"Jesus walked on water so he didn't weigh much, if anything" spoke our leader at the spiritual weight loss group. "Jesus was so filled with the spirit that he had no physical weight at all. Gravity and the natural laws didn't touch him." We were on a mini spiritual retreat (in a church basement) so we could focus on our soul, our sinful, earthly eating habits, acknowledge our overeating, and lust of fattening food, and hopefully, purge ourselves of our destructive design, get right with God, and lose at least 5 lbs. Our leader wants us to think of our unruly, earthly bodies as sacred space where God lives. I looked around the group; heads bobbing in agreement, some heads bent in prayer while others were deep in the Word. I sighed. Everyone wanted to be like Jesus - weightless and spiritual, but here we were in our earthbound heavy bodies praying for a miracle. I think Jesus, being a traveling preacher, lived off the fat of the land. Of course the fat of the land was much leaner in those days, but still, his diet was episodic. Jesus ate whatever his hosts provided for him and his disciples. Jesus probably ate what he felt like eating.
I have been going to variations of spiritual weight loss groups for decades, but they have been around forever. The fasting saints of the Middle Ages proved their love of Christ by eating hardly anything at all. The less they ate the greater their piety. Thin is good, thin is godly. Fat is bad, fat is sinful. I started going to Overeaters Anonymous meeting in the late 1970s. Overeaters Anonymous was founded in 1960 by Rosanne S and follows the tenants of Alcoholics Anonymous. The fourth step of any 12-step program is to conduct a fearless moral inventory of self. We stumble on that step. Admitting our moral weaknesses is not an easy job. From that step, numerous faith-based weight loss groups sprang up around the world. The largest one, Weight down Workshops was founded by thin, perky Gwen Shamblin. Weigh Down views obesity as oppression - just like the Jews were slaves in Egypt. The foundation of Weigh Down is getting out of Egypt into the promise land of - -slimness.