Different people determine what “health” means to them in different ways. How does the ole trust Merriam-Webster dictionary define it?
the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit;especially : freedom from physical disease or pain
a flourishing condition
I love that. When I think about health, I think about being able to live wholly and fully. To have balance and well-being in all areas that affect our ability to enjoy life – the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. It’s so easy to think health only encompasses the physical. Or maybe the physical and the mental.
For a long time, I approached it the same way. Then, when I got sick of the physical, mental, and emotional pain I was doing to myself through binge eating, suicidal thoughts, drinking, promiscuity, etc, I worked on the spiritual side.
I truly believe my faith matters helps make me a healthier, more whole individual. It gives me health – a flourishing condition – in every aspect of my life. Not only does my faith bring me more overall joy and a greater sense of peace with life in general, but it has had a great positive impact whenever I find myself struggling with those old harmful issues like body image or emotional eating.
I actually have a sort of prayer or “mantras” that I will say to myself, to help put the focus back on my spiritual health. From there, the remainder of my emotions, mind, and body seem to fall into place. I thought I would share those with you today. I hope you enjoy them.
“I am wonderfully made and at peace with my body.”
I can know I have a purpose and that my body isn’t something haphazard. God carefully made it and that alone can bring me peace with my body as a loved creation.
“I respect my body and honor God with my choices.”
I have a responsibility to care for my body. My choices are ultimately up to me and, if I want to live as fully as possible, I have to provide for my body well. I must eat nutritiously, train balanced, rest well, and give it the care it deserves. My life has a purpose and I can’t carry it out as well as intended if I don’t care for myself.
“Food does not control me.”
Many of you know that my biggest health related struggle has been binge eating. While I haven’t binged in almost three years, I still occasionally find myself turning to food (instead of God and loved ones) for comfort. When that happens, I have to remember that food does not control me and that I have the strength to overcome those challenges because I have God on my side. Food does not control me. Nothing controls me. I have free will and know that choosing to follow God’s will and/or seek His strength always leads to positive results.
“I appreciate my body for what it can do.”
In these days, we place so much emphasis on physical appearance. When I try to think of how caring for my body can accomplish good works, I can put aside fat-talk. When I reflect on the strength of my body and things it can accomplish, I often sit in awe of God’s power in creating us.
“My identity is in You, Lord.”
This is the big one for me. As a personal trainer, I could easily put my merits in my physical appearance. Or since I love running so much, I could allow it to define me and find myself completely off balance and feeling lost during an injury. As a mother, I could crash into a very dark place at the smallest feeling that I have upset or let down my children in any way. If I have a day where I give in to emotional eating, I can in turn think of myself as completely unworthy and a failure. I wouldn’t know from experience or anything. Ahem. Right. But as soon as I turn my heart back to my true identity – loved, worthy, and so much more – I don’t have to despair any longer. I come out of those dark places and move back to self-love.
I know this post is a little off the norm, but knowing how much it has helped me over the years, I knew I needed to share with others. Whatever your beliefs, choose to find health in all aspects of life – not just in a number or a mirror. Happy living!