Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It May Be the Diet

Over the past decade I’ve worked hard to be physically fit.  I’ve been very consistent and regimented with my exercise programs, often working out 90 to 120 minutes a day, five or six days a week.  At times I feel great about my fitness.  But there have also been periods of frustration when the clothes didn’t fit as well as they once did.

Staying physically fit after 50 is a challenge.  It seems that there is always pain in some part of my body, and my metabolism isn’t what it used to be.  I continue to workout diligently, but I’ve come to realize how important my diet is to my physical fitness.  Exercise is great, but if you do not follow good nutritional habits, you may have strong muscles, but you will not be physically fit.

I’ve found that a diet consisting of plenty of lean protein, vegetables, some fruit, and moderate quantities of complex carbohydrates keeps my body functioning well, and I can be a metabolic machine.  I can indulge, on occasion, on treats that don’t fit into these categories, and as long as it’s only occasionally, and in limited quantities, everything is fine.  But if I abandon good nutrition and indulge regularly on sweets, bread, cheeseburgers, and simple carbohydrates, my body starts storing fat.  I begin to feel sluggish and my clothes get tighter and tighter.  It doesn’t matter that I continue to exercise at the same level as before.  The diet is the key.

This principle applies to spiritual life as well.  You can be active in your church.  You can serve in your community, work with the elderly, and even go on annual short-term mission trips.  This is great spiritual exercise, and you will benefit from the activity.  But unless you’re feeding on a steady diet from the Word of God, you will not be spiritually fit.  When trials come, you will find that you are not strong because you have not been feeding on God.  I can speak to this because I’ve been there.

If you’re exercising, keep it up.  If you’re not, and you’re able, get busy and get started.  Either way, make it your habit to feed yourself with good nutrition, both physically and spiritually.

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