Obesity and Religious Exercise

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • Ask a fit person, "what's your religion," and you may get the response, "exercise...exercise and eating right is my religion."  Of course, they are probably kidding, they probably go to a church, or synagogue or to another kind of religious gathering if they are inclined to religion.  But there's nothing wrong in adopting the mantra that your body is a temple and it deserves to be treated with respect, just like a temple.


    I get The New Yorker magazine and an essay there got me thinking about "religious exercise."  Apparently there's a gym in New York called the Lord's Gym and it houses 10,000 square feet of space and offers classes like Yogod and its typical member walks on the treadmill and discusses the Bible with a fellow treadmill walker. Maybe that's where we trainers and nutritionists have gone wrong.  Maybe we need to offer some biblical origins and parables when we ask you to eat less and exercise more.  Maybe bible talk will help you to fill the empty stomach, goad you into adding on 10 more minutes of sweating and aerobic exercise help you to move away from using food as an emotional bandage.

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    If you are an emotional eater, all the formulas for exercise and the diet programs will not help you to shed unwanted pounds permanently.  Sure, the commitment will last for awhile, until you have that really upsetting day at work, or fight with a friend or critical comment that collapses your self esteem.  Then you'll turn to your buddy in the pantry or frig and ohm your way (that's yoga talk) into sugar or fat- fogged brain.  Then you'll feel the remorse and recrimination and utter disgust...and eat again, to make that wave of horrible feelings go away.  It's a continuous cycle and I know that sometimes therapy can help, when dieting fails.  I also know that therapy is not always available or affordable.  So maybe, just maybe, turning to religion for support, comfort and answers IS an option. 


    So who knows...I am a hard core exercise devotee and for me exercise is my therapy...maybe for you it's exercise and a little bible talk.  It's worth considering.


Published On: September 14, 2008