Category Archives: Spiritual Fitness

Fat Shaming: Not My Problem, Not Yours Either

fat shaming meal

This week my fellow Canadian Nicole Arbour, started a YouTube fight with all the fat people in the world. I guess that includes me! She made women, and probably some men, really angry. She was labelled a Fat Shamer.

If you don’t know what “Fat Shaming” is, here’s a definition from, where they define it as, “An act of bullying, singling out, discriminating, or making fun of a fat person. The shaming may be performed under the guise of helping the person who is overweight/obese realize they need to lose weight or they will die, become ill, and/or never succeed in life or relationships. Fat shaming is an individual bias against people who are considered unattractive, stupid, lazy, or lacking self-control.”

Well, if that’s the definition, then I’ve certainly been fat shamed my entire life, except for the few short years I maintained a healthy weight and of course during that time many people thought I had an eating disorder, was on drugs, or perpetually dieting. None of their assumptions and concerns had any truth to it.

body care

Dear fellow overweight and obese persons, this world is full of a lot of mean and cruel people. If mean people aren’t shaming you for one thing, they’ll shame you for another. Are you short, skinny, red haired, blonde, White, Black, Asian? Are you a human being? Then guess what, someone at some point in your life will shame you for something.

Is shaming ever alright? No.

Shame: “A painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety; b) the susceptibility to such emotion”(Webster’s Dictionary).

shame Brene Brown

I don’t give into so-called fat shaming because 1) I know I’m fat. No one is telling me something I don’t already know; 2) I and only I am to blame for having become obese many different times in my life; 3) I’m the only one who keeps me overweight; 4) If I have a problem with being fat, then I am responsible for doing something about it in a healthy way.

It’s important to learn how to process and manage our emotions. Whether or not you give into fat shaming depends on you and how you handle uncomfortable emotions. You could lose 10 or 100 pounds, but that won’t change how you deal with guilt, blame, bullying, discrimination, or any other negative behaviour society’s meanies throw at you.

Regardless of what you weigh and the percentage of body fat you carry on your body, it’s important to know your identity in Christ.

Colossians 3: 1-2 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is important, but it doesn’t define who you are as a person. God doesn’t want our body shape and weight to determine our value on this earth.

It’s also important to realize that not everyone who is concerned about your weight is fat shaming you. If someone’s weight becomes an issue of life or death, any caring or concerned person will speak up and encourage you to seek help. I would never let a loved one become so obese they could no longer stand, go to the bathroom, or became bed ridden. There are also those who have let their unhealthy habits worsen their diabetes, cause high blood pressure, or ruined their immune system. No one is trying to guilt you into health, those around you are simply stating the facts out of concern and love.

Proverbs 20:15 “There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”

Instead of taking truth filled health advice as bitter poison; look at it instead as something precious.

QUESTION: How do you handle your emotions when people confront you about your habits? Do you “shoot the messenger” or do you give thought and prayer to their words?

ACTION: Ask God to reveal any sensitive areas in your life where you are resistant to help. Ask God to help you confront habits that need to be changed. Ask God to help you address those who give you wanted or unsolicited advice or information.


Stop Making Excuses – Honesty Is Better


self honesty  brings freedom

Excuses, I’ve made many of them in my lifetime and so have others. Over the years I’ve realized that excuses require too much energy and way too much planning. Excuses take up a lot of head space.

I have many goals, most of which are taking a long time to achieve, and I’ve made peace with that. I’m learning that the goals I’ve set for my life do not have a set end date; these are goals that have become lifestyle habits that need to be maintained for the rest of my life.

I made it my goal to eat healthier foods, exercise regularly, overcome irrational fears, and these are just a few of my goals. These are no longer in my “goal” category, I now call them lifetime habits and personal values. Instead of saying, ‘my goals are…’, I now say, ‘my health mission in life is to maintain a lifestyle of healthy eating, regular exercise that is not excessive or damaging to my body, and to manage my anxiety.’

self-honesty, be true to yourself

I realized that many of the excuses that people use are a result of them creating goals which they have no real intentions of ever fulfilling. It can be difficult to work towards goals that do not align with your personal values. If you don’t value eating healthy, then making a goal to eat healthier foods is pointless. If you don’t value reading and creativity, then it might not be worthwhile for you to make a goal of writing a novel, or joining a monthly book club.

I’m a big believer in asking yourself and others, “Why do you want to do this?” “Why do you want to achieve this?” and I also ask, “Is this important to you?” “Does this align with what you value?” If you find yourself constantly making excuses as to why you haven’t taken meaningful action(s) towards your goals, then it’s time to stop, be honest with yourself, and with others.

By constantly making excuses you show others and yourself that you lack sincerity, commitment, and the work ethic required to accomplish your goals. It’s best to tell yourself and then others that you are not ready to do the necessary work to reach a goal or make a lifestyle change. Being honest is always a much better choice for yourself rather than continuously avoiding the things that need to be done. Honesty always uses less mental energy than excuses. Honesty doesn’t require creating a variety of reasons for your actions; what happens instead, is you simply tell the truth.

honest weight vs fantasy weight

Here’s a simple example of honesty:

Friend: “Hi Kim, did you go to the gym this week? I haven’t seen your car in the parking lot for a few days.

Kim: “No. I haven’t been to the gym is 4 days. I didn’t feel like going. I hung out at home instead.

Here is an example of excuses:

Friend: “Hi Kim, did you go to the gym this week? I haven’t seen your car in the parking lot for a few days.

Kim: “No. On Monday it was a really long day at work and I was wasn’t feeling well by the end of the day. On Tuesday my cat looked really sad and I didn’t want to leave him alone. He’s such a momma’s boy. On Wednesday my friend broke up with her boyfriend, so I stayed home to talk to her on the phone and cheer her up. On Thursday it was a full moon and I decided it was safer to stay home. You know how it is when there’s a full moon?

We all makes excuses, but when they are too frequent, it is a sign of a possible character flaw. It doesn’t make you or I a bad person, but it does require that we take a look at our self and ask why we have developed this bad habit. Is it defensiveness, is it fear, is it denial? Don’t be afraid to engage in self-assessment. It’s not easy, but we always benefit from being honest with ourselves.




1300 Calorie a Day: A Lesson On Gratitude

meal prayer god is good
This is one of the prayers we said regularly at school before lunch time.

I recently downloaded a well-known weight loss app and after filling in all the information I was given a maximum of 1300 calories per day. This was somewhat frightening to me because I’m used to consuming 1300 calories per meal. It’s not that I was stuffing my face all day with junk food; I was eating healthy foods the majority of the time, but I would mess up by way of portion distortion.


1300 calories per day might not sound like a lot of food, but it is enough food for a female who isn’t engaged in physically demanding activities such as cycling, long distance running, or other intense sports.


With the exception of a few hunger filled days, I have failed to stay within 1300 calories a day. I’ve been averaging around 1700 and this is probably because I can’t stand being hungry. Waking up at night to the sound of my stomach grumbling is not worth the sleep disturbance and so I haven’t been too hard on myself for not staying within the calorie limit.


I was at a BBQ this past weekend where a woman from a different country reminded those at the table that there were many people in the world who remained healthy while living on 1300 calories a day. She reminded us that as North Americans we often over eat and habitually consume meals that are not nutrient dense.

meals prayer bounty

After thinking about what she had to say, I realized that my struggle with beginning a low calorie program was more about my false sense of deprivation.  I kept focusing on how much I couldn’t eat instead of being happy with what I could eat.


I wouldn’t recommend that anyone do a 1300 calorie a day program unless they needed to. What I’m doing is only for a short period of time and the calories will slowly be increased as my fitness level and weight changes. What I do recommend is taking time to engage in self-reflection about how you view food. What is it about eating the foods that God has naturally provided for us that make people feel like we’re being denied something better? Is it really a loss if we can’t or don’t eat a donut instead of a sweet carrot? If we have meat available from grass-fed cows that have consumed natural forage materials, why do people still opt for highly processed hamburger patties from fast food establishments? In a world where water is scarce for millions of people, why do we scoff at drinking water, especially from a tap?

Learning to be satisfied with eating only what your body needs is difficult for us as North Americans, but it can be done. It doesn’t necessarily mean having to enforce a caloric limit for yourself, it simply means being more realistic and thankful for the abundance of food you have. It also means remembering to be thankful to God for what He has provided for us, straight from the earth for food consumption.

meals prayer


Modern Day Leviticus: Sacrificing our Food

Picture Source: Foodimentary
Picture Source: Foodimentary

I’ve recently started reading through the book of Leviticus from the Hebrew Scriptures. This book lists the standards and expectations of worshiping God in the sanctuary. Reading through the first several chapters was a reminder to me of how much work was involved in bringing burn offerings, grain offerings, and sin offerings to God.

I have a difficult enough time bringing a side dish to an after church potluck, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like, having to bring a bull, sheep, or a goat to the sanctuary. I’m classified as low income, so my offering would be a grain product and some olive oil. This is one of the rare occasions where living below the national poverty line is a benefit.

There are Christians who feel religiously evolved, maybe even superior because we no longer have to bring items to our contemporary place of worship as an offering to God. Weekly sermons often remind us that God wants our hearts, not our sacrifices. I wouldn’t want to return to the practice of bringing offerings to our place of worship, but I can’t help but feel as if something might have been lost when Christians decided at some point to stop the practice of animal and grain offerings; instead, replacing it with financial offerings.

Picture Source: faithgateway
Picture Source: faithgateway

What would happen if we had a modern version of offerings? What would you bring to the sanctuary and place at the altar and into the fire resulting in a “pleasing odor to the LORD” (Leviticus 3:5)? There are weeks when my schedule is filled with too many activities, fatigue sets in and my eating habits become less than ideal. My sacrifice before the LORD would consist of left-over takeout, green smoothies, and kettle popcorn. I’m not a regular meat eater, there would be no sweet fragrance of cooked meat filling the air. The alter at my church would be filled with a typical Alberta diet of steak, various cuts of beef, pork, potatoes, and a representation of every major fast food franchise in the city. I can see why church goers are content with swapping food offerings for financial offerings. Bringing a portion of our food consumption to church as a sacrifice to God could lead to competitive behaviour and unnecessary shame, but something more important and godlier could happen; we might make a lifestyle change and take better inventory of what we consume and how we spend our money.

Do you habitually spend money on unhealthy foods? Are your funds going towards takeout meals or pre-packaged foods?

I don’t want to return to the religious practice of food sacrifice because I believe it does not fit with modern living and our current culture, not to mention, it was bloody, messy, and used costly food that could have been given to those who were poor for a meal. I also don’t believe God wants a literal sacrifice of our food.

What I’ve Learned From Reading About Food Sacrifices (The Positive):

Food consumption is a form of worship.

He has given us enough food on this earth to feed every single human being; lack of food for survival should never have to happen.

Consume what your body needs and share with others.

We have much more freedom about our food choices than previous followers of God; however, let’s not let that be a reason for us to habitually consume unhealthy foods and forget to give God praise and thanksgiving for the good food we are fortunate enough to be able to eat.

QUESTION: If you were bringing a food offering to God that consisted of your meals from the past two weeks, what would your offering look like? Is thanksgiving a regular part of your eating ritual? What do you think about the past practice of animal and grain offerings?

ACTION CHALLENGE: For the next three days create your own practice of thanksgiving for all the foods and beverages you consume. Before you eat something consider what it is you’re thanking God for. (e.g. The ability to be able to purchase the food, thankfulness that you have an accessible food bank, fresh locally grown produce, being healthy enough to have an appetite, etc.)

Consider giving a modern type of food offering to God by sharing with others (e.g. Donating food to a local food bank, having people over for dinner without asking anyone to bring anything, bringing some healthy baked goods to work or a group that you attend, donating food to a local soup kitchen or shelter, etc.)

May you be blessed with a renewed feeling and experience of gratitude and worship as you consume your meals this week. Let us give thanks for all we are provided with. Peace.


Some Leviticus Humour
Some Leviticus Humour