Being healthy is more than just exercising and more than just eating healthy food and more than just a one month diet. Healthy living is choosing to make healthy active choices every day and every moment. Healthy living shouldn’t be a prison you put yourself in to get results, it should be something you enjoy.
In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 6, Paul addresses immorality and the purpose of the body. In verses 19-20 he says:
“19 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; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I believe this means not only to keep our bodies pure and holy by protecting them from immorality, but also to care for our bodies.
I have always been generally active, growing up on a ranch I had chores and responsibilities that required labor. As I approached my middle school years my family moved to a more remote location surrounded by mountains and woods. I began hiking and exploring much more. As I entered my high school years I found that I was overweight by 5-10 pounds, weighing 155-160 pounds. While this did not make me happy, it did not bother me too much.
As I entered my sophomore year of high school I began to make healthier eating choices. I quit eating high quantities of chips and quit drinking pop. I also quit taking seconds at meal time. I did continue to eat, I ate when I was hungry and I did eat dessert and whatever was at the table. I did not diet, I did not starve myself, and I did not make drastic changes to my food (my food was mostly controlled by my family since I was a child still). I began to loose weight.
My senior year of college I took a weight lifting class in exchange for a P.E. credit. I believe this class changed my life. I was never athletic and did not enjoy running or exercising in general. I found out through this class, I do enjoy lifting weights, and I loved the results.
After leaving my family I had more control over the food that I ate, however, I only made minor changes. I also began to bike more since I was on a college campus. By my sophomore year I hit my lowest weight (to date) weighing in at 115 pounds, this is a healthy and normal weight for my height. Overall the changes I made were minor, cutting out most (not all) junk food, eating only when hungry and until full, and increasing my exercise slightly. Overall I only lost 1-1.5 pounds each month over the course of 4 years.
I married my husband shortly after graduating college. I continued to eat relatively healthy and exercise moderately. After being married for 7 years and having 3 children, we were done having children and I began to notice I was starting to put weight on again. I decided to take action.
I had never been much of a fan of running, but I began running, regularly. This started with just a mile–if that. I had ran two 5k races before this, but after each baby I had to start from scratch. Gradually my running increased to 2-2.5 miles, 4-6 days a week. I did this for a couple months and I struggled to increase my distance. My husband (who has ran his whole life) suggested I slow down. That was my break through, I slowed my running and almost immediately was able to run 3-4 miles. I gradually increased my mileage and committed to running a half marathon with a friend. May 2016 I ran my first half marathon, crossing the finish line at just over 2 hours.
Since I started running regularly (August 2015) my health has improved. I have tried to exercise 4-7 days a week. This includes running, cycling, weight lifting, and at home exercising. I have also tried to increase my whole grain, healthy fat, and produce consumption while decreasing my dessert and snack consumption.
Now is when I say, I have felt the best I ever have in life, I never get sick, I am like a super human! Well, that just is not true. I do feel great, and I am in the best shape of my life. Most of what makes me feel great is that I can wear my husband out when we work out together, I used to be his “warm-up” before he worked out. It is so much fun to workout with him instead. As far as getting sick, I am pretty sure I get sick more now than ever in my life, but I am guessing that is due to my children who do such a great job washing their hands and covering their mouths when they cough.
I may not have immediate life changing results now, but the funny thing about exercise, is once I get started, exercise itself pushes me to do more. I just feel great when I am done and want to workout again. I feel great when I eat a good meal, when I eat unhealthy I feel sick. I am happy with the choices I am making for my health. I believe I am taking care of my body the way God intended and I am enjoying it.