My Guide to Break Up the Marriage of Food & Exercise

Do you often think of your workout as payment for what you ate that day? Do you eat the piece of cake and think, well now I better get that run in. OR…do you go for the run and think…well now I CAN eat the piece of cake later?

This used to be me. I was a calorie counter all through college. The margins of my notebooks (look how old I am! When we used traditional notebooks in school!😉) were filled with calorie counting and estimations of calories that would be consumed to make sure that I stayed under a certain level. Even after I stopped this practice, for years I still thought that the main purpose of my exercise was to burn off the food I ate, to control my weight. I never strength trained because I only cared about calories burned, and I could burn more calories running for 40 minutes vs. weight lifting for 40 minutes!

Four years ago I began studying the Word and what it had to say about food, exercise, and our identity. Then I found @revelationwellness and this marriage between my food and my fitness was finally BROKEN! Now I eat for fuel…sometimes pleasure. But it has nothing to do with my workout. My workout is done to create stronger bones, muscles, and to challenge my heart and lungs, and MIND. But both are done for the glory of God!

Here’s the basic truth: Your workout is not a good way to control your weight, b/c you can always out-eat a good workout. Food consumption is the number one dial turner on the scale. I’m not going to get into the logistics of this (because it’s more than just calories in vs. calories out)  but I learned a ton from @fatlosslifestyleschool this summer and it put the nail in the coffin on breaking up my marriage with food and fitness. Go check them out for more info on this b/c they share tons of great knowledge (and their training is fantastic!)

Here’s the spiritual truth: God gave us food to fuel our bodies. He made it taste good b/c He’s a great Father who loves to give us good gifts. Good nutrition helps us live well! God gave us bodies that move because He’s a great Father.

When we move well, we’re able to do more here on this earth, and when our hearts are aligned with the Father’s heart, our movement brings Him glory as an image bearer, and in our ability to serve with our WHOLE hearts and bodies. 

Fitness then can bring Him glory, when it’s not about us, but it’s about honoring Him with the bodies we’ve been given! Eating can bring Him glory when it’s not about how many calories we can get away with, or simply stuffing ourselves for pleasure, but it’s about fueling our bodies well so that we can have the energy to serve in the way He’s called us.

I’ve broken up the marriage between my food and fitness, and spoiler alert – the scale didn’t go up. I’ve maintained the same weight for years, through 5 pregnancies – and I no longer yo-yo like I did when the food and fitness marriage was intact, b/c I’m no longer going through cycles of restrict-shame-binge and repeat. 

Friends – you don’t have to live like this anymore. God gave you a GOOD body. He wants to show you His original design for YOU. It IS possible to separate your workout from your food and change your entire mindset on the purpose of both. He’s got good in store for you too, b/c He wants YOU to live well!!

What’s the first step you can take today? Pray. Ask the Lord to give you a renewed heart and mind and to see food and fitness through His lens. And then today, try moving not because you have to, not because of any food that you ate, but just for enjoyment. Take notice of how you feel as you move. Say some quick prayers of thanks for the body you’ve been given and the ability to move each limb. No matter how fast or slow you are, no matter what your size or fitness level, the ability to move is a GIFT.

I’d love to hear from you! What is your most ENJOYABLE way to move?

PS: If you want to take a 2nd step in renewing your mind while you move, I’d invite you to join me for Refine Online, my newest program! We’re going to learn how to move smart and strengthen our bodies AND our minds, so that we can live, love, and serve WELL! Head to this link to receive more info!