Health and fitness are one of the mot important areas of our lives. And because it is, we need to take care of it and maintain it to the best of our ability. I’ll be the first to admit that this is something I struggle with. I sit at a desk all week long, and don’t get enough exercise. And I enjoy eating a lot of things that are not the best for me, although that is changing.
Over the next couple of weeks, I want to look at both of these areas, fitness and nutrition, in a bit more detail. But for now, I want to give you a couple of overarching thoughts to keep in mind.
First of all, Paul makes a clear statement that our bodies are to be considered temples. Here is what he says about this in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Of course the immediate context of this passage is sexual immorality, although he does begin this section of 1 Corinthians 6 with the mention of food and eating. Regardless, the principle is worth noting clearly: Our bodies are the place God has chosen to reside, and as such, we need to take care of them.
This was made abundantly clear to me not too long ago. Many of you may know that I have dealt with some serious, or potentially serious health issues in the past. My dermatologist found several spots of skin cancer, of the same variety that claimed my dad’s life. I dealt with severe sleep apnea. And my blood pressure was pretty high, and medicine was used to maintain it at more acceptable levels, which didn’t always work just right. Add to that the fact that I was overweight, and rarely exercised, and you can start to see the picture of my poor health.
I overheard my wife one day, in October of 2016, state that she fully expected to be a widow within a year’s time.
That was quite a shock to me, and a wake up call for my life. I decided then and there to begin to make some changes.
The first thing I did was make an appointment to see a natural health doctor, a doctor of naturopathy. I was initially skeptical, after all, most of those doctors are kinda quacky, right? At least, that’s the idea I had about the whole thing. However, some friends, who used the same doctor, encouraged me to go, so I did.
This new doctor made a couple of suggestions to begin with that kind of surprised me, and she gave me a couple of books to read. First of all, she told me that all of my health issues were diet related, and that a couple of significant changes there would greatly help. So she suggested that I eliminate all wheat products and all dairy products from my diet, and add a couple of daily supplements and vitamins.
In order to make a long story shorter, I decided to follow her advice for three months to see how it would work. And at first it was hard to not eat all the things I wanted to eat. But I stuck to it. At the end of three months, the most immediate change was a loss of almost sixty pounds. So I decided to continue. At six months, my sleep apnea had all but disappeared, and I stopped using my CPAP. At eight months, my dermatologist couldn’t find the cancer spots we were watching, and my general practitioner doctor stopped my prescription to my blood pressure medication.
I started walking, and some light running, along with some other exercises, and the difference has been drastic.
I’ve never felt better, or more energetic. And I’m confident that my lifespan has been lengthened from the limited life that my wife initially suspected I had.
What’s most important, is that my wife will have me around longer, and my kids will have their dad longer, and I will have more time and opportunity to serve Christ here on this earth. And that’s worth the effort to make such changes. Right now, I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of making these changes. And at this point, I’m not looking back.
In the next couple of posts, I want to share in more detail about how we, as men, as husbands, and a fathers, need to maintain our fitness and our health. I want to look at our need to exercise, and our need to eat healthy. Until then…
Be deliberate, men!
How’s your health? Do you need to stop and take a hard look at how you are doing in the areas of health and fitness? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.