Bob Tamasy: Weighing In On A Weighty Matter

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently divulged he underwent gastric banding surgery in a quest to overcome his struggle with obesity. Christie stated the weight-loss procedure was “for my long-term health,” not an effort to enhance his political future. (He has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the Presidency in 2016.)

“This is about (his wife) Mary Pat and the kids and me and not anybody else,” Christie insisted.

This surgery involves a band being placed around the top of the stomach to limit the amount of food an individual can ingest. Prior to deciding on the procedure, he consulted with medical experts and with Rex Ryan, head coach of the NFL New York Jets who had the same operation in 2010.

Some pundits speculated the governor’s motivations were fueled by political ambition, reasoning his excessive weight could diminish his appeal as a Presidential candidate. Even if aspirations for higher public office were part of his rationale, I applaud his decision. And, intended or not, I suspect it will bolster Christie’s political future.

I understand the strong pushback against “thin is in” biases. Whether it’s slender models or svelte hunks, not everyone has the genetic makeup or physical build to fit those images. At the same time, ample scientific and medical research shows, like smoking and excessive drinking, obesity can – and often does – have severe consequences for health and longevity.

In his insightful book, The South Beach Heart Program, noted cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston writes about, “an important medical condition so obvious I can diagnose it without performing a single diagnostic test. I can spot it the instant a patient walks into my office…. (a) colleague says that when a patient’s belly is the first body part to enter his office, the diagnosis is made.”

Several members of my family have struggled with weight issues and its ramifications for their health. My mother died in her early 50’s of heart disease and diabetes. I’ve undergone open-heart surgery myself. So this issue is a personal one.

This isn’t to suggest every overweight person should undergo weight-loss surgery. It’s not a guaranteed “fix,” especially if other necessary lifestyle changes aren’t undertaken as well. Healthy eating and exercise often are all that’s needed. But whatever it takes, the adage holds true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

So will Christie improve his Presidential chances if his weight loss initiative succeeds? Possibly, but it won’t be because he “looks better.” Rather, it will be because he seems more physically capable of coping with the rigors of the office.

Anyone that’s observed Presidents throughout their terms can see the toll the weight of the Oval Office takes on them. In voting for a candidate, I want to feel confident the person is up to the task physically as well as philosophically.

But there’s a spiritual dimension to this as well. Churches often talk about “stewardship,” but it’s typically defined in monetary terms. In reality, we might differ in our financial and material resources, but we all are limited to 24 hours in a day and we each have only one body.

Proper stewardship, in God’s view, involves wise use of our time and our “temples,” as it’s described in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

Interesting concept – referring to our bodies as God’s temple. Nowhere do the Scriptures instruct us to build “bigger temples.” We know humankind’s mortality rate is 100 percent, but rather than being fatalistic we should recognize our responsibility as stewards of the physical bodies God has entrusted us with, living in and using them for His glory.

As Psalm 139:14 reminds us, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” As such, we should be faithful to honor our Maker by attending to our bodies. Just as a car is difficult to drive after it’s been wrecked, it’s hard to effectively perform the work God has for us if we’ve misused and abused this “earthly tent” He has given us (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Weight control can be difficult. Countless men, women and children can attest to that. But it's a challenge well worth undertaking. For our sake, for our loved ones' sake – and for God's sake. 

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.)



"Let's Have Some Church Chattanooga Style" Community Worship Service To Be Held Oct. 8

The public is invited to an evening of encouraging, praise, and worship on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist Church, 7463 Pinewood Dr.   The event, Chattanooga Coming Together To Have Some Church: "Let's Have Some Church Chattanooga Style" will feature Pastor Tim Careathers and Westside Choir, Pastor J. Anthony Taylor and Greater Community ... (click for more)

Hope Unlimited Ministries 20th Anniversary Celebration Features Babbie Mason

Hope Unlimited Ministries will present Celebrate Hope featuring Babbie Mason. This event will take place at Brainerd Crossroads, 4011 Austin St. on Tuesday, Oct. 4.  The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the evening will kick off with a dinner at 6:30 p.m. following a concert by Babbie Mason and April Christina. "Babbie Mason, award winning singer/songwriter, has blessed thousands ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Files Petition To Declare 2 Gangs A Public Nuisance

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a petition on Monday asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances. General Pinkston is also "asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood." ... (click for more)

2 Boaters Die In Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning On Chickamauga Lake

Two boaters and their pet were pronounced dead at the scene of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake.  Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga were reported missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day by a concerned family member. The boaters had not been heard from since Saturday. Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Of Course Gangs Are A Public Nuisance

Now, I don't know it all.  Beginning with my parents, folks of all sorts have been actively pointing out my ignorance for more than seven decades now.  So I'm well aware that I don't know it all.  In recent months I've begun to develop an appreciation for the local work of Mr. Neal Pinkston; I've been impressed with several things he's been doing in his official ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Arnold Palmer’s Greatness

This is hardly meant to be flippant but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been in the presence of more great people than anyone you know. I’ve never ranked them, or ever dared to wonder who was the greatest, such as Muhammad Ali or Elvis Presley, but there are two traits that those who reach the highest pinnacle have in common. First, not a one of them was any good at what made them famous ... (click for more)