3 Important Things I’ve Learned About Food and Faith
Today’s guest post in #WellnessWeek17 comes from my friend Courtney Moore. Courtney helps lead a team at Watermark focused on wellness in a ministry called WELL. I asked Courtney to share because of her expertise and passion in the area of nutrition. She is a subject matter expert in the field of nutrition and in this post shares a few lessons she’s learned in her own life and through working with others about wellness.
I’ve learned people think the only thing dieticians do is tell people what to eat and what not to eat. They believe that we label all food as “good” or “bad” and judge people for all their bad choices. Please let me free you from those thoughts and tell you that’s not the case. In fact, in this post, I’m not even going to address specific foods or diets. Instead, I’m going to share how The Lord continues to teach me more about Himself through wellness.
Today I share with you some of my story and the lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) over the past 10-15 years.
1. Food is fuel.
My first exposure to thinking about food as fuel was when my doctor diagnosed me with a heart condition in high school. I used food (along with traditional medicine) to control my symptoms. However, as time went on, my focus shifted over to heart issues. And I’m not talking about the physical heart as much as my ‘spiritual heart.’ My view of food changed – it was no longer just fuel, but rather became my master.
I tried to take control and manipulate the way I looked by obsessing over what to eat, how much to eat, and specific food goals. Instead of respecting my body and loving the way God created me, I tried to take control by obsessing about food.
- I was completely self-consumed, focusing on myself, how I looked, and what others thought of me. The question “What can I do to be a size 2?” dominated my thoughts. Instead, I should have focused on the question, “What can I do to help my body function/serve/work to the best of my ability for God?”.
- I was constantly anxious about food. What did I eat? Was it a “good” or “bad” food? What will I eat next? I felt guilty about whatever I consumed earlier. I didn’t have time or energy to think of others or about God because I focused all my energy on me! The vicious cycle became a prison, and I felt like a slave to the obsession.
Romans 6:15-19 – What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
We’re called to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2), and I had no room in my mind for things above.
2. We’re knit together and created by God.
The human body is an intricate machine, and all its functions were designed by and created for God, by God. He created our bodies to function, move, process, and work in His image and likeness. By digging into God’s Word and learning His Truth (and a whole lotta grace), my perspective started to change. He revealed to me that I didn’t have to be a slave to food. The focus turned to living out His will and learning about how I can best prepare myself and my body to do His works that He prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10).
- Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
- Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
He specifically created different types of foods, composed many different combinations of macronutrients (think proteins, fats, carbohydrates), and micronutrients (think vitamins and minerals). He also designed the countless chemical reactions and processes that occur in our body to use the fuel (food) we consume to help the intricate machines (our bodies) continue to function and work properly.
3. We’re all designed in different ways.
Most of us have bodies that work in similar ways when you look at the big picture. But, all of us are uniquely designed in the way we look, process, think, and speak. This also goes for the way our bodies respond to food. Therefore, there is not one “diet” that is right for everyone. It is not a one-size-fits-all. What we put into our bodies and the way we fuel it does matter to God but is not ultimate. The goal would be to try to find balance, whatever that may look like for you.
- Where do I start? Check your heart. Pray. What and why do you do (or not do) regarding your wellness or nutrition?
- Take time and pay attention to your body and the response that occurs after you fuel it with certain foods. Evaluate the types of foods you’re using to fuel your body and check in with how you feel physically.
- Keep your eyes in your lane. What works best for the person next to you may or may not work best for you.
- Embrace the gray. The message around nutrition is mostly focused on “good” vs. “bad” food. Many people want to make it strictly black and white. But it’s not that easy, and the lack of gray removes the grace. Be patient and give yourself grace. Again, there is not a one-size-fits-all.
- Let others in and involve community. Being held accountable to the heart behind my actions and being held accountable for my actions regarding my wellness has created such fruit and allowed me to continue to be refined by the Lord.
- As you look at Courtney’s list of lessons learned, which one most challenges and encourages you?
- Do you have a right and healthy view of food? Why or why not?
- Who can you involve in your wellness by sharing what you’ve learned about nutrition and the way God designed our bodies to respond to food/fuel?
Bio: Hello! My name is Courtney Moore. I’ve been married to my husband, Brett, for four years – three of which we have lived in Dallas. I’m originally from Kansas City, went to the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig!) for undergrad, and then headed back to Kansas City where I completed my dietetic internship and MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. I am a Registered Dietitian, and I work with patients who have received and/or need an organ transplant. One of my favorite things is a good cup of coffee with a piece of dark chocolate on the side.
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