Yes, I am joining the bandwagon of a number of people that will be probably writing about Obesity this week. I don't know how specific it is going to be about my spirituality but more of a rant.
Do I view Obesity as a Pagan specific problem? No I don't. I think it is a non-spiritual and totally human issue. I personally hold myself responsible for every single thing I put into my mouth. It's my choice to eat it or drink it. I feel every person is responsible for what they eat with exception to children. Their parents decide what they eat by what they purchase for their household in the form of food choices.
Now, is it my right to point a finger at a fellow person and call them fat? Should it be my life mission or chosen path in life to make them change? Oh heck no! It could be my right to think it, but to say it out loud I think is a form of disrespecting that person I would be pointing a finger at.
I don't know their story or what they have been through. You don't know what its like to walk in their shoes and live their life.
In many blogs this week I keep seeing the phrase "your body is your temple". I do agree with that statement. How you treat your body is indeed a way of dictating how you will feel. If you go out smoke, drink heavily, and eat crap, yes you are bound to possibly be sick in the long run. Now for the total other side of that same rainbow if you monitor every morsel that goes into your mouth, exercise for hours every single day are you living a healthy life as well? Some people look at the later as a disease called Anorexia which is the total opposite of Obesity.
I see no problem with Obesity in my Pagan Community no different than the mundane community I live in. I know just as many "Fat", "Big Boned", "Large", and what one of my fav catalogs now deems "Goddess Sized" people that are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Atheists alike. Religion has no center on why a person is the size they hold.
I was once considered skinny....so think of this as my "Venus/Aphrodite" Temple....
I also now have a temple that is just as beautiful as the above but in the form of another Venus,
Venus of Willendorf that is....
Part of how my "Temple" changed forms is that of my personal shift from Maiden to Mother in my life. I gave into the cravings of that comes with being pregnant and I also gained anywhere from 25 to 100 lbs depending which pregnancy you want to talk about.
Why haven't I lost the weight and gone back to my Maiden Temple? Here are my reasons....
1. I no longer am 20 years old. My metabolism is no longer what it used to be.
2. I have medical issues that have NOTHING to do with weight but EVERYTHING to do with little to no energy to be able to exercise. With that comes extreme fatigue and spending half my days in the bathroom throwing pending the day and how I feel. I have Kidney Disease as well as Lupus.
3. When I ate the pooriest, I was also a heavy drinker and also a 3 pack a day chain smoker. I also woke up every single morning at 4am to be running 5 miles every morning by 6am. This was all during my stint in the U.S. Army. My body looked like an athlete but I treated it as trash. I weighed anywhere between 125 to 145 lbs then.
4. I used to eat nothing but crap....by crap I mean heavily processed foods loaded with everything that should not be consumable or that I can even pronounce. This past year I have been on a quest to change how I eat. Some people when they go Vegetarian, Vegan, or Raw lose a ton of weight. For myself, its been relatively slow. I started out close to 300 lbs and I am only down about 30 lbs this past year totally since my transitioning to a Raw Lifestyle.
Should you be interested in what that is I can provide a few of my motivational examples:
(Please note, these people are not Pagan that I am aware, they are however my current inspiration)
My favorite "The Raw Food Muse", Gina Silvestri
Earth Empress, Shakaya Breeze who's all about "Nude Food"
Dara Dubinet who's videos I call by her catch phrase "Get Your Greens On!" can be seen on YouTube.
I eat healthier than ALOT of other people I know. I have a friend that loves her Coca-Cola, cigarrettes and Skittles but she's skinny as a rail. Even with my Kidney Disease, I truly feel I am "healthier" than she is medically. She has a whole slew of other problems I won't get into.
Is weight a primary cause of whether or not a person is healthy? It's definitely a factor, but not the isolated cause.
This past year since I was hospitalized, I have changed alot of things in my lifestyle. I have changed how I eat which is the biggest challenge for me since all my life I have been a huge supporter of the Hunt and serious meat eater. (For the record, I still support Hunter's rights.) I have gone from meat being the main course to very little meat to no meat at all in my meals. This past year I have been at least 85% Vegetarian and also about 50% of that is Raw Food. Unlike my Vegetarian motivators that I listed above, I have not lost a ton of weight just yet. This past year with my health problems I have been walking and exercising as much as I physically can and as my doctors allow. For the first few months they did not want me even walking short periods at a casual pace. Yes, when I went on vacation a few weeks ago, I did indulge my taste buds and I also gained 15 lbs putting me back closer to that original 300 lbs.
This past year I have been researching food for both medical reasons as well as magical ones. I do think that food can be apart of a person's spirituality. If you look at my past posts for Pagan Blog Project, you will find several entries about food. I do believe that eating Gaia's Bounty can bring us a closer connection to her. I also believe that some of the earliest forms of magic dealt with food as its center as well.
I know I am a big girl. I am working on leading a long healthy life as well. I am trying to treat my body as a temple. It's just under renovations right now. I am also trying to bring out my inner Goddess (that is for a different blog entry another time). I know how I treat my body, and I know that my husband still loves my body no matter what size I am. He truly treats me as if I were a Goddess.
Yes, I know I need to lose weight. BUT it is not because someone is pointing their finger at me and calling me fat. If someone did that to me, I am sure I could over analyze their lifestyle and point out a few faults of their own. However, it is not my place to tell a person how to lead their life. It is not a person's right to tell me how to live mine either. It's my personal decision and it won't happen until I am physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to do it. Obesity is not a Pagan issue, it is a human issue.