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Health and Fitness Peace (Or 5 ideas to help you find physical wholeness)

On October first my husband and I decided to make this a month of healthy eating and regular exercise. Though health and fitness needs to be a lifestyle and not a one month stint, we wanted to take some time to intentionally incorporate good habits.

On October second I took the little ones that I nanny to the park. Their mom had sent ice cream money with us and as we walked over to the store to pick out what they wanted they both declared loudly they wanted a big cone. In my attempts to be the world’s best nanny I forgot momentarily that they were three and five years old and would find the child size cone large enough. I was left with two mostly unfinished ice cream cones as they ran back to the swings. Needless to say this month has given me a fair share of challenges. But through it all I have been sure that this lifestyle of health and fitness is what we’re called to as Christians.

God made us with bodies and he cares what we do with our bodies. That much is evident in scripture.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I cannot see this verse and be convicted to do what I can to take care of my body – the temple of the Holy Spirit – by eating right and working it well. I just can’t find any way around it. And it astounds me when I find myself and other followers of Christ striving with all we have to pursue godliness and holiness in our inner selves without giving a single thought to the care of our outer selves. How can we expect to be whole people when the goals and desires of our spiritual world have no bearing on the physical?

I don’t have all the answers by any means. Most days I end up asking google how healthy the food is that I’m about to consume. And I’m not perfect at this health and fitness thing at all. I have had several pumpkin spiced lattes and avoided my share of broccoli this month. But the further I go in this endeavor the less I want to turn back. I want life, and life to the fullest. I want to know peace. I want to be whole. But how can I be whole when I neglect the home that my soul lives in, and that where the Spirit dwells?

A healthy, fit body is the most appropriate home for a vibrant spirit. -Gary Thomas

I’m not an expert, but I do know one thing – every body is different. Here are the steps we have taken, may they serve only as a place for you to begin thinking what steps you might take.

1. Limit processed foods. If an apparently simple food has several dozen ingredients that I can’t pronounce maybe I can just make it on my own.

2. No High Fructose Corn Syrup and as little sugar as possible. This is where the no desserts, no soda, no candy comes in as pretty safe standard. The more you eat the more you want.

3. Balanced meals and smaller portions. My childhood pediatrician always told us to make sure our plate was colorful. Some of everything, but in moderation.

4. Daily exercise of varied activities. I have my favorites and my least favorite routines but the more diverse and less predictable my exercise patterns are the more parts of your body are being used and being maintained.

5. Find something sustainable. There is no way I could say I would never eat sugar again, nor would I want to. In moderation – and when following a thought through eating plan – sugar will still be part of my diet. We got Starbucks and fast food on our few trips to the big city, we went out for pizza after hiking a 14’er. I foresee this happening from time to time. If I have to stay no forever I will eventually binge and fall back into unhealthy eating patterns with no boundaries. But if I can plan ahead for a few treats I am able to sustain my food goals.

At the end of the day it isn’t about following a diet, or losing pounds, or getting buff. That can’t be it is all about. Because I can quickly put ice cream above these shallow goals. This healthy food intake and fit body maintenance has to be about the heart. A heart devoted to Christ will be undivided in its desire to honor Him with its all – including the body. IMG_1442

And in case you were wondering, I threw the ice cream cones in the trash.

{Three resources that have helped me immensely in forming my philosophy of eating and exercise in the past few months:

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst A much needed reminder that our cravings and deepest desires must be for God, not for food.

Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul by Gary Thomas A hard word with those who have become content with soft bodies. Inspiring and Convicting.

100 Days of Real Food If you’re like me, sometimes you just need information on the practical part of things. This is an excellent resource for healthy cooking – but not following a particular diet.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    mom
    October 30, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Your healthy living post was awesome! Loved your shout out to dr. Dan! Can i borrow your gary thomas book? I love you. Keep up the great posts!

    • Reply
      greeroharah
      October 30, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks! I actually got that book at the library this summer, I think through prospector so you should be able to get it through your library! Definitely one worth owning though. (Of course I think most books are worth owning!)

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