Nope, you haven't missed my 40th birthday. That event won't happen until 2010, God-willing.
Thirty-nine is the number of inches that measure the circumference of my husband's protuberant abdomen, i.e. potbelly. Protuberant: it's times like these that I love the dictionary. After months of experiencing some discomfort while trying to bend over to tie his shoes, Matt has decided to do something about these 39".
Anyone who knows Matt is aware that the main ingredient of just about everything he consumes is sugar. The first two weeks of South Beach eliminates all sugar from your diet, which means that my husband will be going through some serious withdrawl. Pray for me. Pray for anyone that comes in contact with Matt over these next two weeks.
This whole concept of eliminating sugar and eating healthy is a new way of life for the man who can survive on vanilla cream donuts from D&D and hot cinnamon rolls from Bob Evans. Matt was always a stick growing up. When I first met him and began spending time with him, I remember seeing his belt laying somewhere and stammering at how incredibly short it was. It was more like a necklace, seriously.
Those days are gone now and despite the fact that I think he gets better looking as he gets older, (I like him beefier and it's nice for once to weigh less than your husband) I want him to be healthy. His body is not his own. His body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. He has been bought with a price and as a result, he is called to glorify God with his body.
If you get a chance, read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. Paul's command to glorify God with our bodies flows from his strong exhortation to flee sexual immorality. He's not talking about food and the need to eliminate sugar but I think there is still application we can make in regards to our eating. In verse 12 and 13a Paul says:
"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food - and God will destroy both one and the other."
The key here is that we are not to be enslaved by anything. Why? The answer rests in the truth of the gospel found in verses 19 and 20:
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
When I come face to face with such a clear gospel connection in the Word, I try to slowly walk myself through the truth, allowing each point to sink in. Here's how this one would go:
Because I am a Christian, the Holy Spirit resides in me. He lives in me. I am not my own anymore. My life doesn't belong to me. I can't do whatever I feel like doing whenever I feel like doing it. I belong to Another. I belong to Jesus Christ, who shed his blood on the Cross to redeem me. He paid the full price for me by standing in my place and receiving the full wrath of God that I deserved. He bought me. All that I do in this body should aim to glorify Him - to make much of Him. Father God, thank you! Show me the things in my life that are not helpful and reveal to me the things that are enslaving me (v.12) so that I might adorn the gospel and bring glory to You.
Will Matt's 39" gut shrink?
I'm not sure, but what's most important is that he has chosen to respond to the reality that sugar has enslaved him. His heart is to please God and to bring Him glory, even in the area of his eating. :)