What are Calories?
Have we always been obsessed with counting these little guys?
You may be surprised to know that counting calories is a relatively NEW phenomenon to the wellness scene.
Let’s define our terms:
Calories: measure of units which are used to describe the energy your body gets from foods or expends on various activities. Your body gets calories from the foods you eat and uses them to fuel basal metabolic rate, digestion and physical activity.
Can counting calories lead to weight-loss? My initial answer is YES. We know scientifically that you need a calorie deficit in order to loose weight.
My next question would be... Are all calories the same? My answer... Well that simply depends.
If your goal is simply to loose weight, then yes. But, if you desire a lifestyle change that is vibrant in health, then my answer is NO, all calories are not the same.
In 1918, American physician, author and philanthropist, Lulu Hunt Peters changed the face of dieting for the next century. Seeking to write a diet book targeted towards American women, Peters clung onto the idea that calorie counting was an effective means of initiating healthy weight loss.
And guess what she did just that. She wrote a book titled “Diet and Health: With Key to the Calories.”
Lulu Hunt Peters specifically targeted middle-aged American women. She only wrote one book and that was all she needed. Her only published work was a hit! She shared how she herself weighed upwards of 200 lbs and had dropped 50-70 lbs by eating this way.
Her revolutionary idea changed the way we look at food. It took a slice of bread and turned it into a number, roughly 100 calories to be exact. She said that it didn’t matter how much of any macronutrient (fat, protein, carbs) you ate as long as you stayed within your given caloric range. She did however have one exception... CANDY. She firmly believed that candy was simply to easy to indulge in and therefore must always be avoided.
Later in History around the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s bodybuilders started to grab hold of the idea of calorie counting. It is baffling to think that though the concept had been around since 1910, these athletes were just grasping these thoughts.
We all know that scientifically to loose weight there needs to be a deficit in calories, right? Or is there a better way, a more effective way?
This is where I am a firm believer that the calories you consume matter.
IF we are after health, vigor, abundance, less stress, a life marked by whole being wellness then YES, a resounding YES to the way you nourish your body MATTERS!
My problem with looking at food as a number...God created food for nourishment, fuel, relationships, community and worship of Him. He even gave us a plan for the best ways to eat in His word.
Are we bound by them? Absolutely not!
Is there wisdom in following the principles found in Scripture? Yes...
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)
In order to understand the way our body works we cannot simply address calories by themselves. It is safe to say that many of you gals here have counted calories, probably for year! How is it working for you?
Would it also be safe to say you have lost weight... gained it back...lost it again...gained it back again, and repeated this cycle most your adult life?
This is truly because shedding weight (you don’t want to "lose" it and find it again) is so much more than the number of calories you intake or don’t!
You have to approach the whole woman, the whole YOU.
You must understand the thoughts of your mind. You must understand the Spirit at work bringing you to completion. You must realize that until you start addressing underlying factors, calorie counting alone will only work for a season.
Women have been battling weight issues for over 100 years now. What was once promoted as health is now shunned. Between 1908 and 1930 mainstream adds were running for “Ironized yeast” to help women gain weight.
Adds such as;
“Gain up to 25 lbs, no gal wants to be the skinny girl on the beach.”
Curvier women were said to be more attractive and popular.
Do you want us curvy? Do you want us skinny? Do you want us ripped? For you want us healthy? What do they want from us????
The average size of a woman in 1910-1918 was equivalent to our size 6-10 today. However, today the average size of an American woman is a 16. If counting calories alone were enough then why are we less healthy than we were 100 years ago. Why are women so focused on being skinner and yet are stuck in what seems to be the marsh.
The revolutionary idea of calorie counting in and of itself is just not enough.
We need to regain truth of what is REAL food.
We need to understand that every woman is built different.
Each woman is fearfully and wonderfully made. She bears the image of our Creator and she should be valued not off of her size, her hair color, her eye color, what diet she follows or anything else for that matter.
So what is your healthy?
It may be a completely different number and size than you have ever imagined. I find it interesting that the first mainstream diet guide was a book written by a woman marketed toward other women. Another woman telling other women they need to loose weight! I am here to shout from the roof tops...CAN YOU HEAR ME???
Until you know who you are in Christ, root up all your false perceptions and ideals about what healthy truly is, then you will be stuck on the same merry-go-round in-defiantly. You will continue to compare yourself to all the women around you instead of searching out what is your best wellness lifestyle. You will pine over other women and their bodies desiring to look more like them. You will self-shame, self-hate and loathe your body for what it is right now, instead of marveling that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. The dwelling place for the light of the world. You will hide your light because of self focus and be hindered from pursuing a greater calling by the Lord, this is all part of the enemies tactic.
You may need to shed some weight. But that weight is not only physical it’s also an internal weight, a struggle fighting to live by grace and let go of perfection. It is a scary place, an unknown cavern for most women.
There is a much more tangible way to reach your goals than punishing yourself, depriving yourself of key nutrients and obsessing over the scale. Ladies this is why I am so passionate about Christian Wellness.
Let’s ponder on these facts together and press forward to forge a different path for our daughter, and young women around us.
Let’s make 2018 a year of true wellness!