All my life I struggled with being overweight. Let’s face it! I’ve always had a love affair with food. Specifically, food that I should not be eating. I did lose a lot of weight when I started rock climbing. However, I never lost all the weight, and never really gained control of my eating.
My weight fluctuated up and down for years as I would start winning the battle, only to lose it again. This past Winter, my weight battle became an epic fail as the scale displayed numbers I hadn’t seen in a decade. Most of my clothes didn’t fit and I was uncomfortable all the time. Worst of all, my climbing suffered since I had become so heavy.
During this time, I was also suffering from multiple Winter colds and injuries, which prevented a lot of physical activity. Spiritually I was also suffering. I felt out of control and very depressed about my circumstances. As I was praying about my predicament one day, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me: While I couldn’t control a lot of things in my life right now, I could control what I put in my mouth. I could also decide to use this downtime to spend more time with Jesus. That is exactly what I did.
Healthy Food for Your Body
I am not a nutritionist, and a novice at best when it comes to exactly what we need to fuel our body to operate at peak performance. However, it is my experience that eating right is the most important component to improving health and fitness. My initial success began without exercise due to illness and injury.
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. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
What we use to fuel our body sets the rhythm for everything else we do. Women’s Health Magazine posted an article, “Is Weight Loss Really 80 Percent Diet and 20 Percent Exercise?” This article stressed the importance of healthy eating when it comes to weight loss and your overall health. You can lose weight without exercise. You cannot lose weight by exercising and not eating right.
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. – Romans 13:4
When my initial efforts failed, I decided to use the “My Fitness Pal,” phone app to track exactly what I was putting in my body. I honestly had no idea the number of calories I was eating until I started tracking them. I was shocked when I realized what I had been putting in my body all these years.
Using MyFitnessPal can be tedious since you put everything you eat, and all your exercise in the application. However, I have learned a lot through this process and the results have been well worth the effort. I am now significantly lighter than I have ever been in my entire adult life! For the first time I am at a healthy weight and understand what it takes to keep it that way. My inflammation is down, I think clearer, and I have more energy. The best part is, climbing 25 pounds lighter is so much easier!
Healthy Food for Your Soul
Spending time with Jesus has always been hit or miss with me. Reading my bible, devotion time, and prayer were normally things I squeezed in here and there. I believe that my struggles in this area have prevented me from God’s very best in my life and stunted my spiritual growth.
This past year I began to feel just as out of control spiritually as I did physically. I struggled with depression, feeling inadequate and distant from God. I questioned my purpose and my calling. The distress I was feeling took a toll not only on my relationship with God, but also with my personal relationships.
Like my diet, I realized I needed to develop a new habit of spending time with Jesus. The YouVersion Bible App was a great place to start. I had used it in the past, but never consistently. Just as with eating, I would be good for a while, only to slack and get distracted by other things. Let’s be honest, my spiritual health was not a priority. It was time to make God my most important priority, every day.
Since the application shows your progress for the week, I set personal goals to read the verse of the day and complete at least one devotional study every day. I also added a network of friends to my account, believing that would give me accountability. I know this sounds very mechanical. It was! However, just as with tracking my food, it was a start.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Mark 6:33
There is no better way to feed your soul than spending time with Jesus, every day. Through this process I have read many challenging devotions designed to help me hear from God and be the woman He has called me to be. I have also learned to be quiet, say less and listen more. Taking the time to be still and hear from God is a challenge for someone who relishes distraction.
This journey has brought me a new sense of purpose, a greater peace, and a joy I have never experienced before. As I continue to grow in my faith, the rest of my life operates in a different rhythm then it has in the past. I feel changed in many ways. The best part is, the more my relationship with God grows, the more I love and cherish the people He has brought into my life.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. – Colossians 2:6-8
This year, the theme for our group is improving our health and fitness, both physically and spiritually. Healthy food for our body and soul is probably the most important place to start. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. It is my prayer that this journey will help us become the best version of ourselves, both physically and spiritually. As we grow and become stronger, we will be better prepared for the challenges and road ahead, as we fulfill His commission.
For more on this series, check out previous blog:
Health & Fitness