As of late I have been really thinking about the word “Gluttony” and how much it brings true to the United States and world. I would go far as saying as many of us are gluttons one way or another, but there is extremism. Why am I suddenly thinking of this, well its because right now I am in my weight loss journey to lose 60 pounds, that’s right 60 pounds!. I have already lost close to 40 pounds and thinking about how much weight I have gained have made me realize how much of glutton I have become, but not by choice. Over the years like anyone else who doesn’t exercise every day or most days, the pounds slowly pack on and add to that I was not consciously watching what I was eating. If I wanted a burger and fries, why not. If I wanted ice cream and cake, sure bring it on and add on all the sugary drinks the more caffeinated I was the better.
My Beginning to Gluttony and Food
I have always struggled with my weight from a young age being the fat kid in school, being called names like fat boy, chubby, oinker and you name it I was called it. Growing up chubs was difficult always having to buy large clothes, having a belly and boy/man boobs. Always embarrassed of my body , never ever taking my shirt off in public, even in gym hiding and dressing in private or a stall. I was also bullied as a child and even by family who went out of their way to embarrass me. Those feelings took a long time to change, and I guess deep down I have always tried to accept myself.
I understand we should all accept ones self for who we are , but it seems in America especially gluttony seems to be celebrated especially obesity. This may sound hypocritical, but I love my family who has also struggled with weight most of our lives and it all started from mom and dad and other family members who didn’t appear to have a problem with their shape. I have seen firsthand what more weight does to a person, to their appearance and health especially with my mother, who I love but I saw the struggle with her and the plain discrimination she faced for her weight. My mother endured and I think what helped her was the fact that she was fair skinned, but society is and never kind to the large folk.
My Attitude Change
Over the years my attitude towards bigger folks has changed over the years where I have had to correct my perceptions of people who I feel are gluttons and cant control themselves, but I know its very easy not to control ourselves in todays world. As an example a very special family member works at McDonalds part time and I must say the line NEVER Stops and this McDonald’s is 24 hours and the line still never stops. Many eating Big Macs, Double quarter pounders, McFlurry’s, and fries galore. Now one may say well why do I care its their body, its their life they should be able to eat and do what they like.
I understand for many who work late and getting their dinner or breakfast may be starved for a meal after a long day and night, but what about those who are sitting home and have a craving for Big Mac and a Large Fry and lets not forget the Large sugary drink to finish off their meal. Destroying our colons as we speak. Now I am not against fast food even though that is the worst food one can eat full of fat , sodium and whos know what else. I can enjoy a Big Mac once and again but now I have chosen healthier choices and I will say that eating Micky D’s once in a while doesn’t hurt but some eat it every single day as their daily meal.
Here are some stats to bring perspective:
- The fast-food industry revenue in the US alone makes about $110 billion annually. (Statistic Brain)
- 50 million Americans eat fast food every day. (Statistic Brain)
- A complete fast food meal is 37% of your daily calories. (Statistic Brain)
- McDonald’s is more recognized than the Christian Cross. 88% of individuals in a survey correctly identified the fast-food giant’s logo compared to 54% who recognized the Christian symbol. (Marketing Week)
- Fast food restaurants are expected to keep growing at 2% annually through 2020. (Brandon Gaille)
- There are nearly 200,000 fast-food franchises in the US as of 2020. (Statista, 2020)
Now again myself and my family can never fully just give up Fast Food especially with my daughter of eight who loves her Happy meal which I have been enjoying since a young lad and my hope is one day my daughter eats normal food like her mom and dad but that has been a challenge because is my belief fast food as addictive chemicals that keep allowing you to come back for more. Now not all fast food is created equal some are not very addictive but McDonalds, Burger King, and other fast-food restaurants truly know what’s in their food regardless of what they put on the label.
The Studies have shown
Here is some more information:
Studies of food addiction have focused on highly palatable foods. While fast food falls squarely into that category, it has several other attributes that may increase its salience. This review examines whether the nutrients present in fast food, the characteristics of fast-food consumers or the presentation and packaging of fast food may encourage substance dependence, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association. The majority of fast-food meals are accompanied by a soda, which increases the sugar content 10-fold.
Sugar addiction, including tolerance and withdrawal, has been demonstrated in rodents but not humans. Caffeine is a “model” substance of dependence; coffee drinks are driving the recent increase in fast food sales. Limited evidence suggests that the high fat and salt content of fast food may increase addictive potential. Fast food restaurants cluster in poorer neighborhoods and obese adults eat more fast food than those who are normal weight. Obesity is characterized by resistance to insulin, leptin and other hormonal signals that would normally control appetite and limit reward.
Neuroimaging studies in obese subjects provide evidence of altered reward and tolerance. Once obese, many individuals meet criteria for psychological dependence. Stress and dieting may sensitize an individual to reward. Finally, fast food advertisements, restaurants and menus all provide environmental cues that may trigger addictive overeating. While the concept of fast-food addiction remains to be proven, these findings support the role of fast food as a potentially addictive substance that is most likely to create dependence in vulnerable populations.
Gluttony is not just related to food but here is the exact definition:
Gluttony is defined as the over-indulgence or lack of self-restraint in food, drink, or wealth items, especially as status tokens. The English word comes from the Latin and means “to gulp.” Gluttony worships food to feed our own self-love.
From a biblical standpoint Gluttony was still a problem for thousands of years which references the following scriptures:
Gluttony in the Bible
Gluttony plunged the whole human race into a state of sin and misery with the first transgression (Genesis 3:6).
Gluttony, or “excess of food,” led to a curse of utter destruction upon Sodom, the standard example of God’s wrath and judgment (Ezekiel 16:49).
In Moses’ day, when Israel craved meat in the wilderness, the Lord sent quail. “While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck down the people with a very great plague” Interestingly, the name of the place was called “Kibroth-hattaavah” which means “Graves of Craving” (Number 11:18-34; Psalm 78:26-31).
Consequences of Gluttony
Gluttony and hopelessness go hand in hand (1 Corinthians 15:32).
Gluttony is a visible expression of rebellion against God and man that destroys life (Deuteronomy 21:20).
Drunkards (liquid-based gluttons) will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10).
So how do we change from being stop being gluttons in todays day in age, is it as easy as flipping a switch, I think not. I perceive that gluttony will only get worse over time as you can see today wealth is even greater problem today. Now I am not saying that being wealthy is wrong, but which people have much they want more and more even those who could buy whatever they want while the country and world continue to get poorer.
I encourage each of us to observe the world from the standpoint of gluttony, are we getting better or worse. Some of you may not even care and why should you since it’s difficult enough to focus on our own lives then those perfect strangers gorging themselves on food, drink and wealth. But we are also the problem, do we take part in gluttony, pig out, want more, more and more. I get that many of us do want more in life because simply we are not content with what we have and look at the Joneses and what they have, I know I do. Now the concept and idea of gluttony is nothing new like I mentioned before it has only gotten worse so what can do to change this.
What Can We Do?
According to John Piper, there are a lot of reasons for obesity in our culture. It’s not just that we eat a lot of bad food. We’re also pretty inactive and don’t do a lot of walking, running, biking, etc. Oftentimes obesity issues are connected as much to activity issues as they are to what goes into our mouths. Muscles are designed to burn food, but if they aren’t being used then any amount of food is going to result in obesity.
But “gluttony” is a better word to use in this context rather than “obesity,” because overeating is where the problem is, not how much you weigh. There are all kinds of reasons why a person might weight too much or too little that is not a result of gluttony.
So how do you fight the battle? I think it must be fought mainly not with the word “No” but with an alternative “Yes.”
We need to cultivate a range of appetites for great and good things, things like good literature, people’s fellowship, reading the Bible, nature, work, etc. Discover these other appetites so that things other than food can satisfy you.
Lastly, this blog is not meant to say I am better than thou, its more of lets all try to open our eyes and be better , get healthier , lose those extra pounds and see the difference in how you feel. It will take time, effort and patience. I know the road to healthy eating and lifestyle takes time, discipline and dedication but we can all do it but we must start somewhere and no way am I saying go do the extreme and starve yourself to death. I have personally seen each pound melt away one by one, week by week, month by month, it will get discouraging at times because we want to lose weight quickly that in my opinion is not realistic.
Again you can apply these principles to any form of gluttony you experience.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and remember don’t be gluttons with lots of drink and food although I know that is the fun part of holidays but remember the meaning of Memorial Day to honor those who served our country. God Bless.