Hey guys, so this has been a long time coming now. It’s something that I know is of incredible importance and can help drastically change our lives, so I wanted to take my time and get it right. Today I’ll start the discussion on physical health and why it is of importance when it comes to a balanced and healthy life, growing in the 5 Key Areas of Health.
To begin, I’m going to tell you something very basic, but also very important: Food is our energy.
This is how we are able to perform everything from running a marathon to even just getting out of bed in the morning. Our bodies convert the food we eat into a type of energy (ATP) that powers them. This is so important because by realizing this, we see why it’s important to eat enough food to continue living, while also not eating so much that we are putting ourselves at risk for other health problems.
Most people seem to have a problem with the latter and that’s one of the reasons I got into the line of work I’m in. Not all food is created equal (which is something I will dive into more in a later post,) but there is “healthy food” and “junk food”. Both will give you energy, but the former will nourish you, increase cognitive functioning, and basically build our bodies up while the latter does the opposite, making us more susceptible to disease and, in time, causing our bodies to deteriorate. There is so much information out there telling you that you need to eat a certain way, but no one ever says why that’s important other than to fit a body image American media shoves in our faces. Eating is important to our overall health and diet is one of the biggest reasons America is so unhealthy.
For me, eating well has always been about taking care of what we’ve been given. Our bodies are a gift. God created them and is still consciously allowing them to live. In Genesis God created man, a physical being, and in Psalms* we are told that we were “knit in our mothers wombs”. The amount of detail there is kinda gross, but also beautiful. One of the easiest verses that speaks to the importance of our bodies comes from 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 bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
Many times in the gospels Jesus acknowledges our physical needs** (needing food and water) in order to survive. Our physical beings are important to God. I also think it’s kinda cool that the first thing God gave man was food. In Genesis we are told that God creates and makes and names, but then He gives.
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth,
and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” ***
It seems to me that food is unique and that God knew that’s what we would need to continue to live. He gave them everything they would need to survive and the first thing was food.
So lets talk about unhealthy eating patterns. I'll get more in depth about what healthy eating is and what it looks like in the next post, but I think it’s so important to have a foundation first. I can't tell you how many of my clients first come to me with some sort of eating disorder, and I’m not talking about anorexia or something along those lines. Most people come to me and have health problems because they are emotional eating or finding comfort or joy in their food. I don’t think liking what you eat is a problem, but if the only thing that is making you happy is your next meal, that’s definitely an issue. How much of our thought life is consumed with food?
For some people food is an idol. It’s what they turn to for answers. You may be thinking “that’s crazy” or “I can’t even relate with that”, but let me ask you something. When was the last time that you were going through a difficult time and you reached for your favorite “comfort food”? That’s an unhealthy eating pattern that we've normalized as a culture and I think it’s something a lot of us unconsciously struggle with. I don’t want us to be eating just to eat. My hope for us is healthy, wholesome lives that inspire others and show that we are different. I mean guess what? We ARE different. Let’s drive that forward and encourage other people around us to be the same.
Am I pretending that cravings don’t happen or am I saying that it’s not okay to have a treat every now and then? Absolutely not. Those are legit and as long as they aren’t coming from an unhealthy place I have no problem with them. Every now and then you gotta have ice cream, I get that. I’m not even calling us to go on a diet or anything drastic like that, I’m calling for a lifestyle change - a mental shift. Let’s also not forget that gluttony is a sin. That absolutely applies to food and is something to think about. Eating can glorify God. Eating is one of the ways we take care of our bodies. It falls right in line with being good stewards of what we have been given and it’s what I encourage you to pursue today.
The best way to start this is just to ask yourself why you are eating in the first place. What is driving you to eat at this current moment. Once you that, the rest will fall in line. I will have more things to chat with you about that in the coming weeks. Mindset is key. I would also be hard pressed to believe that all of us (myself included) are eating enough veggies as well, so my challenge to us is to incorporate them three times a day for the next week. And then, of course, build on that. But I think that’s a reasonable starting place. That’s all I have for now.
Peace and love,
* Psalm 139: 13-14
** Matthew 6:32; Luke 9:10-17; Mark 8:1-8; John 2:6-11