next week, if the good Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise, we will offer some ways to resolve this excess weight issue, as we continue to deal with the subject: “What Does A Healthy Family Look Like?”