In case you missed last week’s fitness update where I shared my “meal plan”, the fit front has changed quite a bit for me in recent months. I have never felt better. Really! I find it so fascinating how being less strict and less disciplined makes for the best. I read this article that interviewed people living past the age of one hundred. NONE of them were runners, bodybuilders, or super disciplined in their diet. One even said that his secret to long life was NOT eating healthy! This all made me understand a little more why my current approach to fitness is working so well. Extremes of any kind are not good for us. Our society loves extremes. So many of us eat ALL the junk or we make the way we eat and exercise our identity! This is not right.
In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
the righteous perishing in their righteousness,
and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous,
neither be overwise—
why destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one
and not let go of the other.
Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
Why die before your time? I am definitely NOT saying that I think we should just throw all caution to the wind and eat a bunch of junk, drink a bunch of boos, and start a smoking habit (ew.) Definitely not. But what I do know is that this article just goes to show that God has a day planned for each of us that we will die and it doesn’t matter what we eat or drink or even smoke, we will not die until that day. In the meantime, are our choices going to enhance or hurt our wellbeing? Is what we are eating and what we are drinking making us the best vessel for God’s work?
I can definitely attest to the fact that a lifestyle of drinking, smoking, and poor eating habits will lead to poor health and a poor state of mind. You may not die, but you will feel close to it! But at the same time, being super strict and pushing yourself to the max for every single workout can be bad too. A healthy amount of exercise will lift your mood and energize you to better tend to your priorities. But too much exercise may give you defined abs, biceps, and a thigh gap but will drain you and leave you with no energy for life! That’s what was happening to me. My workouts were leaving me with no energy for the things that I really needed to be doing. Little things like, oh you know, managing my household.
Diet is another beast in itself. From experience, I can say that it is a thousand times true that restriction only leads to weight GAIN. Our minds do not want to feel deprived. They will torture us unit they feel satisfied! That is why when we are on a diet that restricts certain foods or food groups, binging is inevitable. It may be days, weeks, months, or even years but when we give in, we give in HARD. I dieted for twenty-one years. I was never satisfied after meals. I ate ALL of whatever was in front of me. It didn’t matter how much water I drank or how many vegetables I bulked my meal up with, I could always eat more. People would make comments about the size of my meals all the time but I could have honestly eaten two or three of them and sometimes did! When I think of eating that much now, it seems daunting. But the fact was that even though I was eating loads of proteins and vegetables and all things healthy, I was still deprived.
We have all followed a diet that says it is going to work because it doesn’t deprive us. The thing is, they DO deprive us! Who wants a bite of dark chocolate? No one. They want a brownie. Or two brownies. They want to eat their daily allotment sweet but then if someone makes cookies they want to say yes to one of those too!
What I have learned is this is ok and better than being “good” for days or weeks or months and then falling victim to the inevitable binge that will ensue because my mind is perceiving deprivation. God gave us beautiful foods like quinoa and spinach but He also gave us chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake and wants up to enjoy them in a healthy way. Thank you, Lord!
Maybe today celebrate God’s sovereignty with something you truly enjoy.