Today I want to get super practical and talk through some suggestions for next steps you can take in your wellness journey and also want to share a few lessons recently learned as I pursue wellness.
- In Part 1 I asked you to consider taking stock of how you’re doing in your eating, exercise, sleep and stress.
- In Part 2, I discussed 4 obstacles we usually face in our battle for #wellness: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual obstacles.
- And yesterday, in Part 3, I talked about the fact that we don’t often talk about wellness in the church, and how this means we don’t know how to talk to each other about eating, exercise and our health in general. This means we don’t talk about it with our friends, our kids and even in marriage.
For the purposes of clarity, I want to introduce a new term to you that I learned from our coaches in WELL. The phrase is “surrendered wellness,” which can be defined as “being obedient to steward my body for God’s glory.” A few key components stick out in this definition:
(1) This is an obedience issue. As followers of Christ, we are to honor God with our bodies so that we can be more useful to the Master (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:21-22).
(2) We are stewards of our bodies, meaning that God has entrusted us with bodies to be used for His glory and His purposes. Just as He has entrusted us with material and financial resources, so has He entrusted us with a physical body and with gifts to be used for His glory, not our own (1 Corinthians 12, 14).
(3) Our bodies are good! We are fearfully and wonderfully made. As much as we may hate or worship our bodies, we need to remember the body is good and we are made by a Creator who loves us and makes no mistakes (Genesis 1:27, 31 and Psalm 139:13-14a).
Time to Get Practical
Below are a few lessons I have either recently learned or have been reminded about when it comes to wellness.
- Life is Better Together. I am reminded on an ongoing basis how much more fun all of life is when you share life with others. Invite your spouse or a friend to walk with you, workout with you and to help hold you accountable to eating better. This is part of the reason why I love our workout group – working out with 15 other people is much more fun than working out on my own.
- Here are some practical suggestions to grow in Wellness. Every week in WELL we have a new habit of the week. Here are a few of our habits of the week along with some commentary on a few of them.
- Log/track food – this has been so helpful to me! Try an app like Lose It! or My Fitness Pal. This has been so eye opening for me as I realize how many calories are in different foods that I think are low calories. Same with sodium, cholesterol, etc….
- Stay hydrated and drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water. In other words, if you weigh 180 pounds, drink 90 ounces of water/day.
- 5 servings (1 cup) of green leafy veggies/day. This is a tough one for me, but you can knock this out with a couple of salads and a handful of broccoli.
- Move for 5 minutes for every 30 min of being sedentary. I love this one. And if you drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water, you’ll need to go to the bathroom a lot so this will help you with this habit!
- Do 2 physical activities/week that are enjoyable to you. Play basketball, go for a bike ride or play some tennis. Do something you enjoy!
- Do a sleep challenge like the Sleep14.
- Set aside some time on your calendar to work out. Busyness makes us reactive instead of proactive. My friend Sean taught me this one. When our schedules become crazy, hectic and out of control, we are much more likely to respond to emergencies and the urgent things in life rather than spending some time on the things that are truly important (and not quite so urgent). This means that I need to make time on the calendar for a workout. I might have to say “no” to television or some other fun hobby to make time for a workout or a walk with a friend.
- The Kettle Bell Experiment. I need to lose some weight, so I tried to think outside the box to find a way to help remind me of the importance of losing the weight. A few weeks back I had an idea to help me get a physical, tangible reminder of how much it stinks carrying around so much extra weight. I am probably 50-60 pounds overweight right now, and I don’t have any clue how bad this is for my body. So, I came up with a plan to carry around a 35 pound kettle bell with me for a weekend. I would bring it everywhere I went as a reminder of how much my body hates carrying around all this extra weight.
- I grabbed the kettle bell on Friday and planned on returning it on Monday. Little did I know that my experiment would end about one hour after it started. My neck and shoulders hurt, I looked awkward lugging the weight around and I felt immense pleasure and relief as soon as I put down the kettle bell. I’d say it was a successful experiment as I realized how much extra weight I carry around and how difficult it is on my body to find relief.
One foot in front of the other. What can you do to help you move forward in your wellness journey? Keep going!
Photo Credit: Flickr, Jeremy Haywood.