Faith and the Pursuit of Healthiness

After reading a few of my blog posts, it should come to no one’s surprise that I am not the biggest fan of running. Granted, I am trying, but each run seems to be a struggle mentally and against knee pain.

Yesterday’s workout was a 3.35 mile run, which is a good accomplishment for me. It was a slow, but steady run and took me about 40 minutes. I was feeling good until about the last 5 minutes when I decided it would be fun to crank the speed up to 6.0 and sprint the final distance out. Just as I started to contemplate slowing it down, I started to repeat the Bible verse Philippians 4:13.

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

– Philippians 4:13

Now, I am not much of a mantra person, but I know repeating a certain phrase, verse, etc. works for many people.  So where did this come from?

Over the past few months, I have been fully utilizing the Bible app for my iPhone. I prefer to read the good old book version, but the app has short daily devotions that help me to begin my day.

Bible App

One plan (as the app calls it) caught my eye– Live Out Your Faith with Fitness. This 5 day devotional really helped me through two issues:

  1. Weight loss goals: Many desperately strive to reach the “ideal weight”, if there is such a thing. In fact, my experience has taught me that even once I reached this goal, I was not satisfied. This feeling often led me to intensify my strict diet and exercise routine even if it meant that I was pushing my body too much.  The Live Out Your Faith with Fitness plan led me to the realization that I am attempting to do this with the mindset that God shouldn’t be involved. That statement is so far from the truth, because I will never be happy and healthy without doing it for God rather than for myself. God plays an active role in our lives including that temptation for extra piece of pizza.
  2. Being healthy physically represents a healthy relationship with God. I get it– there are one million other things that you would rather be doing when you get off work and that does not always include getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise and/or cooking a health dinner. However, taking care of your body both physically and mentally will prepare you to be a better disciple for Christ. He has given us the ability to condition our bodies to be strong and to endure so that we may use that when representing his light to others. Your body is a gift from God and should be loved and respected as such.

My personal take-away– I need to include God more in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. He cares if I struggle with my eating and rejoices in my completion of a new personal best on a run. Now the challenge to myself as well as Healthy Gumbo readers is to thank God after every workout and after every small step towards healthy living.

**As I stated in my last post, I will be out-of-town for a few days, but expect an update, hopefully filled with pictures, on Monday.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

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