Well. How to start a post like this… My faith is huge to me…HUGE. It drives my health and fitness. Running or hiking are two of my favorite ways to connect with God. By myself, sometimes with music, sometimes not. Out in the elements, whether that’s heat, snow, rain, wind…I LOVE those times. I crave those times. That’s when my head and heart get clear.
There’s more, though.
One of the biggest messages I “get” from the Christian perspective is that people think focusing on themselves is selfish. I say “get” because it’s something I observe more than something people say out loud. I think focusing on your fitness and nutrition is categorized as vanity. Selfisness.
What’s the truth here? Sure, I agree 110% that one can easily go to an extreme and become shallow and motivated by purely appearance and attention, etc. What I see more often, however, is faith being used as an excuse NOT to seek a healthy lifestyle. We don’t want to be perceived as being focused on worldly things. We fear what people will say about us. Really, what I think we really fear is work! Honestly…this excuse to not be caught up in ourselves is something to hide behind.
Now, take a minute to think of what we are doing when we are ignoring our health. Food can be a very intense drug for some. It can be worse than drugs or alcohol in terms of the grip it can have on our hearts and spirits. We worship it. We love it so much we dream about it, obsess about it, can’t say no to it. It is the centerpiece to most of our gatherings and times of fellowship. We are “fellowshipping” ourselves into an early grave.
Food tends to help us numb out. It becomes a buffer between us and people and us and God. If you don’t see this, try getting together with people and NOT eating. Try fasting and spending some time praying. Give up your evening ice cream and spend some quiet time instead. Woah. That’s boring. What’s the point? The point is…food is a huge distraction.
What I suggest is balance. Balance can be pretty hard to figure out when you’re used to….well…not having balance. Having normal portions and exercising regularly…you would be surprised how much serenity that brings to your life. Having just enough and allowing your soul to breathe…it’s kind of nice. NOT hiding behind desserts, but really connecting with people. Amazing. Feeling strong and healthy and better able to be there for others. Wow. Why would any of this not be a good thing?
I really challenge you to think deeply about your excuses for not taking the steps to create strong and good habits in your health and fitness. Be real about who you want to be, who you think God wants you to be and what that means in terms of your health and fitness. I would LOVE to hear from you and know what it is you came up with….even if you disagree with me!
Remember…YOU are entirely up to YOU!
Love and blessings…