On Body Kindness

A Krispy Kreme doughnut is a sweet reward for good behavior (a run, a workout, finishing a writing assignment or meeting a tough deadline).

Four Krispy Kreme doughnuts do not constitute a treat. That’s a punishment. For my body.

Some bacon and eggs and toast and fruit for breakfast? Fine, as a reward for pushing myself out the door for a run when it’s 28 degrees. Fine, if I’m going to hike six or seven mountain miles later today.

That kind of breakfast because I woke up grumpy or am stressed about a work meeting later today?

Unkind. Because it’s unhealthy, unhelpful, and even stupid.

This hot tea latte in front of me right now? Okay, I suppose, because it’s the only one I’ve had in a month. (Hear the rationalizing? I can hardly turn it off.) An occasional indulgence? Okay.

But another tomorrow night? Accompanied by a double chocolate brownie? Not a good call.

The problem is (and this isn’t news), I can always rationalize indulgence. These sound familiar?

  • I had a rough day. (So I’m medicating with food/drink.)
  • I had an awesome day. (I need rich food/drink to properly celebrate.)
  • I’m stressed. (See “I had a rough day” explanation above.)
  • It’s a special day because….
    • I’m with old friends.
    • I’m with a new friend.
    • I’m on a date.
    • I’m happily – or unhappily – not on a date.
    • I’m working.
    • I’m not working.
    • It’s Friday.
    • It’s Monday.
    • It’s a holiday.
    • It’s sunny.
    • It’s so dreary out.

And what’s behind all those rationalizations?

An assumption that these indulgences are a reward.

The rich food/drink/new toys/shoes/jewelry/you-name-it is a way to give myself a treat, make myself feel special.

And, in moderation, that’s true.

But there’s that kicker phrase none of us likes: “in moderation.”

(Of course Oscar Wilde weighs in here: “Moderation in all things. Including moderation.”)

Underlying the rationalizations is the thought: This indulgence is good for me.

I fight this all the time. I fall into the trap of equating more doughnuts with better treatment. Equating a bigger meal with a bigger reward.

When the truth is, it’s not true.

I’m being so unkind to my body, actually.

As a follower of Jesus, my body is not my own. It is the temple of the Most High God, and he purchased me with the lifeblood of his only son. How on earth could I think that more indulgence is good stewardship of this temple?

So no. No to the indulgences that only harm me.

One of those yummy hot-now doughnuts.

One delicious sugary latte a month. (Maybe less – maybe none – whatever is good for your health.)


A gorgonzola-butter-draped steak? Sure. On my wedding anniversary. Maybe my birthday too. But not because it’s a Saturday and I had a long week. That describes too many of my weeks!

I like my body. So I want to treat her really well.

Jesus died for her, and one day she will be fully redeemed. This body is his earthly temple right now, and I’m the caretaker, and I really don’t want weeds in the front yard and potholes in the back and trash all through the rooms.

Also, this is the only body I get for this life – there are no do-overs. (Cue the line about 30-year-olds coming to this realization and wanting another bod.)

I want to love this body the way Jesus loves her – with grace, kindness, and tender care.

Now for the hard part….


Published in: on March 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment