We’re always being bombarded with advice as to how we should look, what to eat and how to exercise, but have we stopped to consider what God wants for us? Michelle Jorna's book, Embracing a Healthy Lifestyle, serves as a guide to achieving a healthy, active and balanced life. In this interview, she talks to us about living holistically in a way that honours God.
The Bible says that we are made in God's image- this involves our mind, body and spirit, which are intricately linked to one another. Strength and vitality in all areas aid in our journey of achieving our God-given purpose. Humanly-speaking, it is difficult to change years of set behaviour. Thankfully, we can ask God for His divine intervention in our lives, for 'the Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth' (Psalm 145:18).
Michelle goes on to explain the process of achieving long-term behaviour change. We first start to contemplate change due to an external motivatior, for instance, a weight goal for health reasons. It then takes an intrinsic motivator to maintain the change, for example, the realisation of how a healthy lifestyle affects the way you feel and how you interact with others. In addition, keeping an open mind and investigating different sports may result in a new, enjoyable hobby. Moreover, being accountable to someone by tracking your progress through social media or finding a workout buddy increases your chances of success and builds an encouraging community in the process. Finally, setting realistic goals- health rather than weight goals- is important and staying disciplined will eventually get us there.
It is comforting to know that everyone will face some sort of obstacle along the way. Advance planning in this respect is crucial to our long-term success. For example, acknowledging the barriers and writing down ways to overcome them is powerful, as there is a strong connection between our mental and physical health. By listing the things that are weighing you down and seeking professional advice, you will begin to realise why you behave in a certain way. Once you understand how your body works, you will start to gain control and power over it. As those around you watch your transformation, it encourages and inspires them to do the same.
Good health is not the absence of disease. Most, if not, all of us have underlying issues that first need to be dealt with before we can tackle the resultant behaviour. This may include the emotional reasons that cause overeating or the indulgence in addictive behaviours. Dealing with our inner self will enable us to achieve balance in all areas of our health, be it relational, intellectual, emotional or spiritual.
If you would like to order Michelle's book, visit Koorong's website.