Right now I’m divulged in an inspiring mission book, Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan of a South Indian man who was saved by missionaries from a group called “Operation Mobilization”. He, along with his German born wife, Gisela, has devoted his entire life to spread the word of God to the most remote places in Asia. He expresses his extreme devotion to God’s word and passes on the word of freedom of religion (even in those areas it’s not permitted). As I’m reading his recollection, I can’t stop thinking of how we as citizens of established countries forget about this freedom for not only religion but other aspects of our lives. It’s a privilege many of us forget and for the most part take advantage in immoral and gluttonous ways around the world.
Weight in countries such as Jamaica and Mauritania, power and social status can be determined by the size of the woman. Other countries such as China and Japan rely on a svelte body to rise in social groups. When did this become okay to take a person’s health into consideration to award one’s status? These chains of what a weight scale states are not the freedom in which our blessed birthplaces predicted. Born as an American who has had the chance to live in other countries and travel the world, I take freedom myself very seriously. It doesn’t guarantee a person’s happiness or self-righteousness to take more than one’s fair share. So why do we take such liberties with food, exercise and religion (especially to climb the ladder of social status)? How many times have you heard, ‘I did so and so hence I “deserve” a bowl of ice cream, an extra cookie or another serving for dinner?’ I know it’s come from my mouth and I’m fairly certain it’s not just me that says this on different occasions. Additionally, how many of you have lost or gained weight for a special occasion?
Going back to the mission book, it breaks my heart these very words have come from my mouth numerous times when I read of this gentleman’s own personal suffering and that of others who aren’t given the opportunity to say this… He expresses how many families must walk miles to a local hospital (if there even is one) in bare feet just to walk back again, followed by no available food in one’s kitchen after such hard work. Does this person not deserve a special treat more than the person in America that walked an extra ½ mile for exercise? What gives us as citizens of established countries more of a right?
In my opinion it’s not more of a right but an added benefit of freedom to religion, speech, food and clean water. It’s this privilege many people around the world have no knowledge of and can’t take advantage. This gives us no right to live in gluttony such as the hogs in Spirited Away by director, Hayao Miyazaki. We have a freedom of food, clean water, and the right to exercise. Yes, some countries aren’t given freedom to exercise such as us. (My host grandparents in Japan once told me of exercises that were illegal years ago but are now allowed. Additionally, I have read that war torn countries have banned exercise outside the house for safety reasons.)
Freedom gives us many things but we must remember to free one from weight issues. Try to not distort what your body needs to fulfill other emotional lacking such as boredom, fear, stress and etc. It’s time we figure out our emotions and express them in the freedom of speech instead of distorting our food intake for more than what it is fuel for the body. Now I’m not saying if you run an additional 10 miles one day you shouldn’t add more fuel to your daily intake but rather learn your limits and body needs for the amount of workout done. It merely means be thankful for the gifts that freedom gives you but don’t go overboard.
Try to eat what your body needs and give the extravagance to others that are in need. Maybe reduce your grocery spending a bit and give back to a charity that provides to countries without freedom. So next time when you are thinking of that special ‘treat’, try to remember the people around the world that are not given this privilege and really contemplate if your body needs this extra food or water. You might find you don’t need it but instead need to pray (if you’re the praying type) or just take in a few sips of water to really contemplate this need in your mind.
To find out your daily calorie (Kcal) intake, I like to use these sites: