A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 3: Weight Management 43 Introduction According to a 2010 online poll, 64% of Americans said the first thing they noticed about someone was how attractive they were. Another online poll reported that the majority of U.S. men admitted looks were more important than personality when determining a mate. Similarly, a 2017 study, found that men must be at least “moderately attractive” in order for a woman to consider his personality. And finally, a 2018 study found that 76% of Americans favor appearance over reliability when selecting their next car. These collective results are neither unexpected or surprising. American culture, as evidenced by the majority of reality television shows, clearly suggests that one’s appearance is more important than their character. But what about Christians? Is it wrong for Christians to consider looks when choosing a mate? And, how much time (if any) should Christians put into bettering their appearance? The Bible makes it clear that appearance is overrated and, at best, a temporary attribute (Prov. 11:22; 31:30). Additionally, the Bible shows that God is more concerned with a person’s heart than he is the outward appearance (1 Sam. 16:7). This means that although our culture may value appearance over character; as Christians, our identity should not be found in how we look but rather in whom we serve (Eph. 1). Prevalence of Obesity in America Due to numerous advances in both nutrition and training, today’s athletes are becoming bigger, stronger and faster than ever before. In fact, most of the current world records have been set in the last 5 - 10 years. Table 3.1 lists some of the current world records in various endurance and strength sports. Table 3.1. Current World Records in Various Endurance and Strength Sports Endurance Sports Strength Sports Event Year Set Record Holder Event Year Set Record Holder 100-m 2009 Usain Bolt Squat 2018 Vlad Alhazov 400-m 2016 Wayde van Niekerk Bench Press 2019 Julius Maddox 1-Mile 1999 Hicham El Guerrouj Deadlift 2020 Hafthor Bjornsson Marathon 2018 Eliud Kipchoge Snatch 2016 Lasha Talakhadze