Does Jesus really care about that? Thoughts on what drives me to be healthy post pregnancy
I gave birth in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. In between all of that I had two miscarriages, one in 2006 and another in 2008. I think it’s fair to say that my body has been through quite an adventure. After each birth, I was left with a sweet baby and some extra pounds as a souvenir of the journey. I was not one of those moms who lost all the baby weight while nursing. I would have loved for that to have been my testimony but it was not. I have found what works for MY BODY to be healthy without counting calories and spending hours working out. I follow the Paleo diet 90% of the time. I also work out five days a week in the comfort of my home for 10-20 minutes in the morning. My short workouts are better than doing nothing at all.
My body certainly doesn’t look like the girl I knew before child birth and I am learning to be ok with that. I can’t obsess about returning to what was, just work on keeping healthy what now is (not sure if that’s grammatically correct but you get the point…right?) I have tried to return to old eating habits (mainly consuming way too much sugar) and not only does it pack on the pounds but it also brings some not so pleasant side effects. After a really long morning a few weeks ago, I found myself hiding out in the pantry with my twenty month old eating just about all the caramel flavored popcorn from Costco. I was so convicted at the end of the day, not because eating caramel popcorn is a sin but because at that moment I was being gluttonous and using the sugar as my god and comforter. I was certainly not hungry at the time, just extremely irritated. Prayer should have been my recourse not sugar! I have to continue to ask God for the grace to exercise self-control to do what I know is right for my body to be healthy.
My choice to eat healthy and exercise has a trickle-down effect with both natural and spiritual implications. When I eat and exercise like I should, I have more energy to effectively fulfill my call to be the keeper of my home. My sleep is better which in turn helps me to get up feeling well rested giving me quality time in prayer and bible study. I am not as emotional and snappy. Ok…I still have my moments but they are not as frequent. I am not constantly in a brain fog because I have consumed all the wrong things.
So to answer the question, does Jesus really care about my eating habits and my overall health…yes, He absolutely does! I know from personal experiences that He directs His children in EVERY AREA. If you have not done so already ask Him what the best health plan is for you. If He has already told you what to do…OBEY! My goal to be the healthiest me for this season of life now goes beyond vanity. However I must confess that this was the initial motivation. I recognize that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and also its God’s desire for me to be healthy in body as I am strong in spirit (3 John 1:2). Hear me when I say that the goal for every woman should not be to look like the model on the magazine. We are all built differently and not everyone was intended to look the same. Instead, be driven by the desire to please God by taking care of the temple He has given you.
I don’t want you to walk away from this post feeling condemned because you struggle in maintaining healthy eating habits and are challenged with the idea of consistently working out. Instead I pray that you walk away feeling encouraged to do what you know is needed believing the Lord to extend His grace as you make up your mind to walk in obedience. Let us take this journey together, striving to be healthy so that we can be used even the more for God’s glory! Are you on board? Leave a comment below to let me know.
About the Author
Anika Jones is a speaker and author of the book Lessons Learned Along The Way: A 40 Day Devotional. She blogs about faith and family at LivingForLater.com and posts weekly videos on her YouTube channels, Living For Later (@livingforlater) and Living Life Now (@livinglifenow). Anika loves speaking about developing intimacy with God and understanding who we are in Christ. She serves alongside her husband in ministry. They live in Illinois with their 6 children.