Welcome to the fourth week in our series The Habits of the IntentionallyFit. I hope you have begun implementing new habits in your lives that will propel you toward becoming more healthy and fit. This week our habit deals with our spiritual health, which is something that many of us tend to neglect as part of a healthy and fulfilling life or we keep it in a category entirely on its own. The problem with this is that our Spiritual health affects every aspect of our overall health. While we can be “physically” fit we can be completely unhealthy spiritually. I hope to encourage you to consider this important aspect of your health.
Spend time daily in quiet solitude, reading, and prayer according to your spiritual beliefs and values.
Growing up I remember finding my mom reading her Bible in the morning, every morning. Her quiet time was always consistent and she modeled this throughout my life. She was always busy, being the mom of four highly active children, but this was a constant habit as long as I can remember.
I learned through her example to spend time daily with Jesus. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned for myself that I am a better wife, mother, and friend after I have had quiet time with Jesus. The benefits of being spiritually healthy overflow into all aspects of our lives. These are available to you as well. So, what does a quiet time or solitude look like in practical life? Here are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t feel lost and wandering.
Spend time in grateful reflection
Quietness allows the noise of the world and daily life to subside. Reflecting on what we have been given and cultivating gratitude changes our perspective in life. Being grateful for our lives and the things we’ve been given helps us maintain a positive mindset which allows us to view difficulties with hope and promise instead of despair.
Study Scriptures and Inspirational Stories
Reading and studying scripture educates us in the path that God wants us to take. We will become what we put in our minds, reading the Bible and books that teach us how to study it teaches us to be more like Jesus and that is a fantastic goal which changes us from the inside out.
Prayer is deliberate discussion with God. Taking time to tell God you are grateful and actively voicing our gratitude to the One who has given us all we have reminds us that we are not the center of the universe, but are cared for by its Creator. Listening for His voice will also help you know what you are called to do and what He wants to tell you about yourself.
Prayer is also a place where we can release our burdens. Handing over our stress, confessing our failures or mistakes, and asking for help can all be done through the quiet habit of prayer. When we give these things to God we acknowledge that we need His help and I promise you, He is faithful to provide it!
First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your health and fitness journey, allowing me to speak into your life, and pushing me to become a better coach. I am honored that you are here.
I want to share a little bit of the how and why behind IntentionallyFit. To do this, I will need to travel back a bit and share some of my story with you.
This is me on my 30th birthday. It’s the best picture, really. I had a three year old son and a 1 month old daughter. I look back on this picture with mixed emotions. I LOVED becoming a mom. I loved having a family (still do, in fact!), but I was so unhappy with me. Fear, insecurity, and an overall sense of shame for WHO I had become, or let myself become plagued me. I was depressed and really unhappy. This all came to a head in the most inconvenient of places, a dressing room at Target.
The summer after I turned thirty my little brother got married. I was in his wedding. The dress was a size 16. If this wasn’t enough, I had absolutely no shorts to wear, in public anyhow. I took my babies with me to Target and proceeded to try things on. The only pair of shorts I could squeeeeeeeeze into were size 15, and that was with the lay down, hop around, stuff myself in dance. So, right then and there I fell apart, with my two kids just staring at me, trying to figure out what was wrong with Mommie.
To make a long story short, I later found Beachbody in a hotel room on the way home from that wedding. I started Power90 at the beginning of January. I worked hard. Sometimes the logistics of exercising with a 4 year old and a nine month old required some creativity, but I did it. I didn’t know it then, but I was drastically changing my health and not just a diet, but a real lasting lifestyle change. During this time period I learned that health and fitness is not limited to just the physical aspect, but includes mental, emotional, and spiritual areas as well.
I say all this to tell you. I know how hard it is to change your life. I know how hard it is when nobody is helping and people are criticizing instead of encouraging. I know how hard it is when the kids are begging for attention and all you want to do is sleep (well, after you stuff a big burger or enchilada down your throat). We didn’t have coaches then or challenge groups to help. I don’t tell you this to get pity, but so you know it can be done. You can do it. I know it, because if I could with nobody helping, then you DEFINITELY can because I will help you every step of the way. I will be here for you. I will encourage and not criticize. I will cheer you on, but you still have to do the work. I can’t do that part, but I know you can. Join one of our Challenge Groups and get started on your own journey!
If you struggle with depression, what are some of the ways you have tried to control it?
Disclaimer: If you are struggling with depression I highly recommend you seek out a counselor who is familiar with treating it and can help you find strategies that will work for you.