Have you ever considered that your behaviors to pursue “health” may actually be causing more harm? Are strict food rules and forced exercise truly making you feel better? When you don’t feel your best, do you feel guilty for not “doing MORE”? (As in, more controlled eating, harder exercise, etc.)
While I’m not negating the effect certain behaviors may have on our health, I want to invite you to dig deep into the motivations behind your actions, and what true health means for you.
Whole body health involves more than just the physical body. Whole health also considers the heart, mind, and soul and how everything is connected. Time to be vulnerable here—for the longest time, I lived in contrast to this. My pursuit of health caused a lot of stress, or ignored other aspects of health.
The more I controlled what I ate, and the more I pushed my body through exercise, the worse I felt. My body was deteriorating and I didn’t know why. I prayed for healing, and over time, God sent answers. Much of it came down to my gut being a mess, and the 3 biggest reasons for this were: 1) Not listening to my body, 2) STRESS, and 3) Undereating/overexercising.
Fast forward to now, I feel like Dana again. I have energy to live out my calling without being overly dependent on caffeine as I was in the past. God brought healing, and is still bringing healing, and it started in my gut. This required working with someone who knows more than I do, and addressing the root causes by decreasing stress in my life, eating enough, eating and exercising more intuitively, getting adequate rest, and listening to my body. I needed to do LESS, not more. I’m passionate about helping others on their journeys too because I learned the hard way. Learn from my mistakes.
We are often fed the lies that “health” means pursuing weight loss, and pursuing weight loss often means dieting (strict food rules/guilt around eating), harsh exercise, and ignoring our body’s cues for hunger and satisfaction. Not only do these behaviors set your body up for weight gain down the road (as a protective measure), these behaviors themselves often cause stress and inflammation in the body.
I invite you to consider what health really means to you. I invite you to consider what brings overall health—body, heart, mind, and soul. Have you gained any lasting benefits from dieting? Do you feel guilty about how you eat when not dieting? Do food rules stress you out? Do you actually enjoy whatever exercise you may be engaging in?…does it energize you, or stress you out? Do you have enough “gas” (food) in your tank to sustain an exercise practice? Are you getting enough rest? What may your body be trying to tell you?
Perhaps the opposite is true. Does pursuing “health” seem too hard? Could this be the result of seeing “health” as all of the above—strict food rules, ignoring hunger/satisfaction, and harsh exercise—and you feel you don’t have the “discipline” or “control”?
Putting outside voices aside, what you do think it truly means to take care of yourself? To give yourself grace in the process? To see yourself as God sees you through His eyes of unconditional love?Follow me on social media: