The long battle with contact lenses and eyeglass prescriptions finally became more than I wanted to endure, and the thought of perfect eyesight won me over. I decided to receive corrective eye surgery. Prior to the operation, my doctor realized that due to some imbalanced surface area on my eyes, it would be better for me to opt for a safer surgery that required less risk, but a longer recovery time.
Well, the recovery time was certainly understated and I spent five days in bed after the operation, desperately trying to avoid any contact with sunlight! Thoughts like “what in the world have I done?” raced through my mind, as my wounded eyes scanned my blurry room, hoping that at any moment the world would come into focus again and all this would be over! Compared to what I was feeling at the time, this is actually very moderately dramatized.
As many of us have when going through an ailment or nursing an injury back to health, I resorted to... comfort food! Yes, I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t cling to Psalm 23 or a “coffee cup chapter” of the Bible. Instead, I consumed more ice cream in those five days than all of 2012 combined! For the first time in my life, I had Pizza Hut deliver a pizza to my house. I don’t even really like pizza. I ate chinese food, graham crackers and... well, you get the point!
The reason I’m writing this is not to talk about what we run to for comfort in times of pain or trouble. Even though we could certainly go there and find truth, my purpose in writing is not blatantly spiritual. What I noticed after five days of eating “comfort foods” that I don’t normally eat is that I had pains and aches that I had never experienced before. I was lacking energy, felt lethargic and, well... I just felt sick. As a person with a pretty clean and healthy diet, I was shocked at how only five days of eating those foods could make me feel so incredibly different.
My goal is to write a very practical blog that will be an encouragement for us as a church, to take some ground this year, not only spiritually but also physically. Without a doubt, there are lots of us new year “resolutioners” out there that have set some physical goals for 2013. As January has come to an end and motivation may be wearing thin, be encouraged and stick to it! Maybe you have been defeated in this area for years and the thought of getting healthy is overwhelming to you. My prayer is that right now you’d feel God’s presence empowering you and strengthening you in this very moment to make a decision that will change your life and your health.
Our physical bodies are the very temples of the Holy Spirit! It’s so important that we take care of them. The road to healthy living starts with one step in that direction. Much like our spiritual lives, if we step off course, we must receive grace and get back on the path. Condemnation, guilt and perfectionism keep us defeated and “stuck.”
I’m no expert, but here are a few tips that were helpful to me, and hopefully will be for you!
- Hydrate! - Water, water water! My trainer told me that staying hydrated and drinking lots of water is more important than diet or exercise! Aim for a minimum of 64oz a day, or more if you have hard workouts
- Set attainable goals! - something that will take hard work but is reasonable to accomplish within 30 days. After reaching your goal, let that feeling of accomplishment drive you towards your next goal!
- Get a plan and stick to it! Talk to a friend that knows a lot about healthy living and ask them to help you customize a diet that works for you and a workout program that can be maintained with consistency.
- Buy a blender! Smoothies and healthy shakes are an amazing way to mix in vitamins and healthy greens that you wouldn’t normally eat
- Recruit a friend! - ask someone to join you on your journey and do it together. It will be more enjoyable and you’ll have someone to help push you further.
- Take advantage of free resources! There are tons of free resources and subscriptions if you search the web. Twitter is a way to follow daily posts for new healthy recipes and fitness ideas. Be creative!
What if we went after this together as a church? Anyone up for the challenge?!?