After I posted the blog on “A kinder, gentler approach to the body” on October 25th, one reader asked whether the same approach – recognizing that the human body is obedient to thought and being mindful of what we allow to influence us - would relate to questions of food. The short answer is, Yes. The long answer is perhaps more involved, because food beliefs and food behaviors tend to be entangled with almost every aspect of daily living – touching questions of health, desire, appetite, body image, self-esteem, emotions, memories, life and death. It is a subject that can be addressed from many angles and may be best approached in bite sized blogs!
When I was training to run a marathon, the question of how to think about food came up, but it was never a stand-alone issue. What and how much to eat tended to be wrapped around other things, like energy, endurance, speed, digestion and weight. I read loads of articles and books on running, each with its own angle when it came to food. Interestingly, there was no cookie cutter approach to eating and running. Consequently, I decided to be an independent thinker on issues of food and body. I felt free to find my own way...
I decided to be guided by two rules:
1) Don’t obsess about food, and
2) Don’t obsess about the effect of food on the body.
The first rule draws authority from the Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other... Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink.” (Matthew 6:24-25)
The second draws authority from Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which helps to bring Bible precepts into daily living. She wrote, “If mortals think that food disturbs the harmonious functions of mind and body, either the food or this thought must be dispensed with, for the penalty is coupled with the belief.” (p. 388) Further on, she wrote, “That body is most harmonious in which the discharge of the natural functions is least noticeable.” (p. 478)
As I discussed in the other blog, I saw running as a natural expression of inspiration and strength and activity and joy. I saw that the body, being obedient to thought, was purpose-built to do what I loved. I also realized that the body isn’t an independent machine, - like, say, a car – that needs to be fueled by an outside source. It is fueled by thought. Eating, running, I classified both as natural functions that would not be helped by thoughts of fretting, fearing, wrangling or beating into submission. I took a kinder, gentler approach. I ate at regular intervals and generally didn't worry about what or how much. If I found myself thinking too much about food, or fearing its effects, I took a time out to get clear on who (me, under the influence divine) and what (my inspired thought) was in control. Consequently, my relationship with food was harmonized as I put a stop to obsessing over what, when or how much I ate. I shifted attention to other interests, maintaining a regime of spiritual focus. Mealtime became prayer-time. I sought to express as many spiritual qualities as I could before I ran, when I ran, and after I ran.
I am not offering up any radically new thoughts on the subject of food here. This was all Jesus’ idea. Here is the Christ perspective on food – “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:26-33)
You will find loads of links in this blog to articles discussing food issues from a variety of angles. I also wrote an article that goes a bit more in depth into what the Bible teaches about food and body and discusses how to get a handle on certain food issues. You can find it on spirituality.com under the title "A spiritual view of food and body."
You may also wish to visit my:
WEBSITE HOME PAGE
TOP OF MAIN BLOG PAGE
LINKS TO MY OTHER PUBLISHED CONTENT
Feel free to explore the links in the post that take you deeper into the subject. I welcome your comments!
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no