Health and Wellness

Why Wellness?

I recently had someone say that “wellness” is just a term that people use to talk about dieting and looking a certain way and that she wants nothing to do with it. I’m sure she has some things from her past that made her view it that way, but I also realized that there might be other people who misinterpret what “wellness” is…and why it is so important.

First, let me clarify what wellness isn’t:

  • Wellness isn’t how you look in a bathing suit
  • Wellness isn’t the number on a scale (although that can be a sign that you aren’t well)
  • Wellness isn’t being able to run a marathon
  • Wellness isn’t depriving yourself from all good foods and only eating kale 😉

What is wellness? Wellness is taking care of the body that God gave you — allowing it to function to it’s fullest potential.

God, in his awesome creativity, gave us bodies of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Contrary to what is shown on TV and the internet, one shape and size isn’t better than another. And athletic ability doesn’t determine our worth…or the money we make. We don’t get to choose the body we have, but it is our responsibility to take care of it.

Let’s say you got a brand new luxury car. Are you going to fill the inside with fast food wrappers, use diesel for fuel, and never get the oil-changed? Of course not! You give it the fuel it needs, you protect the floors and leather inside, and you make sure the engine is running it’s best. 

Your body is far more valuable than any car and has WAY more responsibilities that just getting your from place to place. You need to care for you body so that it runs it best — by fueling it with proper nutrients and food, drinking water not sugar loaded beverages, maintaining healthy gut bacteria, etc.

I’m not a fan of diets. God made our bodies to run on carbs, fats, and proteins — there is no need to remove one of them. When we focus simply on weight, we keep our bodies from functioning the way God designed them to run. Does our society need to eat better? YES! Our world is overfed, but undernourished. 

So why focus on wellness? I strive for health and wellness so that I can be around to watch my kids grow up AND can engage with them — that I can go play a game of basketball or wiffle ball with them. I want to thrive so that I always have the energy to help and support my family. I’m 42 years old, but feel better than I did in my 20s. 

How about you? What motivates you? Why do you need to focus on wellness? Maybe it’s so you can focus at work and not fall asleep on the job. Maybe it’s to get rid of Type 2 diabetes. Maybe you just want to get up the stairs without running out of breath or wake up in the morning without everything hurting. Find your “why” and start working toward those wellness goals. Not because the world tells your to look better. But because you value your body and want to feel better.

Faith Health and Wellness Parenting

Perfect In His Eyes

I struggle with body image issues. I always have. Maybe it’s because I grew before everyone else and was taller and bigger. In elementary school, I was never thin…just normal. Maybe it’s because I always preferred to play sports with the boys and could never quite figure out where I fit in. I’ve been torn between wanting a fierce, athletic look and being model thin — you can’t have both. In fifth grade, I lost 12lbs and all my baby fat. I’ve remained thin and fit ever since. I still weigh the same as I did in high school even though I’m now in my 40s and have had two children. Yet why do I only see the imperfections in the mirror?

And the hard part is that I can’t talk about it. For real. Not because I don’t want to or feel ashamed, but because sharing those thoughts when I look great might make someone feel less about themselves. And I would never want to make anyone feel less. My joy is helping people accept who they are and develop a correct mindset of what health is — that it’s not just about how you look in a swimsuit. It is my passion to work with people and help them…probably because I’m constantly trying to preach it to myself as well. 

When my daughter was born, I vowed to never talk about weight/image and I started showing grace to myself. I never want her or my son to have my issues. Today, as my daughter was crying that her skirt (she wears a uniform) felt funny and was afraid she looked weird, instead of brushing her off and telling her that she looks the same as every day she goes to school (which is what I normally do), I got down to her level and told her that I understand. That there are days that I don’t feel good in the clothes that I’m wearing and I also worry that I look bad. Then I told her what makes her special and hugged her.

I can’t keep my daughter from the onslaught of the world to look a certain way, but instead of avoiding the issue, I need to talk through hers with her. And maybe it’s time for me to be honest to everyone else. Maybe sharing my body image struggles won’t make someone feel bad, but make them realize that they are not alone.

I’m constantly a work in progress and each day I remind myself that I have a husband who adores me just as I am and I have a God who loves me and cares for me. I pray that God would give me eyes to see myself as he sees me. That I am perfect in his eyes.

God loves you too. He sees you, He cares for you, and you are perfect in His eyes.