Friday, January 28, 2011

Is it Friday Yet?

I'm sitting in my bed....trying to stay warm....on a Friday morning. I'm still in my jammies--my hair is still in that ridiculous "good morning" appearance, I'm dreading setting my feet on the floor because when I start getting ready then I KNOW the day doesn't stop until tonight, and I've had breakfast. Breakfast consisted of eggs, apples, and cherries. Not together., I made eggs and then had some fruit on the side. You thought I made a fruit omelet, didn't you?! HA. eww.

Anyway, speaking of breakfast, I wanted to take one itty-bitty post to talk about my obsession. No, not Kyle. But that's a good guess. I wanted to share my reasons as to why I'm the "health nerd" as my family and fiance so lovingly call me. I am passionate about this, so please bear with me.

I didn't care about what I ate until two years ago. I LOVED cheese, dessert, donuts, candy, and late night runs to Whataburger. AKA: the freshman 15 were easily gained on my waist. When I was little my mama always fed us healthy. Some of it wasn't out of desire as much as necessity....the truth be known, we just couldn't afford a lot and she rationed out what we had to make it stretch and last. That being said, until my high school days I didn't eat desserts, lots of breads, or cheeses. I drank raw cow's milk, ate a lot of beef, lots of vegetables, and played outside all the time.

At the end of my freshman year I found myself stressed, overweight at 165 pounds on a 5'6" frame, and disgusted with life. I started losing weight. I didn't follow ANY nutrition wisdom in my pursuit of weight loss--I just stopped eating. Fifty-six pounds later, I knew I needed to start eating again and help my body recover from the damage I had done. I wasn't too light, but I had messed with my hormones and health. I had bought into the lie that I needed to be eating all "low calorie", "sugar free", "light bread", and "fat free" to get skinny. I got skinny alright, but I had totally ignored the nutrition my body needed.

Confused, and frustrated even more with myself and my body, I started searching for help. God brought one of my dearest friends into my life at that time, and she, my mom, and her mom began to nurture me and teach me about nutrition. They convinced me that just because it was low calories, didn't mean it was GOOD for me. They introduced me to the word ORGANIC--a word I had associated with hippies and strange people I didn't wanna be. They told me about sprouted bread, greek yogurt, and the need for more calories than the 655 I was allowing myself every day. I was hooked. I began to research....and haven't stopped since.

I LOVE nutrition. I know it sounds nerdy and yes, it WILL make you sound weird in the cafeteria. But I'm learning more and more that my spiritual health and well-being are directly linked to my PHYSICAL health and well-being. I mean, let's look at several things: When Jesus had fellowship with people, where was He? When He was criticized for being with sinners, where was He sitting? Where did He share His most precious final moments with all His disciples? Where do we as believers commune after church? Where do most people find relief and the open medium for conversation?

If you answered on the are sick. If you answered around the table, then you are absolutely right.

The table and food are two places so commonly found as places of spiritual change. The Pharisees didn't get mad because Jesus was talking to sinners? They were furious because He was eating with them--which meant He was in fellowship with them, like friends. The same is true today.

We take people out to eat after church on Sunday....we invite them to our homes for dinner...we take them food after a loved one dies....let's face it, food is involved in our Christian lives and fellowship. So food is important in my Christian walk? WHAT?! This leads me to remember the verse "Do you not know that your body is a temple 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 body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Remembering my body is the temple of God sets me back. Ok. If my body is a temple, then how should I be caring for it? How does that temple look sitting down to a buffet plate for the 3-4th trip?  How does that temple look if it is stuffing itself to the point of being overfull? How does that temple function for HIS glory when it can't move because of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or heart disease?

So if that is the case, what should I be doing to take care of this temple? Is becoming very healthy overkill? Shouldn't I just practice moderation and stop fussing over it?

That works for some people. They say that the law is abolished and they don't have to follow the strict rules about what they eat. They can eat what they want!

Those people..............are absolutely right. "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything." (1 Cor. 6:12)

Everything is lawful....but not everything is permissible. May I take that a bit further? Everything...every lawful. But there's just some things that we stuff in our bodies that will make us unhealthy temples. Grace abounds....but does that mean that we have permission to be completely irresponsible in how we live or eat? Not that I've found. I've found grace to be even more incentive to be MORE responsible in how I live.

Ok ok, I'm getting on my soap box.

In short, I am a health nut because I want to take care of my body. I want to be a healthy and happy woman married 60 years to the man I love. I want to take care of my family and have them live with as few health problems as possible.
Why do I avoid gluten as much as possible? Why do I attempt to cook without sugar? Why do I use oil on my lip instead of ointment? Why do I flip every bottle over to look at ingredients and put it back after reading?  Because: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Ps. 139:14) I want to maintain and prolong the life He has given me. Yes, my days are numbered, but I want to live every one of them to their fullest.

Your body tries to tell you what it wants to eat. Did you know that you are not supposed to burp? Did you know that heartburn is not a normal occurrence? Did you know that it takes your body 3 days to process pizza because of the ingredients? Did you know that aspartame (a common chemical  in sugar free foods) can cause blindness? I could go on and on...but basically, your body is trying to tell you what it needs and can't tolerate. I'm not vegetarian..I don't even like the word veagan...I don't wear only organic clothes and I buy apples as cheaply as I can. I'm just healthy. I seek to get food as closely to the way God created it. In doing so, I find myself a  healthier, happier, and more aware human being.

As Christians we aren't called to be obsessors over our foods--but we are called to present our bodies a living sacrifice to Him. And He can't use us to our fulles potential if we abuse our bodies and hurt our health. It's not a nerd thing. It's a conviction thing. It's not so much an it is an obedience.

That's why I'm a health nut. Will I eat the pizza when with my family? Of course. I love it. Will I eat the cake if it's not sugar and gluten free? Yep. Done it all my life. My goal is not to be legalistic about my health or to squelch the joy of fellowship. But to choose healthier options every day and make bad foods a rare thing prolongs my health and helps me be more effective as the woman He has called me to be. On the average day--when I'm living and making my own decisions, I will seek healthier options...and by the grace of God I can help my family enjoy all the days God has ordained for us.

That's why I am the way I am. Just in case you were confused. Which you probably weren't.
Because He lives,

1 comment:

Louise Leathers said...

YEAH!!! WELL SAID, DEAR GIRL! I knew you finally found the balance! To hear it expressed so eloquently brings tears to my eyes! Share with the world what HE has brought you through!