Resting your body is just as important as feeding your body correctly. Life can be so busy for us all. It has it’s highs and lows and can literally take a lot out of you on a day to day basis. When the battery runs low on your phone, what do you do? You plug it in to recharge it. We often forget that we can do the same thing for ourselves with just a little bit of rest.
Have you ever woke up one morning and felt so drained, unsettled, frazzled, and sluggish? I know I have many times and it’s all due to getting off my sleeping patterns and not being fully rested. This really becomes a problem for me if I continue down the road of not resting and sleeping properly. My mood swings are the first that becomes apparent especially when it comes to my family. I’m cranky and snappy. Then it’s my memory and not being able to stay focused. That affects my job performance which creates stress. When I’m stressed I start craving food that is very unhealthy just to satisfy my cravings. I’m definitely a stress eater so then my weight becomes an issue. On and on I can tell you my downhill battles and it started with not being fully rested and getting enough sleep. All these factors work hand in hand.
Here are some benefits to resting your body:
Reduce Stress: resting your body and creating better sleep patterns for yourself will reduce the amount of stress on your body and in turn improve your overall health. I know that I require at least 6 hours of deep sleep or I’m good for nothing the next day. Each person requires a certain amount of sleep in order to feel fully rested so find what amount works for you and be sure to stick with it. Plus when I’m less stressed out, it reflects on my diet and choices.
Improves and maintains a healthy weight: sleep and metabolism are both controlled by the same area of the brain which helps to control your hunger and appetite. If you’re workout and diet is not effective, then maybe you’re not getting enough rest.
Memory is better: lack of sleep makes it really difficult to remember and concentrate during the day. While sleeping, your brain is able to piece and sort information together in many ways to improve and retain memory. The body is simply amazing.
No more crankiness: resting really does help with keeping that crankiness away. You feel rested, refreshed, and ready to take on your day with a better attitude.
How can we all get better at resting our bodies?
Be sure to take at least one day out of your busy week to rest. Consider spending quality time with your family, read a book, go to church, have a picnic with friends, etc…
When you go to bed turn your lights out and leave them off. Put yourself on a strict schedule! We do this with our children on school nights; do the same with yourself. Turn off the television, put your phone down, and turn off those lights.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.” https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why
So, it’s okay to get your “snooze on” and rest your body. Go for it!
Beth is a lady I met a couple of years ago when my husband and I joined and became members of our local church. She has this energy about her that draws you in and I don’t think she even knows it. The first time I heard a snippet of her story was when Beth taught a ladies, bible study by Lysa Terkeurst on motherhood called “Unglued”. Beth shared with us her testimony on how she discovered her addiction with food and how she lost her weight. I knew that I wanted to hear more and I’m so thrilled that she is willing to share her story (in her own words) with all of us. She is such an inspiration and I hope you enjoy her testimony as much as I do. I am blessed to call her my friend!
In November of 2013, I had pictures made for my parents 50th wedding anniversary that would be that July. Little did I know that was one of the last times my parents would be able to travel to South Carolina as my mother’s autoimmune disease had taken a turn after 15yrs diagnosed.
When I got the proofs back I could not believe how I looked that day. I weighed 275lbs and was wearing a size 22 pair of jeans that had holes all throughout them but I refused to go and buy a 24. As I sat and looked at those pictures I thought I have got to do something if one day this horrible disease affects me….
Before the holidays I made two appointments to go and talk to the doctors at the clinic about weight loss surgery and canceled both of them. After years of diets and clinics on weight loss, I knew in my heart that I had all the tools that I needed to get healthy but after failing so many times over and over I just didn’t think I had it in me.
In the fall of that year, our church came into a sermon series called simply Prayer and Fasting during that time I also decided to attend a small group study on the very same topic. These two times of in-depth bible study brought to light to major issues I had struggled with. Number one I had an addiction an ugly sin that even out of control I had control over and was unwilling to let go of… Food Addiction. The second issue was I had not fully grasped that as believers we have power over our bodies and what we put into our bodies. I learned so much during that time not only about myself through the LORD but from people, I would not have otherwise went to for the help and guidance I needed.
One day during my journaling for the small group class I clearly heard from the LORD and the phrase that kept coming to my heart and mind was ” You are not Honoring me” over and over this was pressed upon my heart. When I fully wanted to know(read I was ready to hear in my heart what that meant) I knew the Lord meant I was not honoring HIM with my body. A former athlete’s body that I had worked so hard for in HS was now 275lbs unhealthy , unable to sleep at night, unable to walk up and down the stairs in my own home. I WAS BROKEN. How did I do this….
That very week my very best friend told me that if i would pick her up every morning at 4:45 am…YUP in the Morning when its PITCH BLACK outside she would go with me or come and workout with me– whatever I needed to get my life back…she had NO IDEA what had happened personally in my quiet with the LORD.
So we started at the YMCA in a spin class not knowing anything —-we started by setting goals for me to lose 40lbs by my 40th birthday
I gained confidence and friends and supporters and when April 8th rolled around I not only lost the 40lb but had set another goal of 10 more 20 more….see I never thought I could do the first one. ONCE I committed this to her we prayed and every morning the LORD woke me up before my alarm could…..I wanted to meal plan and make smart choices…all because I gave this to Him.
Three years later I am happy to say I have lost over 100lbs and gained my life back. I have met friends through the YMCA (in various classes) and other health outlets that will be for life. I have re-connected with High School friends that are or have come through similar battles. THIS LIFE is my LIFE and it’s because of JESUS I can say HONOR HIM with your body and HE Will use your story to encourage others.
Hard work and dedication…commitment to myself, my husband and my children, was the only way I would succeed. Is every day easy? NOPE….do I still fall into the food addiction cycle when life throws me a curve ball? SURE I do but I’ve built accountability to pull me back out….It’s a daily walk and I pray that I can encourage someone else.
What is your motivation in life? Who or what keeps you going strong and making sure you live a healthy and full life? Please share your thoughts here with me!
Addiction is one of those subjects most people shy away from. However, it’s part of reality. It’s easy to look or judge those that are addicted to drugs or alcohol and tell ourselves that we would never be one of those people or even say “well they can just go to rehab”. But what about food addiction?
I know for our family, every event is planned around food. When we are on vacation, we plan what we are going to do around where or what we are going to eat. When we get finished with breakfast, we then move on to what we want to eat for lunch, then dinner and on, and on, and on. Food embodies our entire day.
I’ll never forget a time when my husband and I ate lunch with a business acquaintance who had recently undergone weight loss surgery. Alex and I had ordered a burger plate and when the waitress brought our meals to the table, it was amazing what we encountered. The man we ate lunch with began to salivate while looking at our burger. His reaction was almost like a drug addict would have if they saw some drugs after just getting out of rehab. His addiction to food was so real!
That got me thinking, though! I have those same addictions myself. I soften these actions by calling them, “cravings” but keeping it real, it’s an addiction. My addiction to food has everything to do with my mood. I am a total stress eater but I do my stress eating in private. When I’m by myself, I’ll binge eat on whatever I can find thinking it will comfort me. It does for a short time but then I feel terrible afterwards which in turns never helps the actual situation. Check out this article about food addiction: http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/5-steps-to-take-control-of-food-addiction/. The author’s perspective about how food addiction and emotions are connected is so eye opening.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy food. I love food but I also know that we should see food as nourishment and energy for our bodies. It’s mind over body so if we get to the root of the problem emotionally then we can resolve the addicting habit of overeating. It’s a lifestyle change.
What should we do?
Eat clean and whole foods
Minimize processed foods in your diet
Drink plenty of water to help flush out any toxins in your system daily
Eat 5-6 small, balanced meals a day to keep your body nourished
Don’t reward yourself when reaching goals with food. Purchase a pretty sweater or a purse instead of a trip to the local Cheesecake Factory.
I see it every day just how addictive sugar can be! I see the effects it has on my family and not only in my children but also with my husband and even myself many times. This white stuff is in everything, people and consuming high amounts (like we do) is so damaging to our bodies. Check this article that tells you about 6 surprising sources of sugar.
Here’s some scary statistics:
In 1800’s, the average person consumed 5 pounds per year. The average American today consumes 150-170 pounds of sugar every year.
The average American consumes 22 to 30 teaspoons of sugar every single day in comparison to 22 teaspoons of sugar per year in the 1800’s.
Approximately 80% of packaged foods contain added sweeteners.
1/3 of added sugars consumed by adults come from beverages.
In children, 40% of added sugars come from beverages.
One 20 oz bottle of soda contains almost 17 teaspoons of sugar.
Drinking just one can of soda a day can increase a child’s risk of obesity by 60% and a woman’s chance of diabetes by more than 80%.
No wonder sugar is so addictive! It’s in almost everything we consume. I see the struggle that my husband goes through to keep excessive sugar out of his diet. His mother suffered with diabetes for many years and he saw first-hand what she went through and how this disease plagued her body. Diabetes literally affected every aspect of her health. He knows that he doesn’t want that for himself or our children so we have to work twice as hard to keep this stuff at an all time low in our diet.
There are no health benefits when it comes to processed or refined sugars. Even though it’s almost impossible to not consume the “white stuff”, you should stick with whole and real foods such as vegetables and fruit which are balanced by the fiber, vitamins that slow down the digestion of sugar and helps your body to deal with it properly. Here’s are some of the effects that excessive, processed sugar has on your body:
It has no nutritional value, which means it doesn’t fill you up but encourages you to eat more.
It causes an addictive response in your brain
It increases bad cholesterol
Terrible for your liver (the fructose can develop into fatty liver disease)
Our bodies are meant to consume these high amounts of sugar but let’s keep it real and practical. Like I said before, it’s almost impossible to completely eliminate all processed and refined sugar, however, we can reduce the amount we consume on a daily basis.
Start with cooking whole foods with limited amounts of “processed” items in our daily diet.
Teach our children to make healthy choices when it comes to their snacks so when they are at school they choose an apple over a bag of chips or a bag of fruit snacks.
Drink more water and stay away from sodas and juices that contain high amounts of sugar.
Our breakfasts should be a balanced meal of protein and carbs staying away from sugary cereals. Believe me, this is a struggle for our family. My children love cereal!
And remember, it doesn’t click in our brains overnight! We’ve been programmed to eat sugar and that “white stuff” is extremely addictive. But “knowing” is everything which leads to better choices and a healthier lifestyle.
Believe me, as a mom who loves to be in the kitchen cooking yummy food, I love seasoning my meals with salt because it enhances the flavor of food. However, too much of a good thing can be devastating to your health.
The American Heart Association recommends that people should aim to eat no more than 1500 milligrams of sodium per day. Did you know that on average, Americans eat more than 3400 milligrams of sodium each day? Way too much! More than 75 percent of sodium that Americans eat doesn’t come from a salt shaker, it comes from processed foods and restaurant foods.
High levels of sodium can cause the body to not function properly. Kidneys, bones, heart, skin, and even the stomach are affected. Click here to see how salt/sodium can affect these areas in your body.
There are times when I know that I’ve taken in too much salt and sometimes it’s necessary to flush that excessive sodium out of my body. Here are some signals that my body gives me:
So what can you do to lower your salt intake to create a more balanced and healthy eating lifestyle?
Drink more water! Water helps to flush these toxins out of your body plus helps to keep your body hydrated. Make sure you are drinking at least a gallon of water everyday.
Eat whole and fresh food! Stay away from prepackaged and processed foods as much as possible. They are loaded with sodium in order to keep them preserved.
Cook your own meals! Reduce the amount of times when you go out to eat. This helps me so much because you can control what goes into your meals but you’re at the mercy of the restaurant when you go out to eat even if you are specific with your requests.
Salt is not the enemy here. We all need a small amount of sodium in our bodies and it’s pretty much EVERYWHERE! Just be aware of how much sodium you are consuming; it’s very eye opening!
Have you ever told yourself lies when it comes to your health? What do you mean?
I am one of those people that love to watch the Olympics! My hubby rolls his eyes because I’m still sitting on the couch watching the games until after 11:00pm. Not only do I love to watch the athletes as they compete but I also can’t wait to hear the stories about how they worked so hard to get to where they are. It just amazes me how these “kids” can push their bodies to the extreme. My favorite sports are the gymnastics and the swimmers. Don’t you just love Simone Biles and Michael Phelps?
I was just sitting here at my computer typing up some articles when a news flash came across my screen talking about the Ryan Lochte story. What a complete shame that this young man felt the need to draw attention away from such a wonderful event like the Olympics by telling lies of what actually happened to him in Rio. Due to his actions, he’s begun to lose sponsorships.
This got me thinking! How many times do we tell ourselves lies? I know I’ve done this on numerous occasions and it’s a struggle I’m trying to work on every day. For example:
I have a goal of losing weight by changing my eating habits and getting myself into a fitness routine that sticks. In the beginning, I jump out of bed, drink my water, head to the gym for a great workout, and eat healthy and consistent all day. I have my cheat meals but get right back on track.
Then a couple weeks down the road, I get invited to a cookout or party and they are serving chocolate cake. I tell myself, “I’ve been so good! What’s one slice going to hurt?”
Early one morning, my alarm buzzes and I tell myself, “I’m so tired. I need more sleep; I can go tomorrow instead of today and make it up.”
A few days later, our son begs me to stop at Taco Bell and I give in, buy him 3 tacos. He eats 2 of the tacos and says, “I’m full!” I tell myself again that, “I can’t let that taco go to waste. It’s not that big and can’t be that fattening. I’ll just run an extra mile tomorrow and burn it off.”
The excuses or lies keep coming…
One lie leads to another and all of a sudden I find myself slipping into old habits and eating whatever I want plus not working out. Does this sound familiar? YES!!!
Going back to the story I read, this statement rolled around in my head, “Don’t be a Ryan Lochte or you’ll lose your Speedos because of your lies!” I know that’s kind of funny but think about it. Telling these lies only keeps you further away from achieving what you want plus the rewards that come with a healthy lifestyle and you end up right back to your old/bad habits. So let’s strive to not tell ourselves these lies! Get back on track and reach for your goals!