Darla Henry, M.S., CPT, Baptist Health Weight Loss Program Health Educator
I’m sure last week was challenging for those trying to keep New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight or exercise more with the snow and cold weather. It is natural to want to munch on junk and treats when we are cooped up inside. It also makes outdoor activity harder to accomplish.
When I hold orientations, I always ask the question, “Why do you think it is so hard to lose weight and keep it off?” I will cite the statistic from the CDC that 67% of Americans are overweight or obese. Usually the answer that I receive is that the problem is cultural, i.e., fast-food, sedentary lifestyle, busy schedules, etc. But is this really the answer?
Recently, I came across the story of Horatio Spafford. You may not know his name, but chances are you know the famous hymn that he penned, “It is Well With My Soul”. Do you know how this song came to be?
Mr. Spafford was a prominent lawyer in Chicago. He had invested heavy in real estate. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed almost everything he had. Two years later, he decided to take a family vacation to Europe. He was delayed by business but sent his wife and four daughters ahead on the ship Ville du Havre. The ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel. Spafford’s wife was found floating unconscious on a piece of debris. All four of his precious daughters drowned at sea. Spafford’s wife sent him a telegram stating, “Saved alone. What shall I do?” Spafford immediately left Chicago to join his wife in Europe. While crossing the sea, he passed the sight where his four daughters perished. He then penned this song, which begins, “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know, It is well, it is well with my soul.” Later in life his only son died at the age of four from pneumonia. He later started a church in Jerusalem and provided a soup kitchen and orphanage for the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities there.
Here is a man that lost all of his worldly goods, his children, and his status in the community; yet he accepted his lot.
We may have snow, temptations at work, cravings, etc., but how successful could we be if we accepted our “lot” and make the best of it? Instead of lamenting over having “cabin fever”, we could use the extra time indoors to clean out closets, steam clean carpets, and get extra physical activity to boot! When we get cravings and temptations we can say,”If Horatio Spafford can suffer such devastation and create one of the best known Christian hymns of all time, then I am strong enough to look temptation in the eye and not partake!” Okay…maybe it is a stretch to compare the sufferings of Horatio Spafford to being tempted with chocolate cheesecake, but remember the point of my diatribe is to reflect on his strength of character, not the sufferings.
If you feel like somehow you were short-changed in this life because your thin friends seem to eat whatever they want and not gain weight, remember these words, “Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know, It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
If you gave in to temptation during the snow, don’t give up! You can be part of the 33% that are at a healthy weight. If you’d like some extra support, check out the Baptist Health Weight Loss program. You can learn more by calling HealthLine at 227-8478.