Today I want to talk about health and wellness. There is so much information out there, and mixed information, I think most people fall into one of three categories: 1 – They are die-hard followers of a certain lifestyle; 2 – They are really confused by everything but do what they can; or 3 – They ignore all of it and do whatever they want.
I fall mostly into the third category but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. I have done lots of reading and studying on health and wellness. I took the course required to become a personal trainer. I started taking the course to become a natural nutritionist. I regularly see a chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath and I ask questions. And because of all of this, I am acutely aware of the happenings in my body. I know when I am getting sick.
So how do I take care of myself? Aside from seeing my chiropractor and naturopath regularly (and looking for a new osteopath since I moved), very little actually.
For a long time now, I have struggled with food issues. If I am unable to or don’t deal with my emotions, I eat. I tend to overeat on unhealthy foods. I have tried many diets, lifestyle changes, exercise programs to help myself but I cannot seem to change my unhealthy habits.
I just read a blog the other day about having a ‘Spirit of Rebellion’. I would have to agree this is my main problem and not just when it comes to my health.
This was written by Cathy Morenzie and according to her blog, someone with a Spirit of Rebellion may be more likely to:
- Fight with someone instead of telling them how you really feel, then rush home to eat.
- Sabotage your weight loss goals.
- Think it is not fair that others get to eat whatever they want and you don’t.
- Hear God tell you something specific but do what you want anyway.
- Eat in secret.
All of this applies to me. I have always felt like I need to fight against the world in order to get what I think I want or think is best for me, or thinking I need to prove myself to people all the time.
In recent weeks, my counselor has suggested I start thinking what life could be like if I stop thinking I need to fight all the time. Life would be much easier, more positive and I would have better relationships with people around me.
So now, talking in terms of my health, what would that look like, to stop fighting all the time? Well, I would not compare myself, my diet, lifestyle, food choices, choice of exercise (or lack thereof) to others. I would stop comparing my weight and overall health to others and stop judging others. I would stop eating in secret, stop hiding what I am doing. I would pay attention to what God is telling me to do and try to actually do it as best I can. I would be honest with my feelings and not worry about what people think of me. I would focus on me, what is best for me and current health, my goals and what I want to achieve.
Let’s looks at the definitions of health and wellness.
Health is defined as… the condition of being well or free from disease; a condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit.
Wellness is defines as… the quality or state of being healthy; the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.
We need to make sure we focus, not just on living or existing, but on having optimal health. What does the best version of your physical health look and feel like for you?
We know that our physical health is closely related to our mental and spiritual health. In recent years, I have led a small group study where we delved into “The Daniel Plan”. It was put together by Rick Warren, with the help of some professionals in their field, at the Saddleback Church in California. He thought of creating this program after baptizing over 800 people on one day and thinking how fat and overweight everyone was. First of all, I cannot imagine 800 people getting baptized all on the same day. That is a lot of people. But can you imagine the amount of weight he would have lifted that day, and in the water? The weight and pressure of the water against a person as you lower and lift them in and out of the water? That is a lot of weight!
To his credit Rick Warren also realized how overweight he was as well.
There are 5 elements that make up the Daniel Plan: Faith (very important foundation), Food (basis of health), Fitness (get moving), Focus (what is your brain doing to you or vice versa), and Friends (we are not meant to go through this thing called life alone).
As many times as I have now gone through it and led this study; as many times as I know that certain foods are not good for me or my digestive system, I cannot seem to break the bad habits, unhealthy food cravings or the negative thoughts that go through my mind as a result of giving in to the unhealthy behaviours.
I try to surrender my life to God but forget that it is a day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute decision and act. I try to let go of the control I want to have over my life and believe that only God has control of it all. I try to let go of all the negative thoughts that go through my mind but find it easier to listen to the lies than to believe the truth.
I try to eat the healthy food from the outer aisles of the grocery store but I give in to the cravings my body has for sugar. I try to exercise in order to help relieve the chronic back pain but I give into the fear that I may go too far and hurt myself so I do nothing. I try to listen to the advice of my friends when they tell me to surrender my control to God, that I can change my eating habits, that I can accomplish whatever goals I have but I tell myself it is easier said than done.
I am fighting a battle every day. It is a battle going on inside my own head. It is a battle that involves my mind, my heart and my soul. It is a battle many of us face. For me it is mostly about the physical issues. For many others it is the mental or spiritual issues. We have to keep fighting. We have to keep praying. We have to keep surrendering every minute, every hour, every day.
God has us all in the palm of his hand. He has everything under control. Everything will be done according to His plan and His timing. We have to do our part as well – but only what is under our control, which is our own words, actions and thoughts. That is it.
Here are some verses to help you in each of the 5 elements that make up The Daniel Plan:
Faith – “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20
Food – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31
Fitness – Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 bodies. I Corinthians 6: 19-20
Focus – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Friends – Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10: 23-25
And one final verse to help you in whatever battle you are facing – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12: 30. And love yourself.