What I Believe About Health

It’s that time of year where people set new years resolutions, often about dieting and the like. I’m going to take the opportunity to share what I believe about health:
  • I believe that diets are ineffective and potentially emotionally destructive. I believe that if you focus on healthy habits, weight loss will likely follow. Reject the diet mentality.
  • I believe any obsession with food or weight is unhealthy. If you are preoccupied with food, calories, size, image, or weight, you should probably get help for disordered eating.
  • I believe in creating realistic long-term habits focused on health. Learn to be active. Learn to cook. Learn to eat plants.
  • I believe in Michael Pollan’s Food Rules: Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. His book says it best, so you should just read it.
  • I believe in ignoring all the rules and learning intuitive eating. Listen to the only thing that matters: your body.
  • I believe in experimenting. Identify what your body wants, when it wants it, and how much it wants. Experiment with different food philosophies to figure out what works for you.
  • I believe that “eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to good will and happy companionship.” – Elsa Schiaparelli
  • I believe in being active. I believe in finding activities that you love and doing those often! I don’t believe in going to the gym, unless you really love going to the gym.
  • I believe regular strength training will help your muscles and your bones and your joints live a long, active life.
  • I believe your body is your greatest asset, your greatest resource, your greatest tool in life.
  • I believe in loving your body and treating it well so you are free to focus on loving others and living a meaningful life.

Why I Love My Body

and you should to. (love yours, that is. Not mine :)

I do. I just love this vehicle that I’ve had for 26 years. It’s absolutely awesome. I can move and jump and run and feel cold and sweat and stretch and heal myself. I have strong finger nails. I like the way my toes are evenly sloped from my big toe to my pinky. I like the occasional freckle on my arms. I like the stories my scars tell when just a week ago there were open wounds. But… I don’t always love it.

Unfortunately, It’s hard these days when it is practically impossible to escape the obsessive nature of our culture. Most of us are familiar with the self-conscious feelings in a swimsuit or the glance at a picture, only to notice our inadequate selves. It’s sickening the way we (yes – both you and I) are so consumed with how we look. As Elder Holland put it, this “preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical… is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness [we] face in the modern world”. (Jeffrey R. Holland, To the Young Women)

I couldn’t agree more.

So why should we love our bodies? Here are a few reasons (and I’d love to hear your own):

  1. God made it. Is that not reason enough?  From arteries to chemical regulators to self-renewal to sensors, it all just boggles my mind and continually astounds me. (Abraham 4:27)
  2. It is unique to me. Have you ever noticed the many different types and styles of the human body? Some are short, some have hips, some have big feet, others have small noses, some have more hair, etc. I like appreciating my unique genes and physical attributes (even if at times they don’t measure up to what I’ve been taught is the ideal). The worth of souls (both the spirit and the BODY) is GREAT in the sight of God. (D&C 18:10) Any soul. Every soul.
  3. It is the house of my spirit and a temple of God. (1 Corinthians 3:17) Would not this mean that any demeaning thought– especially from ourselves– desecrate this physical temple of God?

Let’s all learn to love our body a little more. Here are some things I’ve learned in my quest to love my body:

  • When I love my body,  I take care of it– and then it works better, then I love it more.
  • When I love my body, I am less likely to be critical of others, therefore giving them more license to love their bodies.
  • When I love my body, I am more confident, less self-conscious and more able to focus on things that really matter.

I didn’t intend for this to become a church talk but while I’m already there, I’ll conclude with a challenge. I dare you to think past the things you don’t like about your unique body and think about the things you do like and appreciate in this temple of God. Then perhaps we can all appreciate a little more of the magnificence of man.

p.s. speaking of the gene pool we’ve been given, isn’t this picture such a dream? i love our family!