“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”
Time to STOP!
Stop punishing yourself about your health journey and stop shaming others for theirs. Food, faith, and fitness: all polarizing topics but shouldn’t be because they really ought to be more about nourishing your health, soul, and body, NOT about individual perfection.
What is your relationship with your health journey? Is it to ignore, consume, restrict, indulge, or is it to nourish? We all come to the table with different stories. Whatever your story is with food or fitness, when you use the consumption of it or the restriction of it as an idol, it becomes more of a heart issue than a diet issue. In a society filled with elimination diets, detox products, fitness fads, and health gurus I am calling on you to shift your thinking away from dieting and exercising and move toward nourishing.
Shauna Niequist explains in her book, Present over Perfect, “This is what our culture wants women to be: skinny and tired, from relentlessly shrinking and hustling.”
Oh how many times we have all thought, “I should be exercising right now.”
Shaming ourselves into exercise isn’t nourishment.
No one’s life or health is perfect, but thriving and nourishing are never about perfection. It is never my priority to make you skinny. I want you healthy. Healthy and strong will carry you much farther along in old age than skinny ever will. God has provided exactly what we need to fill the soul and body with foods both physical and metaphysical that nourish.
Each one of us comes to the table with different gifts. I have a passion for helping others heal through food and movement. You may have a passion for cleanliness, hospitality, comedy, or public speaking. The world needs you and your gifts. I believe the simple choice to nourish yourself daily through food, faith and fitness can allow you to make other brave choices in life.
I’ve screwed up, a lot through my adult years. I have consumed too much, yet not enough. I have had big faith and lacked faith. I have exercised competitively then followed it with a season of no exercise at all. Each of these seasons has taught me how and how not to thrive. Food, faith, and fitness are relevant to us all. To many of us they are daily reminders of areas where we don’t measure up. Honesty, vulnerability, and gracious living don’t fill up a newsfeed, but I invite you to put down the measuring stick and pull up a seat because we all have a place at the healthy table.
To Hell with Fear!
I was recently featured in an article that talked about my successful online health business. I am flattered that they chose to feature me, but do you know why I view it as successful? Because despite my fear of vulnerability and failure, I tried something new. When you live free of fear, shame, and anxiety, the world marvels because it doesn’t speak the same language. For far too long I have hidden my gifts in fear. Fear that no one needed them. Fear that they weren’t good enough. Fear that I wasn’t perfect. Fear that someone else had better talents and answers.
To Hell with fear! I have learned not to begrudge my shortcomings, but to rejoice that God even uses me at all. I have had the honor of creating health change and remedy stories for people and this wouldn’t have happened had I stayed hidden and fearful.
Fear based exercise isn’t nourishment either.
Is fear of not being perfect what we are hustling for? As I sit here and type, I have 2 loads of laundry on top of an unmade bed without any sheets. I have dirty dishes in my sink and a shower that has been half cleaned. I have a husband who is getting groceries because I can’t do it all and kids who are perfectly happy playing Minecraft and I need to exercise. This is not perfection. This is life.
Perfection tells us we have to be all things to all people at all times, eat 3 square meals, and run 5 miles a day while never looking sweaty in our new lululemon outfit. Nourishing allows us to take a breath and choose to say yes to what’s most important in life.
What movements are important to you in your daily life? Our body’s are made to move and movement should be incorporated into our daily lives. Nourishing exercise is not running for 30 minutes on a treadmill then sitting for 10 hours a day. What can’t you do on a daily basis that you would like to? Squatting, pushing, pulling, reaching, bending, twisting, and single leg standing are all necessary movements for everyday life. To challenge ourselves in these areas restores mobility, builds strength, improves function, reduces inflammation, nourishes the brain, and enhances our health.
Time to Start!
“Your butt isn’t meant for sitting, and your joints aren’t meant to be tight. After years of sitting at a desk, it’s easy to lose the ability to perform basic, functional movements like squats. Even worse, many people believe chronic pain through their body is normal. It’s not.” Bulletproof exec
Focus first on functional mobility. It doesn’t necessarily matter how you look on the outside if your body doesn’t function properly then there will be breakdown. True health occurs from functioning properly inside (the gut, mind, soul) and outside (the muscles, joints, nerves, brain).
Say NO to shame and fear driven perfection for your value does not lie in your circumstances or body weight. No matter your age or physical limitations, you can improve your mobility and stability for a healthier more nourished you.
Anne Lamott says, “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”
I don’t have a gym membership and I don’t own a single piece of lululemon clothing. It’s a wonder I can still survive in Orange County. This summer I created kettle bell HIIT workouts to do in my own backyard. Kettlebells allow for greater degree of dynamic movement. Dumbbells tend to be used for single plane movement which is more restrictive. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. They help to build strength and endurance and boost fat metabolism in a short period of time.
The Journal of Physiology has performed several studies over the years on interval training, both moderate, high intensity, and sprints. One study concludes that intense interval training is a time efficient way to cause adaptations in skeletal muscle. Which is great news because in 2010 they concluded from this study that insulin sensitivity may be increased due to adaptations within the skeletal muscle. Those with insulin resistance are more likely to suffer from obesity and chronic inflammation therefore exercise and nutrition can work together to combat inflammation and improve metabolism.
Your shoulders are an integral part of the trunk. Overhead exercises should be avoided if you already have a specific shoulder injury. If not injured, then reaching above your head is a very functional exercise and should be incorporated into workouts to help provide mobility in the rib cage, improve posture, and provide stability for the head and neck.
The core is not just 6 pack abs and sit-ups. Engaging your core takes thought, and proper movement patterns. The core is one of the most important parts of your body, for example:
- It houses your gut and internal organs
- It controls your breathing through the diaphragm
- It is called upon to move every single time you move
- It controls the release of your bowels
- It protects the spine and neurological system.
- It controls your posture
You can feel free to modify this workout however you need to. A modified HIIT becomes a MIIT (moderate intensity). You can do the exercises for only 30 seconds instead of a minute or you can do body weight with no kettlebells at all. This exercise plan is not a prescription and if you have a pre-existing injury then consult with your Physical Therapist first whether this workout is right for you. If struggle with chronic pain or chronic inflammation and would like to be coached on a catered workout for your personal needs then contact me here.
It’s time to stop shrinking and hustling and start nourishing.
Need More Inspiration?
- “Of the seven risk factors studies, lack of physical activity accounted for the largest proportion of cases of Alzheimer’s in the UK, Europe, and US, where studies have found that about one in three adults take so little exercise they are deemed inactive.” The Guardian
- Sitting is as bad as smoking from Chalkboard Mag
- One of my favorite ways to define grace, “The invitation out of the exhausting madness of trying to hide the junk in our lives.”
- This FaYoFlex class looks awesome, The Washington Post
- Check out “Let’s get physical” on my Pinterest Page