Friday, May 11, 2012

Faithfully Fit

Thanks to Denise Ertl we here at Crossroads have been blessed with a program that many people truly need in their lives.  Faithfully Fit Forever includes basic aerobic and strengthening exercise along with Christian music, some health eduction and a brief Bible study.  I want to publicly thank Denise for her years of service to the Lord through Faithfully Fit.

Christians in the United States often do a poor job of taking care of their bodies.  Labor saving devices keep us sitting way too much, and it doesn't help that we have had a carbohydrate heavy tradition of eating.  I confronted some of that today as I picked up food for a family at the local food shelf.  It was a carb loaded haul... understandable because of the relatively low cost and convenience of bread and pasta based dishes, but, honestly, it is something we need to pay attention to as we care for one another.

Earlier this week I heard an interesting radio show on this topic... The speaker, Gretchen Reynolds, has written a book called "The First Twenty Minutes."  She says that just standing up for two minutes has a wonderful effect.  The human body was not made for sitting!  "Sitting for long periods of time tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles," says Reynolds. "You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat ... in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you're moving."  She recommends standing up every 20 minutes or so.  I encourage you to listen to the radio show at this link - Stand Up!

Today on the radio I heard about what seems to be a wake up call to the United States as regards what has been called an "obesity epidemic."  A series called "The Weight of the Nation" will be available free at this link - The Weight of the Nation - beginning Monday May 14.  It sounds like it will be honest -- completely honest about how things really are.

Those of us who, for one reason or another, do not have a significant issue with food and/or weight, whether it's being too heavy or suffering from an eating disorder cannot really understand the challenges that others deal with on an every day basis.  But we can pray for one another.  We can care.  And we can learn.  Together we can bring our lives more into line with reality--with the science that is teaching us about how we can best care for these treasures from God--our amazing bodies!

I hope Crossroads will continue to take steps toward being Faithfully Fit in the months and years to come.  I pray that the Lord will release us to know and tell the truth about our health, being patient with ourselves and others on the journey.  When we have a dinner together, let's make sure it's okay for people to leave something on their plate.  There is no pride in the "Clean Plate Club" in the 21st century United States.  We could also talk together about what sorts of food we provide to others, whether it's through church dinners, potlucks or the food shelf.

Now it's time for me to stop writing and stand up!

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