Greetings in 2016 everyone! While I have been seeing everyone's posts and conversations about resolutions, I have been thinking about how my views on self-image have changed, even in the last few months. It is so important to be healthy. As Christians we have a lot of work to do for Christ and taking care of ourselves is a good way to get things rolling. With that being said, I have found that changing the way I view myself or the expectations I have about health has given me encouragement to become healthier. So, I thought I would share a few points that helped me a lot! Here goes.
Perspective is everything.
While I have been working through some issues I have with anxiety, I have come to find that positive thinking is a game changer. Not only have my stress levels come down since I became more positive, but the view I have of myself has become much healthier. I am less likely to cut myself down for not working out and am less prone to eating for comfort. I am less likely to think negative thoughts like, "I look horrible" or "I can't get things together." Also when my mind feels healthier, I am more motivated and energetic to get out there and take a walk or hike.
Measure things appropriately.
Being careful not to measure things incorrectly has also changed the way that I set goals for better health. A couple years ago, I was at a peak in running. Never before was I able to run more than 2 miles at a time and at this point I could run 4 miles with no problem. I did this 4 days a week! When I wasn't running those days, I was walking up hills on the weekend. Things were GREAT. Then I weighed myself. I was shocked at how I was the "heaviest" I had ever been. I had to stop and realize that though I had lost unneeded fat, I was becoming stronger. Also, what is the point of getting down about weight when I was just feeling good all around?
Try out a minimalist approach.
Discovering that I didn't have to spend 100s of dollars on diet plans, resources, and gym fees just to be healthy, freed me of a lot. I am a vegetarian, to begin with, so just by balancing out my portions and not eating more than I needed to, I actually saved money. Finding out that walking 40 minutes every day and doing some anaerobic exercises was sufficient, made me feel less anxious about working out constantly. I am more motivated to get out there and walk, then feeling guilty for not running a marathon or whatever. Now that I have a routine down, I feel comfortable investing in warmer gear for those 20 degrees and below days. Oh and, the fresh air is a health bonus! There are also so many strength training exercises that I can do from home.
Know your value.
Besides all this, it is extremely important to know your value. No matter where I am at in my journey toward a healthier life, it is crucial to know that God calls me His own no matter what. It is easy to get caught up in feeling guilty for not taking care of the body He gave me. I have come to find that He is more focused on the fact that I keep coming back to Him each time I slide, than the fact that I got caught up in laziness. The more I come back and realize my value, the more I want to work hard to glorify Him through taking care of myself. It is a win, win.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. - Psalm 139:13-16
These are just a few things that I have implemented that have worked well for me. I know that I am not where I would like to be right now healthwise, but I am spending less time feeling down about it and more time focusing on the small things I can do to improve. I appreciate all that God has done to get me to this point and I hope these are helpful for you as well. Have any tips that have worked for you? I'd love to hear!