It’s our final post in the series, Loving The Skin You’re In, and today we’re discussing living healthy.
What does living healthy mean to you?
Years ago it would have meant for me to be a certain jean size, to work out every single day, and to only eat certain self-approved foods. Those were the days I didn’t love the skin I was in. I didn’t love who I was. If I was skinnier or more toned or “more healthy,” then, I would love me.
I soon found out, however, there was a difference between living healthy and being “skinny.” I took my body to unhealthy extremes, dipping my body mass index to levels it never should have been.
I was not living healthy.
Thankfully, God got my attention by helping me see “skinny” did not mean “healthy.” And, slowly over time I altered my thoughts, my actions, and my attitudes about my health. I gave up the desire to fit in size 4 jeans. I allowed myself to splurge with different foods every now and then. And, I exercised in moderation.
I’m still a work in progress, however. I still have to focus on intentionally staying in balance. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I could not fit into most of my summer clothes this year. (Frustrating!) So, it’s clear I can still get out of balance with my eating and activity. So, as I’m working on fitting back in those clothes, I’m focusing on my health, not on being skinny.
Living healthy means to me:
Living in balance.
I want to take care of the body God gave me. Truly, I don’t want to fill it with junk, but I’m also aware of my past tendencies of strict eating and control. It can be a fine line for me. I’d rather live in balance and give myself permission to splurge when I want to and yet, reign things in when needed. I’m not sure I’ll ever master this on this side of heaven, and I won’t have to worry about it on the other side. (Yay!) I just desire to live this life in balance. Period.
Besides the crazy tandem bicycling we do, I try to stay active in a number of ways. My favorite right now is running outdoors. The weather is changing, so I’m finding my treadmill downstairs is becoming a second option on cold mornings. I also like to take long walks, while appreciating God’s creation around me. Squeezing in some weight training a couple times a week also helps my muscles feel energized and alive. Staying active helps me feel healthy.
Getting enough rest.
Give me seven hours of sleep, and I am ready to take on the world. Anything less than that and I’m sluggish, weary, and cranky. Getting enough sleep makes all the difference for me. I also consider rest to mean taking breaks throughout the day. Chilling out at home with my family. Carving out time to rest from work. (I’m still a work in progress on that one.)
Drinking water is not my favorite thing to do throughout the day. But, my body feels much better when I stay hydrated. I don’t necessarily measure the amount of water I drink, but I try to keep a bottle near me throughout the day and refill it when necessary.
Listening to my body.
This may be the most important piece of all in living healthy. Listening to my body keeps me in check. I try to pay attention to how my body feels after eating certain foods. If my muscles ache from exercise, I’ll try something different with my workout. If I feel worn out, I’ll give my body a rest. I find it’s important to pay attention to my body and to what it’s “telling” me.
Friend, how do you live healthy?
What does it mean to you? I’d love to read your answers below. I’d love to learn from you.
We can love the skin we’re in by looking at ourselves as a whole person while focusing less on our body size and shape. When we incorporate a healthy lifestyle, we take care of ourselves and help us be the best we can be physically, emotionally, mentally, and yes, even spiritually. I pray this for each of us.
Dear friend, I know that your spiritual life is going well. I pray that you also may enjoy good health. And I pray that everything else may go well with you.3 John 2 NIRV
Love the skin you’re in, friend. You are amazing!
Thank you for joining me for this series. You can find the other posts in this series below.
God bless you!
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