“…train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way.” 1 Timothy 4:7-8
I used to think of this verse when I didn’t stick to my workout routine. “God doesn’t really care if I’m skinny,” I told myself. “That’s just me being vain. The world’s view is ruling my mind.”
Then about six years ago God called me to get a personal trainer. I was going through a 12-Step program and I felt very strongly that God was saying to me, “I’ve started you on this path toward spiritual and emotional health. Now it’s time to get physically healthy.” As I began to work out and learn how to eat better, I saw parallels between my physical workouts and my spiritual journey. Each training session required me to do things I didn’t think I could do. I had to push myself. I had to deny myself. I had to strengthen more than just my body. I had to stop doubting myself and believe I could. I had to strengthen my mind.
Does God care if I’m a size 6? Probably not. But He does care about my habits and what kind of life I lead as a result of them. I want to serve Him to the best of my ability. For me, that means I need to be physically able to go where He calls me to go. I need to have the mental clarity to make good decisions. I need to have the energy to leave work on a week day and go to a place I can serve in the evenings. All of those things depend on my physical health and that depends on how well I take care of my body.
Training of the body does matter. But it does not matter in isolation. I matters in the context of growing and serving others the best way we can.
I bought myself a copy of Run Fast. Eat Slow. for Christmas. I was really motivated to get it when I saw Olympic Marathoner Shalane Flanagan interviewed locally during the Dallas Marathon. She said she knew a lot of people have an unhealthy relationship with food and she hoped she could help remedy that. Shalane and nutritionist Elyse Kopecky created this cookbook with whole-food ingredients for athletes. Of course the recipes are great for anyone, but they target active people and often specify times when some of the recipes would be most beneficial, like post-workout or during certain seasons of the year.
Now, I should probably say here that I am not a great cook. I’m okay. I’ve learned a lot over the years and I’ve grown in confidence that I can make certain things. I like making things from scratch but don’t always have the time. So quick prep time is ideal for me. I’ve also gotten pretty good at weekly food prep. I cook mostly on the weekends and just heat up my left-overs the rest of the week. (I’ll talk more in detail about that in another post.)
I’ve made a few of the recipes so far from Run Fast. Eat Slow. and I am really looking forward to trying more. The Flourless Almond Torte is really good. I made it for a party, then made it again the next week to take to my co-workers. YUM! The Superhero Muffins are good too. Being gluten-sensitive, I’m always looking for good gluten-free breads and desserts.The third dish I’ve made from the book is the Recovery Quinoa Salad. I liked it and it is pretty filling.
I’m looking forward to trying more from this cookbook. Thanks Shalane and Elyse for putting this together.