In the past few years, I’ve been struggling with my body image. I’ve gone up two dress sizes because my midsection seemed to get bigger and bigger with each year since my early 40’s. Earlier this year, I started a metabolic typing eating plan to increase my protein and decrease my intake of refined carbs and processed foods. After following the eating plan, I found that I was no longer gaining weight, but I also wasn’t losing weight either. I was convinced that there was something more going on, so I went to my doctor and got a detailed bloodwork done to check for any irregularities.
My bloodwork results came back with some answers to why I had been feeling so tired, unmotivated, depressed, and achy along with the weight gain: My testosterone level showed to be very low, and I tested positive for Candida fungal infection. My doctor prescribed a couple of anti-fungal medicines as well as half a dozen different supplements, and I began TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). I’m still in the beginning stage of TRT (and the dose is very low), so I’m not feeling any different yet.
There’s a part of me that’s relieved to get some answers, because for years, I thought I was just being undisciplined or just plain lazy. I felt validated that my pains, fatigue, depression, etc. were not just something my mind came up with; there really was a medical explanation to my malaise. There was, however, a part of me that wished I did something about it sooner. All these years, my body was trying to get my attention to tell me to get myself checked, but I ignored it and chalked it up to getting older and dealing with flare-ups from previous injuries. How often do we ignore these signs from our bodies? And how often do we ignore distress calls from our soul and the Holy Spirit? A biblical example of ignoring the spiritual signs is in Numbers 22:
“Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.
Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.
Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.” The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.”
Are we like Balaam, where we don’t see the signs that God is sending us?
I have a gauge or my spiritual health: If I start fearing what people think about me, I know I need to be in God’s presence more. When I spend more time with him in the Word, meditation and prayer, God reminds me over and again who I am and who’s I am. When I’m reminded of God’s love for me — and really believe it with all that I am — I find myself caring less about what others think of me.
It’s important to take care of our physical bodies as well as our spiritual bodies. God has given us this physical body as a gift, which is a vessel for who we really are; and who we really are is the soul and spirit. In fact, we must make sure our body, soul and spirit are all ready to meet Jesus face to face. In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, it reads, “May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and though. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
May we all stop and listen when the body AND spirit speak to us.