Hi ladies, I hope you are ready to be real with yourself while reading this article, see if you can open yourself up to allow truths to set in and change to come about afterwards, I’m praying for you that while you read this you can see me, the author, as being vulnerable and real and that you would be able to be as well.
Recently I published an article called Overcoming Your Struggle With Health. In it I discussed a lot of my personal health journey and how God has taught me that He alone is my strength especially when it comes to health. It’s all about how our spiritual life really affects our physical life and our health. I would recommend reading it if you haven’t already!
First of all I want to point out that while this is an article about how to help improve your health that you are in no way a failure or a let down! God made you perfect and unique and so extraordinary. God made you and gave the verdict that you are good and precious in His sight. He makes no mistakes and is proud of you. Lets get started, keeping that in mind while reading this.
So many of us struggle with our health journey’s and fail on a regular basis, and when we fail, we get upset and indulge in things that will make us feel better even though all the while it’s making us feel worse.
This is not how God intended us to live.
We look at women in magazines and in movies and even in real life and they look so healthy and skinny and we wish we were like them and think that they must have the whole “healthy lifestyle” down to a T. Let me tell you, they don’t and even if they did, you are putting yourself down and not looking at your journey through Jesus’ eyes.
One of the biggest things that has helped free me from guilt in my health journey this past year was the realization that my journey is soooo much different from anyone else’s. Everyone is unique and different with different metabolisms, different body types, different DNA, different disabilities and injuries and what may work for one person may or may not work for me or what works for me might not work for you.
It’s not “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to humans let alone their differences in health.
That being said, it’s not our job to compare ourselves to everyone else, their workout routine, their diet, their skin, hair, and basic lifestyle. It is our job to listen to our bodies, research and learn what works for us and work towards a healthy, non-unrealistic goal for ourselves!
I love this commandment in 1 Corinthians:
“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 (Passion Translation)
We have the precious gift of God, the Holy Spirit living in us, in our sanctuary. Why are we not using our body’s, spiritually and physically, to bring glory to Him? I just love this translation-it says we are Gods “expensive gift, paid for with tears of blood”. Doesn’t that make you feel special and chosen for a reason?
What does this have to do with our health you may ask? It should be a huge inspiration to know how much you mean to God and that you have His Spirit in your earthly body; so what right do we have to NOT take care of our bodies?
We only have one body-we have the choice everyday to customize and change it-either for good or bad.
Are you giving it your best? Do you have an exercise routine and a diet that you try to stick to regularly? If not, just pray about it and ask God to lead you to maybe choose to do some of those things. But remember, do some research, there are SO MANY DIFFERENT exercise and diet plans out there. Just start with something as simple as cutting out sugar for 5 days a week and going on a long walk every day. Do something though.
I don’t want to write about how crucial it is that you lead a healthy lifestyle-you probably already know that.
You might even beat yourself up for not always following through with your health goals. Maybe you’ve never tried to be healthy because you’re too afraid to let yourself down. Please just know that I’m not trying to push you, no one should push you to do anything you don’t want to except yourself and God.
We all need to know one simple truth when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle-you do it for yourself, others and for Jesus.
Maybe you don’t want to work out and eat salads; so do it for your family, do it for your future health, do it for your husband or future husband, do it for your children and do it because you know that you are the Sanctuary of God and your body is NOT your own.
That being said, please know that there is a balance to how far you should push yourself.
Yes, give yourself a realistic goal for your health and inspire yourself everyday to strive for that but DON’T let it consume you. DON’T let it control your life. DON’T give it the power to hold guilt over you when you fail. DON’T live in condemnation if you can’t stick to it.
Everyday you have a chance to do the simplest things for your health; go for a walk, don’t eat that frozen yogurt in the freezer, say no to the extra carbs, chase your kids around the yard for 15 minutes, it doesn’t have to be major, just start somewhere. Give yourself grace but know that God wants us to live the best life we can and a good life is a healthy one.
I know that there are some very sad cases where it’s nearly impossible for them to lead a healthy lifestyle but I’ve talked to many doctors about this (because of my dads disability) and sick people who still find areas of their life where they can choose health over taking the easy road out.
I hope that none of you think that I know what I’m doing 100% of the time when it comes to health because i don’t.
I am still learning and finding what works and doesn’t work for me. After our wedding last December I was sick for a month and then had surgery in March-it took me a whole month to recover and when I finally did I wanted to loose the weight I had gained but was so discouraged and depressed that I didn’t know where to begin. So I started slow. I did some yoga for about a week to regain some muscle and flexibility. Then I added in a little cardio and weights. Nothing changes overnight. You have to stay positive and inspired. You have to have grace with yourself. Remember everyone is so unique and different, you have to learn what works best for you.
I know I’m going to get asked by tons of people what works for me so I’ll just throw it out there right now.
For my exercise routine I like to do a lot of yoga. I do yoga almost every single day except for on Sundays. It’s not the kind of yoga where you bow to a sun god or say “OMs”. It’s a lot of flowing and strength and breathing and flexibility training. I honestly owe a lot of my stress relief and all of my healed back pain to my yoga practice. I have been off and on with yoga for about four years but over the last year and a half I’ve really committed to it. I’m even thinking of getting certified as a yoga instructor to maybe create a christian yoga experience as a side hobby?! P.S flowing to worship music is my absolute favorite-there’s nothing like it.
I also do some weight training and Pilates 3-4 days a week after my yoga practice. I mix this up with running or biking once a week. Because I’ve had so many back problems in the past I can’t do cardio consistently but I’ve found doing some form of cardio once a week doesn’t affect my back. This can make it hard for me to lose weight in a fast amount of time but that’s when I incorporate a stricter diet.
My diet is nothing fancy or crazy at all. I follow a 80/20 rule.
This means to eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge only 20% of the time. I have a huge sweet tooth! I love desert-cake mostly (poor Dylan, he knows the way to my heart:German chocolate cake. Every. Single. Time.) I also really love lattes and tea lattes. I’m not a huge bread fan so carbs aren’t that big of a deal for me. I like bagels and some hot cereals in the morning but after that I don’t usually crave carbs, unless I see a commercial for crab linguine or shrimp alfredo! So when I want to lose 5-10 lbs I cut out all sugar and have one healthy carb in the morning and stick to weights and Pilates and cardio once a week. I love meat and veggies and that’s really all I need. I have some yogurt in the morning and eat meat and veggies.
Again, this is just what I do, what works for me is simply that-I’m not saying this is what everyone needs to be doing.
I think everyone needs to stop over thinking this healthy lifestyle thing. Find a balance between healthy determination and guilt shaming yourself.
I am going to make Dylan a chocolate pudding pie for desert tonight and you can bet your little behind that I’m going to have a piece!
I hope that this wasn’t too much information or too long. I really just want to encourage you all to live the best life you can by choosing to eat beautiful foods and find the strength you never knew you had by exercising and not condemning yourself if you slip up once in a while or even all the time! We all do it.
Let me know what your health plans are for the year and what gets you motivated in the comments. I would love to hear from you and especially what you think of this post! God bless all of you beautiful ladies!