As I’ve been sharing, I’ve been reading through some of my 2500 past posts. Today I was glad to read this one, so I thought I’d share it with you. The past seven months I have FINALLY chosen to be healthy consistently, and it’s changing my life. I didn’t start pervasively. I started with one simple decision to exercise every day. And that’s all I’ve done for all these months.
Just last week, I decided I had created a habit so beautifully entrenched that I could now add mindful eating to my series of habits. All this because I finally realize that I am worth taking care of. I pray this post (and this excellent book) is encouraging to you.
Health is important to me. On so many levels–physical, relational, spiritual, emotional, mental. And yet, lately, I’ve slipped quite a bit in the way I’m taking care of myself. My friends are reminding me of this. Some are a bit alarmed at my pace of life. I tend toward workaholism, and I’m so very tired.
I tend to be reactive about my health. If something’s wrong in a relationship, I go on high alert to fix it. If I am sick, I stop my life a bit and rest, hoping for recovery. But this won’t produce lasting health, always reacting.
Great health comes from proactivity, from incremental change over the long haul (click to tweet). Last week I read this book recommended by my friend Randy Ingermanson. Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath.
What I loved about this book: it reminded me of an important fact: small choices make for big change (click to tweet).
I tend to be the big changes kind of person. I want to make BIG OUTWARD splashes. I forget that being faithful in small decisions actually changes your life for the better, for the long haul. Jesus affirms this: “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones” (Luke 16:10, NLT)
Rath’s book is about food, pace and rest. That we have the sweet (pun not intended) opportunity every day to make healthy food choices. That we can control the pace of our life, both in the way we take strategic breaks and exercise. That we must not forsake sleep for more productivity. He reminds us that stress is a killer. And that how we live our lives in the little moments is how our life will play out in the big moments (click to tweet).
As I thought about this and affirmed this truth, in true Mary style, I barged forward. I was going to be the BEST eater, exerciser and sleeper known to man (and woman).
This lasted 1.7 days. And then I was back to terrible choices, justifying lethargy, and watching TV at night instead of slumbering.
This is when I had mental breakdown #358. And I berated myself for being such a bad chooser. But then I stepped back and thought, Self, why are you doing this? Why so much anger? Why is this hard for you?
And, ultimately, it boiled down to the ONE THING God keeps bothering me about.
Way deep down I don’t feel I’m worth taking time to take care of. Does that make sense? I don’t value me, so I can’t seem to sustain those small choices that lead to big change. I don’t think I’m WORTH all the fuss.
So I sit here writing this blog post asking God to help me see I’m worth it. And I’m asking the same for you. We are made in the image of an amazing, spectacular God. And He cherishes and adores us. He wants us to be kind to ourselves so we can be optimal on this earth.
Yes, yes, by all means make small choices that lead to big change. But do so with worth as your underlying motivation. Not to be cool. Not to be a hottie. Not to foster bragging rights about your awesomeness. But simply because you are wildly loved by your Creator and worth taking care of. (Click to tweet.)
Rest yourself there, friend.