Last year, I wrote a series of posts on my (now defunct) personal blog that I referred to as “The Body Posts.” These posts were a repository for my thoughts on a relatively new exploration about the relationship God wants me to have with my body.
About halfway through the year, however, I reached a decision to focus my complete attention on the work I do here at Still Forming, and so I shut down my personal blog. One result of that decision is that I never finished writing that series of posts on the body.
And so I’ve decided to revive it here.
Here’s the thing about my relationship with my body that I want you to know up front: I don’t have a very good one. I grew up, well into my mid-twenties, never having to worry about what I put into my body to feed it or having to exercise my body to stay trim — and this worked great, since I had terrible eating habits from the get-go and nary an athletic bone in my body.
I was stick-thin for a quarter of a century. Until, suddenly, I wasn’t.
And I was completely unprepared for my new non-thin existence.
I flailed about for a number of years because of this.
For starters, I was certainly familiar with the Sunday school answers you can throw at issues of the body: that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, that God cares about the human body because he created it, that Jesus also inhabited a body, that we’ll have bodies in heaven. Those answers meant nothing to me, though.
I was familiar, too, with the math and science of it all: that the body needs a certain degree of fat and protein and carbohydrates for optimum existence, that we burn energy in calories, that there are ways to raise and lower our metabolism. All that felt like reading Greek.
The truth of it is, I had no framework for a healthy relationship with my body. I was at ground zero in my understanding.
And it took me a really, really long time to care.
And so I’m starting this series from here: a place of (now) caring but (still) not understanding.
I have some thoughts and questions in my back pocket, left over from that initial exploration that began last year, which I’ll pull out to get us started. And I’ve got three great resources that I’ll use along the way to help guide our conversation:
- Earthen Vessels by Matthew Lee Anderson
- Reclaiming the Body in Christian Spirituality by Thomas Ryan, ed.
- The Life of the Body by Valerie Hess and Lane M. Arnold
But other than that, I’m entering into this new series still very much a beginner on all these things. And the series will reflect that.
Will you be a beginner with me?
Do you have struggles or questions about your relationship with your body, too?