The Spiritual Option to Defeat Obesity

The Spiritual Option to Defeat Obesity

© GLOW IMAGES Models used for illustrative purposes

by Don Ingwerson

A life that expresses mind-body-spirit balance is so important because this balance allows people to find health and happiness. While many focus on the climbing rates of disease and other health problems, the key to finding a solution to these problems may lie in examining how this spiritual balance can be obtained. Take obesity. In many cases, the mental atmosphere directly corresponds to the physical body, and if the mental is unhealthy a physical problem is manifested.

What keeps someone from sliding into obesity? It’s pretty accurate to say that all of us encounter stresses, frustrations, and other emotions caused by changes in environment, location, relationships, economic conditions, etc., which current reasoning suggests may lead to obesity. But with spiritual balance and purpose that brings a strong sense of love and self worth, the negative stresses that lead to unhealthy conditions in the body are reduced and replaced with healthy outcomes.

Mary Baker Eddy, author of Science and Health, brought forth a powerful idea about spiritual love when she wrote, “Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way.” Holding to the idea that God, or divine Love, is all encompassing and ever present combats feelings of purposelessness or powerlessness. This becomes the solution.

One way to become more aware of spiritual balance is to examine your lifestyle and decide if you should make changes to incorporate a more spiritual approach.

Many address the need for fulfillment and balance in terms of food, but this is a limited solution that doesn’t go to the bottom of the problem. Oprah has publicly battled weight issues, and her idea of a spiritual component to addressing this problem is helpful: “Being overweight is a spiritual issue. And spiritual growth is required to overcome it.” In many instances, good health starts mentally, and there is a growing body of research that suggests there are connections between spirituality/religion for both mental and physical health.

In the Bible, Jesus advises, “take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink. …Is not the life more than meat…?” As more people realize that the mental-spiritual aspects of health need to be addressed for a lasting health solution – instead of just looking to diet and exercise – obesity won’t seem to be an insurmountable problem. As thinking changes, the body will respond to deeper spiritual views.

Article first published in Blogcritics.

About the author

Don Ingwerson Don regularly blogs on health and spirituality and lives in Laguna Beach with his wife - both Christian Science practitioners. He brings his years serving the public in education to his work as a liaison of Christian Science, where he maintains contacts with the media and legislative offices.


  1. Mary Lou MacKenzie says

    I’m glad that you point out that it is “spiritual growth” that is needed to overcome this issue . “Spiritual growth” is what is needed in overcoming all of life’s problems and issues. Thanks for putting us all on the right track.

  2. Rhonda says

    I’d have to agree. When I feel an insatiable hunger for food I have found it’s really a hunger or need for spiritual food…the “truth” that makes free, the truth Jesus spoke of and lived. Invariably, the physical hunger disappears when I fill up with spiritual food, the understanding of God. The two great commandments are a great place to start…love, love, love. Works every time! (=

  3. Anne Hughes says

    As a teen I shed many pounds because I had been teased as a ” chunky” child. I turned to Christian Science, which assured me of my beauty as God’s reflection. With continued study, obesity has not been a problem for me. I am so grateful!

  4. Evelyn Brookins says

    What a valuable subject, Don. It’s so tempting to think that calories, sugar, carbs, etc. are the problem – when actually keeping things in balance in our thoughts makes all the difference. Happiness and contentment does not come from what we take in. Jesus did say “Not what goes IN to a man defiles him but what comes out.”

  5. Leah Eselgroth Gold says

    Thank you Don for this encouraging article. As I read this I was reminded of a testimony and article written by Carolyn Swan. They chronicle her healing of obesity. Her spiritual lessons learned have guided me over the years. I think you and your readers would love knowing about this resource. Thanks for all you do Don, have a lovely week……….blessings.

    By Carolyn B. Swan
    From the May 1970 issue of The Christian Science Journal

    Carolyn b. Swan
    From the August 1970 issue of The Christian Science Journal

  6. Pamela says

    Thanks for the reminder that it is our spiritual nourishment that counts. I have lost several dress sizes and not by dieting but by just eating better and working on balance in my life. A clear sense of balance is necessary in thinking and acting. My prayers have directed me to a better sense of balance in my eating habits as well as my activities, prayer being at the top of the list. Thanks Don.

  7. Anne says

    I appreciated the idea of balance in every area of one’s life. It develops self-control which establishes dominion and self-respect, and this leads to making right choices in how to live.

    One thing I watch carefully is influence. It’s coming from all directions and much of it is designed to make people feel insecure about their bodies. By recognizing what is trying to influence me, I remain alert to the thoughts that need rejecting, replacing them with thoughts of contentment and spiritual satisfaction. It’s been a great help in all aspects of healthy living.

    Thanks for this post.