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A Journey to be Whole

It's the start of a new year and its back on. My resolve to get healthy. Last year was probably the most successful endeavour for our family. After a Christmas (ok, let's be honest, it wasn't just from Christmas) filled with sweet and overindulging, we were determined to stay the course and make 2013 a health success story. Of course we wanted to lose weight, but we also wanted to live healthy. We want to be around for the long haul, there is still so much life that we want to live!

So we embraced a new challenge of eating clean, and we really stuck to it. It was pretty impressive. My husband and I collectively lost over 50 pounds together. I took up running; I made kale chips and quinoa, chopped veggies and basically turned our kitchen inside out. "Hipster food", my son called it, and wondered how long we would have to eat it! I had renewed energy and a desire to push myself physically. It was a great feeling. I didn't think I could be that kind of person. I liked myself healthy, I felt good on the inside and outside.

Fast forward to a year later.  We have not gone back to square one by any means - but we do need a jumpstart. I learned a lot about healthy cooking this past year and I am more aware of food and how I prep things and what our family eats. I continually try to cook well for my family. But I'm not where I want to be. It's hard to get back on track.

It all started going downhill in the summer. First, we listed our house for sale. That means you basically can't cook because at the drop of a hat - someone might want to come and see your home. (And you don't want it to smell like garlic!) That's when the eating out became more frequent. Then, the house sells and you have to move. So soon, your dishes are packed and you can't prepare meals the same, and it takes the energy you just don't have. It just spiralled from there, and soon I was hanging my head in shame as I would go through the fast food line. Life had gotten too crazy for me.

I have a lot of excuses. However, I think it's safe to say that we sacrifice our own health when we go into "surviving life mode." There are always reasons why it just seems too hard.

Living a healthy lifestyle is challenging. There is no other way to put it. Being healthy requires so much work. And honestly, sometimes it just overwhelms. When you spend hours in the kitchen prepping food, yet still feel like you can't eat anything. When it seems like you are always depriving yourself, sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it. When things get busy and complicated in life, you just feel like you don't care anymore.

This week I have been reading about the Daniel Plan. (www.danielplan.com) Our organization is giving this program a push to start off the New Year. People are signing up to do it, including my family. And here is what I really love - it's not just a diet plan. It's a life plan. It follows God's plan for us. We separate our eating, exercise and habits from the rest of our life. But everything is so connected. The Daniel Plan focuses on Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus and Friends.  To be honest, I have never really given much thought to my faith in relation to my food or fitness. I know they matter to God - but to actually focus on some of these areas, maybe they will truly help our family become healthy and stay healthy. Not just in our eating, but in our living. A journey to be whole is all areas of our life.

That sounds pretty good to me. I think we all want to live a balanced life. It won't always be perfect, but I think bringing God into the health equation gives us the focus and strength that we need.

So here's to an amazing 2014, of being healthy in all areas of our life!

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
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Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.