This week is a guest post from Jen Roland, who is owner/blogger of Faith Fueled Fitness. I love faith and fitness and am excited to have Jen guest post and share her insights of making health simple and easy. Make sure to check out her recipes and fitness workouts! Have a great week!
4 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Health
There are two words that every new mom dreads.
While not explicitly stated, when my sister-in-law asked me to be a bridesmaid – in Florida and by the beach – those two words were exactly what I heard. Holding my one-year old on my hip, I envisioned stuffing my post-pregnancy belly into a strapless bridesmaid dress. The mental image was less than flattering.
I needed a way to simplify my health especially with a baby.
But, I was determined. I vowed to lose the rest of the baby weight, get in amazing shape, and do whatever it would take to get my pre-pregnancy body back.
For the next five months, some might say I was a little “obsessed.” I worked out for over an hour a day and followed a strict meal plan. I cut out all refined sugars, eliminated caffeine, and passed on the pizza at parties. When her wedding day arrived, I received lots of compliments about how “amazing” I looked. My husband must have agreed, because I came home from that trip pregnant with baby number three.
Two weeks later, after experiencing heavy bleeding, I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma, deemed a high-risk pregnancy, and directed to halt all physical activity. At 33 weeks, I went into labor, was hospitalized to stop the contractions, and sent home on strict bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.
When I was given the green light to exercise three months after my son was born, I was starting from ground zero. This time, God showed me that I needed to approach taking care of my health differently. He taught me that if I wanted to change my habits, I would need to start by changing the way I think about them.
It began with renewing my perspective from fitness and nutrition as vehicles to achieve the perfect body to fitness and nutrition as opportunities to glorify God by caring for the body He gifted to me.
As I started to view my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, I began to treat it that way, focusing on life-giving foods that helped me operate at my best without counting every calorie that went into my mouth.
God revealed that in letting my thoughts and actions revolve around when I would work out or what I would eat, I had made my body an idol. I needed to break free from the obsession so I could focus more on Him. As I put Christ at the center of my health journey, it became less about perfecting myself and more about living to please Him. This shift in mindset has had a tremendous impact.
In the words of Beth Moore, “The ultimate goal for most of us, however, is freedom from obsession so that God rather than the body can be glorified. This goal is most often realized through recapturing the lost art of moderation. This means learning to do what we need to do (to keep ourselves healthy) and then getting on with living.”1
When we seek our self-worth, personal fulfillment, or happiness in something other than the Lord our God, we’ve allowed that thing to take an inappropriate position of power in our lives that should be reserved for Him.
We have the “right” to eat anything we want and we have the “right” to exercise. However, while something may be permissible, it may not be beneficial. And while something may be beneficial, it may be unnecessary – even unhealthy – if taken to extremes.
Caring for our health shouldn’t feel like a burden – it should feel “free.” We can choose to let go of the diet mentality and focus on life-giving choices. We can choose to let go of obsessing over every bite of food, becoming slaves to a number on a scale, and constantly chasing perfection. Doing so is an obsession and is actually unhealthy.
4 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Health:
- Have a strong WHY for improving your health that is about more than physical appearance. Consider how positive lifestyle habits will allow you to operate at your best so you can give your best to God and others.
- Exercise regularly, but not obsessively. Start small with a few minutes a day and build from there (download my FREE GUIDE for short, simple workouts). Focus on progress, not perfection and consistency over performance. As you build new habits, focus on what you will do, not what you cando. Daily wins build momentum and fuel you to keep going!
- Focus on consuming nutrient-dense, life-giving foods (not pre-packaged or highly processed). (Download Living Giving Foods List.)
- Adopt an abundance mindset that is focused on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, such as more energy, decreased chance of disease, a closer relationship with God, and improved quality of life. Shifting our focus to what we are gaining and our health as an opportunity to glorify Him sets a foundation for sustainable change.
As we begin to make small steps toward a healthier lifestyle, we must not neglect the importance of regular quiet time for our emotional and spiritual well-being. (Check the Resource Guide in my 7-Day Jump Start Plan for some suggestions to get started.) We can commit our plans to the Lord, asking Him for the strength to keep going when we’re lacking in motivation. Then we place our eating, exercising, and everything we do before God as an offering, honoring Him through caring for the body He has given each of us.
Properly fueling our body, mind, and spirit is a means to live with purpose to pursue God’s plan for our lives. When we keep that perspective, we can rest in the fact that our priorities are well-aligned. We can stop obsessing over things this world says make us happy and focus on the one thing that brings true fulfillment.
Call to Action: Download 12 Strategies to Simplify Your Health. Choose one habit that is doable in your current season of life and which would have the greatest impact on your health. Share it below or in our private Facebook group, along with your WHY. Why is this habit important to you? How will it allow you to operate at your best so you can give your best to God and others?
Chasing Beauty (Focusing on Where True Beauty is Found)
7 Strategies to Break the Cycle of Emotional Eating
An Ode to Junk Food Cravings (and How to Beat Them)
7 Strategies for Achieving & Maintaining Your Weight Loss Goals
More Energy, Few Cravings (5 Simple Ways to Pack More Nutrients Into Your Meals)
32 Tips to Get Motivated to Workout
To learn more about Jen and her mission of faith and fitness Click Here.
1. Moore, Beth. (1998). Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press.