I like Big Macs. The fries I can do without. But the combination of a sesame seed bun, cheese, special sauce, and all beef patties is irresistible. And there is nothing more patriotic then chomping down on a big meaty pile of American decadence.

As McDonalds restaurants have spread from the West to the East, it has been observed that as cultures are introduced to our finer foods, they are getting fatter. We want our food cheaper and faster. Convenience is king.

I am currently “fasting”, if you will, from most fast food, in particular, bad fast food. My BMI, according to the Mayo Clinic, in the past three weeks has gone from 25 to 24. While 25 is considered good, I was on the high end of the BMI range and heading towards 26.

Scripture is clear that moderation and self control are important to our faith walk (Ecclesiastes 7:18, Galatians 5:23; Titus 2:12). And yet we almost never hear people talking about moderation and self control in terms of non-alcoholic food. We hear it in terms of our sexuality, our tv or movie viewing habits, or alcohol use, especially from the critics who we write about.

Proverbs 23 cuts really close to home for us indulgent calorie chomping Americans, though:

Proverbs 23

1 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
note well what is before you,

2 and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to gluttony.

3 Do not crave his delicacies,
for that food is deceptive.

4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint.

5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle.

6 Do not eat the food of a stingy man,
do not crave his delicacies;

7 for he is the kind of man
who is always thinking about the cost.
“Eat and drink,” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.

8 You will vomit up the little you have eaten
and will have wasted your compliments.

Obviously, an obsession about being thin or healthy is a sin as well. And being proud of being skinny isn’t good either. Anything that becomes our idol (pride, dieting, exercise, etc.) also takes away from our ability to worship God.

I am not going to completely stop eating Big Macs. However, I am going to try to be more conscious about the number of times I go out to a fast food restaurant in a given week. Seeing that I’m a single guy and I donate sometimes 20 hours a week to my church, I don’t have a lot of time to cook a decent homemade meal. But I am reworking my menu, trying to freeze meals, and buying more fruits and vegetables. Hopefully I will be at a healthier place then I currently am.

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6 Comments(+Add)

1   Coop    http://whileromeburns.blogspot.com
August 24th, 2007 at 10:47 am

Great post, Matt. I’m a single guy who spends a lot of time at the church as well, and while I share an apartment with my mom (I’ll get into that more some other time), I too have to be conscious about what I’m eating, especially when it’s fast food. My dad was severely obese and diabetic (among other things), which was what ultimately caused his untimely death a month before he turned 50. I myself am heavier than I need to be, but I’ve managed to lose about 25 pounds over the course of the past year, and working on doing more. I lift weights and do cardio (both of which were on hold after my accident, almost back to pre-accident form now), and I’m paying more attention to what I eat too. I can recommend Weight Watcher’s Points system (actually very friendly for guys, and easy to follow; my sis and bro-in-law use it and love it), or just pick up some cookbooks aimed at single people or college students. I’m at work so I don’t have any in front of me but there are some good ones out there that can help you find good meals made specifically for one person; you can also double the recipe and have a healthy lunch for the next day. Just don’t let the leftovers stick around too long!

2   Matt B    http://matbathome.blogspot.com/
August 24th, 2007 at 10:56 am

Yeah, I’m using Weight Watchers. But I really want to make it a habit and not just a one time thing.

I find it amazing that if I eat more fruits, vegetables and leaner meats (read as not beef), I feel full longer and not over full.

Also, just cutting down portion size a little bit does amazing things as well.

I’ve also introduced fish into my diet. The Omega 3 in fish is supposed to help with mood and I’ve already noticed a difference.

Processed sugar is a killer for me. I definitely get a slight high from it but after it wears off, I crash, which can make me grouchy, moody, and temperamental.

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 24th, 2007 at 11:01 am

Ronald MacDonald is the anti-christ!

4   Julie    http://www.loneprairie.net/lp_blog/blog.htm
August 24th, 2007 at 1:03 pm

I’ve tried a gazillion diets. My most successful, sadly, was an overly severe reduction in calories — like 900 a day — and running a mile a day.

That wasn’t good. Worked — lost 35 pounds in two months — kept it off, but not good. That’s bad, hard on the body. That’s its own kind of lack of self-control (eating too much, and starving yourself seem like opposites, but are really all about not being able to control yourself).

However, might I sugges reading the South Beach Diet book? I didn’t for years because it was too trendy and I thought “Yeah, just what I need. Another diet plan.”

It’s not like that, though, and he talks about things like cholesterol and diabetes and explains how certain foods do a number on you. The last half is a bunch of recipes that I can’t even understand ingredients-wise, but the first half is the good stuff, and really, it’s not hard to follow.

It’s made me aware of the diabetes issue when I look at people with skinny legs and really round abdomen/stomach areas and what kind of health problem they are likely facing. Seriously, I recommend the book. Not for the recipes, but for understanding how our bodies react and use food. The things that are good for us suprised me, as did the foods we’re told are good for us that are actually detrimental.

Gluttony is one of those sins that get masked over too much in evangelical churches, as if, to make up for not drinking or smoking, eating a whole pie is OK. Abuse is abuse.

By the way, Big Macs make me want to vomit.

5   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
August 24th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Julie – I eat 900 calaries while I’m deciding what to eat!

6   Brendt    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
August 29th, 2007 at 10:51 am

[McDonald's] fries I can do without.

That’s the most blatant confession I have ever heard. I will be praying that God will change your heart and fix this most eggregious error. ;-)