As many of us are well into our New Year’s Resolutions, we know the probability of losing these well thought out fitness goals within a few months into the year, but today I will share with you the secret element to maintaining your health throughout the entire year.
Our goal is to create a lifestyle beyond an emotional decision. This occurs as we build our foundation on Biblical truth and a commitment to be good stewards of our bodies regardless of the time of the year.
As we are waiting on the results we desire whether it be a particular dress size, a healthy pregnancy, overcoming multiple miscarriages, heart disease or clearer skin, the reason why we want these outcomes is key to establishing consistency.
This morning I was blessed to pray with a group of determined, focused women for the strength, wisdom and diligence to uproot bad habits that hinder us from being the healthiest us possible.
In sharing with them, we identified the reason why we need to be healthy holistically, the need to desire health for the right reasons, and the benefits of eating well or exercising.
As my own personal education has increased, I have also experienced a stronger resolution to abstain from certain foods and exercise consistently.
The same can be seen statistically in varying communities; as our education level is deprived, are choices fall suit, but as we are taught the reasons behind our decisions, we develop a stronger fortitude against unhealthy resolves.
It is my prayer that we will learn the art of being preventative when it comes to our bodies, rather than constantly delving into the habits of living on the defensive- fighting sickness, pain, and problems resulting from poor upkeep.
Why do we want to be healthy?
At first sight, this question appears self-evident but a bit of introspection may divulge a deeper root to our lack of inconsistency.
Before we contemplate on reasons why we should want to be healthy, let us take a moment to examine common faulty thinking in terms of our goals.
We may want to establish health:
- So we can look as good as ____________. When our foundation is based on comparison, we are in for major disappointment. Looking up to someone else is splendid, but making a decision to look exactly like them is nothing short of disgraceful immorality. We will find ourselves discouraged as we recognize that even the models in the magazines do not look the way they appear after much airbrushing and photo shopped techniques.
- To loss a specific amount of weight and feel better about ourselves. Instead of losing a particular amount of weight, which is not necessarily wrong, focusing on being our best self may be less discouraging. When our main goal is a number we find ourselves constantly standing on a scale wondering when it will ever happen. This can become an over-indulgence on a good goal, but may not be the best foundational reason for our fitness goals.
- To get a man. I am being very frank and straight forward with this root thought because if the man does not want you without the pounds, what will happen when you have a few bad months. Does he love you, will he love you because he has the unconditional love of GOD in his heart, or because of how you look on the outside appearance. Sure, you should want to be your best for your husband or spouse, but this should not be the Main reason for being healthy.
- For the approval of any other person. If we want to be healthy and look great so others will like us more, finally approve of us or to get any other type of outside attention, we may be in for a disappointment when we lose the pounds. No matter how great you look, everyone will not like the way you appear and your want to be your best for reasons that are not as temporal or easily shaken.
- Because someone spoke a derogatory comment over us- you’re too fat, too tall, too short, too skinny. When others say that who we are is not enough, we need to return to GOD for our approval and those who love us unconditionally to help build our esteem back up. Sometimes people make statements without thinking and it can resonate with insecurities we had already been feeling. Instead of receiving it, let’s practice repelling lies to refocus on truth.
There are a two major reasons to want to be healthy that I am going to share with you; all of them are Scripturally based and will help you obtain a lifestyle of well-being:
- We value our bodies because we value the Creator. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from GOD? You are not your own, for you were brought with a price, So glorify GOD in your body. Every part of our being belongs to GOD and is a temple. We are responsible to steward our bodies by taking care of them and being our best. Let’s make this the healthiest year of our lives ladies, not because we want attention from a man, or a handclap from someone else. That’s nice if it’s the right person, but we live to Please GOD more than anyone else and to be happy with who we are. Then others will see us and say, “How did you lose that weight?” “You look great!” We will know deep in our hearts that we can be humbly proud of ourselves because we did it for His glory.
- We have a deep love for who we are. Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Let’s play this on repeat in our minds today. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” We know this to be true beyond your feelings. We take care of ourselves because of our self-love; we don’t love ourselves because of the results of exercising. (Disclaimer: Looking great can increase your love for yourself, but this should not be the root of why you work out.)
Basing our desires on the Word of GOD as our foundation is what makes it a lifestyle. If we have decided to live on Scriptural truth, then it guides our every day determinations even more than our hopes and dreams.
Benefits of Eating Well & Exercising
Now that we know the greatest motivation for self-care; discovering the benefits of both eating well and exercising will guide us on our health journey.
As aforementioned, in my personal life, I have been blessed to gain more understanding of the power behind what I eat, but it has not come without a cost.
Even at what I believed to be my highest peak of health, my body was undergoing much damage. Being healthy is about more than looking great- my body was at it’s optimal condition and I looked Amazing to most, but only GOD knew what was happening to me internally.
Due too much pounding on the ground from running, my internal organs were being moved out of balance, I was becoming nutrient deficient and was in need of many vitamins.
Over time this would have wear and tare on my body that I would never have guessed at that period of my life.
It takes time to get unhealthy and it takes consistent, intentional choices to gain healthy our health back. But it also takes self-education.
This is why I have such a strong passion to help women, just like you gradually reach their health goals!
I know it is possible and realistic, but I also know there is no short cut; it is a lot of work.
What are the benefits of the foods we eat?
First I will share with you that the Daniel’s Fast is a wise tool GOD has given to us in detoxing our bodies. All of the foods are power foods, packed with nutrients. They are Amazing for our bodies.
And we are flushing out harmful preservatives, additives in our common foods.
We are also smart to drink lots of water, staying hydrated during this time of consecration.
Eating whole foods is eating what we were created to eat, GOD made, not man made. And our body knows it well.
Eating organic, whole foods is like putting the proper gas into your car and it does not have to be expensive. If you put the wrong type of gas in a luxury vehicle, it will eventually shut down, not operating at it’s maximum performance. The same applies to us; we are luxury vehicles.
What types of foods are best to promote our health?
Eat whole, natural, real food. Is there a such thing as fake food? Yes, a lot of the food we eat is packed with ingredients we do not understand nor can pronounce. They are chemical and preservatives, never meant to enter our bodies. Instead, eat:
- Lots of organic fruits and vegetables
- Organic, grass-fed, whole fat or raw dairy
- Cold water, non-farmed fish (i.e. Wild Alaskan Salmon)
- Grass fed, organic meat
- Free range, organic chicken
- Whole, pure/natural grains
- Avoid refined sugars
- Drink 6-8 cups of water a day (pure, non-tap)
- Healthy, non processed fats (coconut oil, avocado, olives, nuts, meats)
What are some of the benefits of exercising?
These are simply a few blessings resulting from 30 minutes of daily, moderate exercise:
- It has been proven to lower the risk of death
- It promotes a longer life expectancy
- It cuts the risk of cancer
- It lowers the risk of osteoporosis (thinning bones)
- It improves our mood and boosts our confidence/self-esteem
- It creates more muscle
- It lowers the risk of diabetes
- It aids in healthier digestion
- It lowers our stress levels
- It lowers the risk of heart disease
- It decreases the risk of stroke
- It gives us better skin health
- It balances our hormones
- It decreases the chance of miscarriage
- It optimizes our health
- It builds important nutrients for pregnancy
- It supports a healthy reproductive system
- It promotes energy and vitality
- It keeps us at a healthy weight
Other health tips:
- Sleep a lot- get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, you sleep at the deepest level with no lights on
- Limit stress levels- your hormones and stress level is key to optimizing your health
- Have fun-a part of limiting stress is taking time to live you life, write a list of what you enjoy doing and do something fun daily
- Avoid toxins- they are found in our foods, cosmetics, toiletries, lotions, and the air (the only one you can’t avoid is the air)
- Relax- find ways to relax, get a massage, take a soothing bath, listen to gentle music, have a wind down before bed routine
- Cook at home- Avoid toxins found in restaurant food and learn how to cook at home using natural foods, also a great family building time
From my heart to yours, I pray this will help you maintain your health and fitness goals in this blessed year of 2016! Please share your New Year’s Resolutions in regards to fitness in the comment section. It will be much fun as we become a sweet support system to one another.