C.S. Lewis wrote, “We don’t have a soul. We are a soul. We happen to have a body.” I get what he’s saying, because we are not just our physical selves. Since the Church got its hands on the theology of the body, however, we’ve minimized physical self far, far too much. Because of sex? Or sensuality? Or the need for control? the Church sometimes borders on docetism (the rejection of the physical plane of existence) and sees the body only as a shell, a source of sin, a mortal coil to be shed.
We can’t go down that path. Bodies are important to God. How we treat and care for and engage our bodies matters. It’s at this point I need to write a very clear disclaimer: I’m not talking about your body. I offer no comment on your health, diet, exercise, needs or physicality. It’s not my place nor my desire to do that. This is my opinion and practice in regards to my body, only.
So at the start of 2020, I was an ex-smoker weighing 242 pounds, and my diet was garbage. I got out of breath going up the (to be fair, rather steep) stairs to our attic. Something had to change. This has become my guiding scripture when it comes to bodywork, a resurrection text of sorts from the prophet Ezekiel.
Thus says the LORD GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”Ezekiel 37:5
Bodywork is hard work. I don’t like exercising. I don’t like eating right, for the most part. I definitely don’t like talking about what I weigh, and why. But here I am, doing it.