Nutrition & Wellness
“Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God!” ~ 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
Our world is incredibly stressful and we’ve bought into a lie that happiness, comfort, and balance only comes to us if we are wealthy, beautiful, and powerful. It appears we’ve settled for lesser lovers, and pushed God off of our hearts in so many areas- especially when it comes to the care and keeping of our bodies. Being in the fitness industry for over twenty years has left me heartbroken as I’ve seen very few people value their bodies and treat themselves with kindness. We nip, tuck, push, starve and try and force our bodies to be “perfect”, or we go the other way and refuse to move our bodies and allow a sedentary life style to slowly devour our vigor and strength. Either way, we offer our bodies hate instead of love.
“We have an overabundance of food, of finances and power, which leads to gluttony, to selfishness and to manipulation and pride.” ~ Steven Macchia
I believe the care and keeping of our bodies is a place where we can be set apart for God’s purposes. If we are sick and dependent on drugs, food, money or sex, we will never have the impact God created us to have.
God loves your physical body and it is very precious to him, and there is a strong correlation between our physical health and spiritual health. What I have come to notice in my own life is that my discipline in healthy living and my overall wellbeing spiritually seem to be connected. I have found that if I’m consistent in making good decisions for my health, my spiritual life seems to be more vibrant too, and vice versa.
“Our body is the temple of God. Therefore, be careful where it goes; be careful what it consumes be careful what it does; be careful what it ponders; be careful how it reacts.”
Here are two practical tips to embrace as you assess your comprehensive health:
1. Healthy looks different on every body, and that health is more than just the absence of disease or looking hot in your skinny jeans. Vibrant health is an optimal state of wellness that takes into account your heart, mind, soul and strength. Health is comprehensive and complex- just like we are.
2. We need to be patient and embrace the concept of imperfect progress. “Perfect does not exist when it comes to behavior change. Embrace this now and you'll be happier. We are humans, we are imperfect. There is no rush. Enjoy the ride, because "the work is the reward, and the prize is in the process" ~ Craig Groeschell
WELLNESS CONCEPTS THAT LEAD TO THRIVING PHYSICALLY:
Positive Thought Patterns & Pro-Health Thinking: As we learned in week two, the words and thoughts we take in affect our ability to thrive. I would argue that our thoughts are actually just as important as the food we eat, and they can even affect the impact food has on our bodies. It is critical that we have a good relationship with our food. Thriving physically goes beyond identifying what diet plan gives you the best results, or determining the perfect balance of cardio and flexibility training. We can thrive physically when we are loving and kind to ourselves.
Good Digestion and Elimination: You aren't just what you eat...you are what you absorb and fail to eliminate. Enzymes, fiber, probiotics, less animal products...these things create a powerful combination for overall health. By the way... you should be having at least one bowel movement a day.
Silence, Solitude & Restorative Sleep: These are the spaces where healing comes. For most of us, this is an area that requires tremendous growth in order for us thrive rather than just survive. Meditation, prayer, quiet, stillness, and a full night's sleep could be the medicine you need to transform your life. I’ve heard it be said that as margin decreases in your life, tension increases. Take a scan of your body and see if this is true. Where do you physically feel it when you are burning the candle on both ends? Does your back constantly ache, or your head throb when your life rolls from one activity to the others? The body keeps the score and is responsive to the rhythm of your life.
Healthy, Non-Toxic Relationships: Asses the people you surround yourself and interact with daily. Are they emotionally healthy for you? Do you feel good after being with them? Accept that there are seasons and endings in life. Keep your vertical and horizontal relationships healthy.
Exercise & Sex: Both are very good for you ;0) Seriously... you need to move your body everyday and you should vary your workouts and intensity. We tend to fall into one camp or the other when it comes to fitness- go get it power exercisers or chill, gentle restorative movers. Truth is, you need balance. Resistance, strength/weight training keeps bones healthy (and is most important as we age) while deep stretching prevents injury and counterbalances the "poses" we're stuck in all day at work. We need the trifecta: cardio, resistance/strength training, and flexibility work.
Active Avoidance of Toxic Exposure & Consistent Input of Real, Nourishing Foods: How you feed your body will affect your mood, and how you feel about your body will affect the foods you choose. You have choices, and change-by-change, you'll build a healthy lifestyle that sticks.
"You are the architect of your well-being. You get to build its foundation with every choice you make." ~ Joy McCarthy