I had some interesting thoughts come to mind while I was at church yesterday and wanted to share them with you. I don’t know what school of religion you attend (if any) but I find that connecting my diet (food/fitness/wellness) to my religion just makes sense. If you don’t care or don’t believe in God or a higher power than you have my full permission to stop reading now and come back later or not at all if this post rubs you the wrong way. I’m okay with that. I thought that for some of you (and me) it would be useful to draw some similarities to religion and diet. Heavy stuff for a Monday, right!? :)
1. Religion and diet are something I’ve struggled with my entire life.
I grew up “Catholic” but never really understood what it meant to have a relationship with God/Jesus until my adult life (actually just a couple of years ago). My family wasn’t very involved with church aside from certain Sundays and holidays. It was just sort of one of those things that we “had to do” and felt guilty if we didn’t. I remember asking my Grandmother why she went to church and she simply responded, “because you’re supposed to.” So much for developing my relationship with God. My mother and I would follow Saturday night service with a trip to McDonald’s. I can remember the taste of McDonald’s but not a single word that was said at the mass. As I got older, I eventually stopped going to church. I knew somewhere inside that I wanted to know and learn about God, but didn’t know where to go or how to get started. The Catholic mass that I had grown up with wasn’t moving me in the right direction. So…out of confusion, I stopped doing anything.
Can you think of any of those facts that I can easily relate to diet? Yeah…every single thing. I grew up one way, was left feeling empty and confused and eventually stopped trying. Diet…religion…same thing for me. We grow up eating the foods our parents give us whether that’s what we need or not. Religion usually happens the same way. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that-I’m just drawing interesting comparisons.
2. I felt empty inside and out.
As I’ve finally come to know Christ, I feel as though some void inside of me was filled. As I found myself “wanting” or looking for something more (comfort, stress relief, etc.) I tried to fill it with food. I could eat and eat but never felt satisfied. It didn’t matter what I ate or how much it never satisfied me! I was always left with a feeling like I was missing something and always wanted more. But food is addictive and tastes good…so I would keep eating. I am trying now to fill that void (that still pops up from time to time) with God instead of food. Find out what you’re missing and fill it with something good…not food. God wants you to feel full…just not full of food.
3. Detoxing my body without detoxing my soul is useless!
This is what got me thinking in church yesterday… Here I am, trying so hard to cleanse my body. Detoxing from chemicals, processed foods, eating only grass fed meats and pastured eggs from animals raised free of chemicals. It’s been a non-stop quest for months now and I’m just now recognizing the fact that my soul-my insides-have been very unclean lately. If I gave even 50% of the effort to soul-cleansing as I do into diet cleansing than I’d be in a better place. I have found myself angry, spiteful, unfriendly, unkind, and stressed out lately. I’m not saying I’m an awful person but I know that I can get to a better place. I think that my efforts to cleanse my body have been in vain considering the state of my soul and relationship with God. I am going to work on some spirit cleansing this week and see what happens.
Like any life skill…practice makes perfect.. You can’t expect to reach a goal without some failures (big & small) along the way. We don’t expect to learn the piano overnight but yet we beat ourselves up and give up when we let that cookie slip into our diet. Unrealistic. I’ve had times where going to church and praying before meals was easy. Getting up early on a Sunday was easy to do. Sometimes our will power wasn’t up to par and we’d skip church…stop praying. Once you fall out of practice it’s hard to get back on board. The same can be said for diet. You have to keep on keepin’ on-over the bumps in the road-during the hard times-to reach your goals. I’m not saying that everyone feels this way about either religion or diet, but it sure hits the nail on the head with me. I know myself pretty well and know that I need to keep plugging at both my walk with God and my journey to wellness to be successful long term. Keeping steady, especially when things aren’t so easy, is the key to success.
I’ve got several other points on this topic that I’ll save for another post. I know some of you just show up for the recipes and paleo tips and that’s okay too, but I firmly believe that our wellness is much bigger than just the food in our fridge and the number on the scale.
I’d appreciate your comments and thoughts on this subject. Are you able to draw any comparisons between your spiritual and physical wellness?