God doesn’t like your muffin top

The motivations for weight loss have changed over the years but we’re pretty sure looking slim for God is a recent addition to the list. So here we are. Time to shape up or ship out for God. Apparently. Maybe.

An anti-fat pastor in America has released a book on how to lose weight for God. Presumably because his God, the creator of all and everything, isn’t happy with your muffin top.

Here’s what the book is about:


“In Bod 4 God, Pastor Steve reveals the four keys that have unlocked the door to health and fitness for him and for countless others who have dedicated their bodies to God! Steve had been overweight all of his life—he weighed over 100 pounds in the first grade! After playing football during high school and college, he vowed never to exercise or run laps again. That was one promise he kept, ballooning to 340 pounds and staying there for years. Now, in Bod 4 God, he shares the simple lifestyle changes—both inside and out—that led to his incredible weight loss, and he invites readers to change their lives forever by committing their bodies to God’s glory!”

I’m not exactly comfortable living in a world where the answer to the question ‘What Would Jesus Do’ is ‘eat a cup of bran and a stick of celery’.

The Low Carb Pastor (because admit it, that would be way funny) advocates a system of weight loss through four easy steps.

The first is honouring God with your body. Failed at the first count. I’ll confess that I have not done this of late, particularly after inhaling my potato and goat’s cheese gnocchi the other night, almost bringing with it an entire saltshaker in the process.

My body is most surely a temple, but it’s one of those temples in India where the rats are believed to be reincarnated people and everybody feeds them milk. You’ll find no gilded allegorical religious motifs or pulpits or ancient rituals (unless you count the thing I do where I burn incense and prance through it while chanting).


In the war zone of religious fervour, my body received a dishonourable discharge. It hasn’t honoured anybody since absolutely never.

The second easy step is to motivate yourself to change through inspiration. Religious inspiration. This works for the believers I am sure. But there’s still the niggling question: Does God really care what I look like?


I can understand going on a bit of a trim down if, say, you’re about to start dating again and you want to look taut and perky or if you’re applying for a job as a personal trainer but you eat at McDonald’s every day. These are quite ordinary concerns in a society obsessed with looking perfect.

But I could not – even if I believed in Him – manage to convince myself that God thinks my bum looks big in this, or that he wants me in a Size ‘Almost Nothing’ for our prayer meet up on Friday at the bowling alley.

The rest of the steps are lifted straight from the pages of The Good Ship Obvious and involve building a support network and managing an exercise and healthy eating regime. Groundbreaking stuff.

But the discussion in the book is coloured throughout by the words ‘honouring God with your body’.

Surely they don’t mean in the sacrificial lamb sense. And if not, what?

There is a big difference between empowering people to live healthy lives and guilt tripping them into submission. Or joining your church. It’s bad enough that people have inferiority complexes around others, let alone wondering whether the big fella (or sheila) upstairs is staring intently at the scales when they step on and off.

God isn’t judging you on whether you can wear skinny jeans, is He? Perhaps on the content of your character but surely not the fat content of your lunch.

Who factors into your body image decisions? Friends? God? Parents? The media?

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