reducing bodyfat, can this be offered up and considered a penance?
#1
I have always had a healthy appetite. Not to the point of gluttony, but i love to eat, much like i hear aquinas did. I have my first child coming, and i am controlling my calorie intake to 1500 calories a day so that i can lose bodyweight in anticipation of my child so i can be healthy.

I am finding this to be very difficult for me, and was wondering if this was in any way something that i could offer up somehow for the benefit of my soul.

thank you for your thoughts and any advice on keeping my willpower strong will be appreciated.
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#2
I think so.  Just because it is a benefit to you physically does not mean it cannot be of benefit to you spiritually.  It depends somewhat on your motivations and attitude, but in general, I think anything you do for a good reason that is difficult and unpleasant can be offered up as a penance.
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#3
Isn't it basically a form of fasting?
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#4
It comes down to the attitude.  You can offer up anything if you do it out of love for Christ and out of penance or service to Him.

If you lose weight for health reasons and you do it with the understanding that we are supposed to take care of our bodies to better serve Him, you can offer it up.  If you lose weight to look good in a new suit, probably not so much.

I would meditate on why it is important to lose weight from a Catholic perspective: to be healthy so we may serve Christ, so we are not guilty of gluttony, etc.  Then realize those are the more important reasons to lose weight.  Then I think you will be in a position where it can be offered up.  There's nothing wrong with figuring out how we can put things to a spiritual use even though they are inherently practical.  Really, anything we do to better ourselves (actually better ourselves, not subjectively) has a theological reason that we can make the main reason with some reflection.

Better yet, ask your spiritual advisor if you have one, or your Confessor if you don't.

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#5
(01-07-2011, 01:50 PM)Bakuryokuso Wrote: Isn't it basically a form of fasting?

Fasting technically is done with an attitude of penance.  The goal of fasting is not to lose weight, but to create temporal suffering.
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#6
(01-07-2011, 05:00 PM)QuisUtDeus Wrote: It comes down to the attitude.  You can offer up anything if you do it out of love for Christ and out of penance or service to Him.

If you lose weight for health reasons and you do it with the understanding that we are supposed to take care of our bodies to better serve Him, you can offer it up.  If you lose weight to look good in a new suit, probably not so much.

I would meditate on why it is important to lose weight from a Catholic perspective: to be healthy so we may serve Christ, so we are not guilty of gluttony, etc.  Then realize those are the more important reasons to lose weight.  Then I think you will be in a position where it can be offered up.  There's nothing wrong with figuring out how we can put things to a spiritual use even though they are inherently practical.  Really, anything we do to better ourselves (actually better ourselves, not subjectively) has a theological reason that we can make the main reason with some reflection.

Better yet, ask your spiritual advisor if you have one, or your Confessor if you don't.



Excellent post,
I must say this has heled me combine my motivation not only for my phycial wellbeing but also for the advancement of the kingdom of god on earth.

My reasons are as follows in logical order.
1-To help MY health and lower my slightly high blood pressures.
2-To ensure that i can provide a good life and solid catholic upbringing for my as of yet unborn child , and to provide for my wife.
3-To desire health so that i can be a living witness of christs salvific grace.
4-I feel it will be of great help to identify my temporal discomfort with reducing food intake with the pain of our saviour and to try and know that in uniting my discomfort with him, i become closer to him. This will help me when my will is not strong.
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#7
There is a Catholic program called Light Weigh which involves a spirituality of weight loss.  Perhaps you can get some ideas from the web site: http://www.lightweigh.com/brief.htm
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#8
(01-07-2011, 12:22 PM)dustman Wrote: I have always had a healthy appetite. Not to the point of gluttony, but i love to eat, much like i hear aquinas did. I have my first child coming, and i am controlling my calorie intake to 1500 calories a day so that i can lose bodyweight in anticipation of my child so i can be healthy.

I am finding this to be very difficult for me, and was wondering if this was in any way something that i could offer up somehow for the benefit of my soul.

thank you for your thoughts and any advice on keeping my willpower strong will be appreciated.

Romans 8:13 Wrote:For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.

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#9
(01-07-2011, 06:19 PM)JayneK Wrote: There is a Catholic program called Light Weigh which involves a spirituality of weight loss.  Perhaps you can get some ideas from the web site: http://www.lightweigh.com/brief.htm

What happens when you finish the program?  Do you have to do it over again?
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#10
(01-08-2011, 05:02 PM)dark lancer Wrote:
(01-07-2011, 06:19 PM)JayneK Wrote: There is a Catholic program called Light Weigh which involves a spirituality of weight loss.  Perhaps you can get some ideas from the web site: http://www.lightweigh.com/brief.htm

What happens when you finish the program?  Do you have to do it over again?

Yes, if you get to the end of the program and still have more weight to lose then you do it over again. 
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