Seven years ago this month something happened. That January I began working on a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Ministry as part of following the call that I have heard. And that is a huge part of my story.
But something else happened that month as a result of starting that program.
I was convicted about how I was caring for my body (or not caring for as the case may be).
I was eating whatever I wanted. I was getting no exercise whatsoever. And it hadn’t even occurred to me that it was a problem.
And then the Lord reminded me of this scripture:
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. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
I was doing my best to honor God with my mind and with my heart, but nothing to honor him with my body. And that realization was enough for me to make some changes.
I started exercising again. I started being more conscious of what I was eating. A little over a year later, I ran my first 5K and 7 months after that, my first 1/2 marathon.
There have been ups and downs. I have done well with exercise and completely sloughed off. I have many months of good eating that somehow turn into a month of eating terribly. I have cut sugar, carbs, meat, dairy, and eggs out of my diet. I have let all of them creep back in at times.
But the one thing that hasn’t changed is this: I have never turned back. I may have wandered off course for a short period of time. But I have never turned back. I am always looking forward to what is next, how I can get better, more consistent, healthier, thinner; how I can pass on what I have learned and am learning to my family, to my children, to others who struggle with these issues.
I ate sweets over the holidays and I hate that I let them creep back in, but as has become my custom, they are banned from my diet again beginning Monday through my birthday in March. Last year my family joined me, they may do so again (we will talk about it this weekend). I ordered my first produce basket of 2013 today, so the fruits and veggies that I have been out of for a while will once again fill my refrigerator. A week from tomorrow, I begin the Goofy Challenge – running 39.3 miles in two days. The training for that has kept me mostly on track with exercise, but that isn’t an end-point. It is simply the end of this training run and then I will begin training for the Mini Indy 1/2 marathon I do each May.
My goal isn’t to be perfect. My goal isn’t to have a perfect body. My goal is to care for my body in a way that honors God. To eat healthy food that contributes to a healthy body. To exercise regularly which contributes both to a healthy body and a healthy mind (running is cheaper than therapy!).
So with that goal in mind, I continue on this path of health, with all the bumps, detours, and successes that come along with it.
Are you on the right path?