Who is Responsible for Your Health?
If you have been wanting to make changes in your health, the biggest and first step is to take responsibility of it.
We are quick to turn to programs and supplements that promise results. We so easily believe everything doctors tell us to be true about our bodies and the medicines created to fix them. It's easier and that is what we have always known. Amidst everything else we have going on, by passing our health off to someone else, it is just one less thing we have to worry about. But, this should be the last thing we pass along to someone else.
We want quick fixes and immediate results. We put all of our trust into Diet Plans, Plexus, Advocare, our Doctor, the birth control pill, the antidepressants, etc. I fell into a lot of this. I don't want you to think that I am saying these options are wrong or bad, but they can lead us to reliance on them.
For years, I put my trust in what my doctor was telling me and just rotated different dosages of the pill when it wasn't working. I relied on Advocare cleanses and Spark to curb my cravings, help me shed a few more pounds, and to give me more energy. It was easy and it was guaranteed. But it never lasted for me. The more I did it - the less effective it was and the more my body fought it. My body was trying to get my attention.
At what point will we take responsibility of our health? For me, it was obviously something that only came as a last resort and desperate measure.
Do we all have to hit a breaking point to realize we need to take control of our health?
We have forgotten true gratefulness for our food and bodies. Our meal time prayers are memorized and recited and it is rare that we search for the meaning behind it all. Things pile up and we find ourselves too busy to sit down for a meal and by the end of the week - we are exhausted and have that "gross" feeling from all the "fast foods" we ate. Even if they were the healthier foods like Perfect Bars and Matcha Lattes - something is just off.
So, What do we do about it?
(1)We are human and all fall short of the glory of God (So we will never be perfect) but what if we thanked God for EVERY time we ate something?
That quick bar we grabbed, cookie we snagged at work, latte from the local coffee shop, etc. Not just meals but every snack and treat between. We are mindless eaters and eat out of boredom, craving and routine. But if we just shifted our mindset a bit, would you eat the same way? Now, there is nothing wrong with snagging a cookie at work and snacking when we are between meals if you just need an extra push, but how often do we mindfully do this? Mindfulness and Intuitive eating are two hot topics right now in the health world - but if you think about it- it has always been a hot topic in God's world. He wants us to be grateful for the nourishment He is providing us with.
Intuitive eating tells us to slow down and enjoy eating - focus on how our food is making us feel. Stop eating when we are content and be grateful for it. These are all things the Lord taught us to do! I think it is so cool that even people who are not religious can see that we are missing something. God is pulling His people to the truth one way or another and this is just a small example.
When we are grateful to God for our meals, we are more likely to enjoy the whole process. Cutting all the beautiful vegetables + adding seasonings that all came from His earth + being thankful for every bite. THIS is why I have been so drawn to food and cooking and sharing God's truth through it.
We can feel the goodness as we eat when we are aware of it! After a while, we actually start to crave more of the natural foods from the earth that God has given us. Our bodies are smart and they know how to tell us when it needs something - we just have to nourish it accordingly.
Will and I just had a conversation about this the other night when he stated that he used to hate most of the vegetables (Like Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and olives) before we got married and I cooked with them all the time. Now he loves them! Its amazing what eating real food can do and how it changes you. Cravings become more clear and we are better able to distinguish what our bodies need. Examples being : dehydration vs. sugar craze, need for community vs another snack, or even a need for time outside vs another cup of coffee.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10 : 31
(2)As for meal time - we need to give this time more attention.
This is God’s time to fuel His Temple so treat it like it! Make it a special time, whether it is alone or with friends/family! This means: no TV, no cell phone, pray before you eat and really think about each food you are eating and how grateful you are for it. Be very present in this time and be very aware of how your body feels after each bite! We tend to overeat when we are distracted and are only eating to please our tastebuds and cravings.
Try chewing each bite 15-30 times. The more we chew, the more we break down our food with saliva and the easier it is on our digestive system. This also helps us eat slower and feel satisfied sooner.
Truly make meal time special. I like music in the background and a window open. Enjoy it with the people you love!
Praying before meals is so important. This helps to affirm your satisfaction when you thank God for the meal. Pray that it will sustain you for His work.
Be aware of your body. Take this time to figure out how much food your body really needs and which foods may be upsetting your stomach, etc.
And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you
Deuteronomy 8 : 10
(3)Good food will make you feel amazing. It will make you look better, have clearer thoughts, give you more energy, improve your health, ease stress and anxiety, lessen depression, and 50,000 other things. But food is not our savior.
We cannot idolize our food. Food will heal a lot of sickness in this world but what is food without our God? You have to remember who created these foods for us and that praying over your meals is truly the best way to be mindful and the best way to become healthy! Find joy in cooking and find joy in slowing down for your meal. God created these foods to sustain us, so put food in it’s place and leave God to His! Giving power to food leads to disordered thinking/eating.
Bringing God into the equation always makes it better - so if you are trying to be healthy - do not put the pressure on yourself! He will carry your burdens.
If you are desperate to lose weight - quit carrying guilt and shame. Honestly think about WHY you want to lose weight. Is it for the world and to please the world - is it because you can’t find it in yourself to appreciate your body - or is it for the Lord who created you? I have found a fine line between loving myself for who I am but also taking care of my body as His holy temple. I can be upset with myself for how I have treated my body or how I have allowed this world to change my body but I cannot let hateful thoughts rule the image I have for it. That is where I lose gratefulness for the Lord. That is where I fall into eating disorders and idolize working out and eating super clean.
Pray over your body tonight. I know it seems weird but this helps me so much. Literally place your hands on your body and feel your skin. Feel how wonderful and intricate your body is and thank God for that. You are a vessel for the Lord and I know you want to treat your body as such. Pray that the Holy Spirit will walk with you as you give your body the nourishment it needs to heal and become healthy. Ultimately, health is getting to a point where you are more able to carry out the will of the Lord. The better you take care of yourself and feel good about where you are, the better you are to serve His people and fulfill His will for you!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12 : 1-2