My stomach grumbled, a weakening crept up my muscles, a band tightened around my head, and I knew. I was hungry enough.
I ate just what I craved and needed for refueling. I savored the blend of cheeses and sauce in my zucchini lasagna, though I had half a serving. I topped dinner off with a single piece of wheat toast thinly slathered with Nutella, and a steaming cup of Hazelnut coffee to sip between bites. With full satisfaction in my belly, my legs were ready.
I grabbed my iPhone and headed to the park. A few stretches in, I pushed the button. At the ding, a strong male voice said, “Walk,” and so I began. Five minutes later, the same male voice said, “Run,” and I ran for a minute, until the voice said, “Walk,” again.
I slurped water while I caught my breath. The music playing in the background of my C25K app gave me a boost of energy, and I quickened my steps toward the finish line.
As I neared the end of my walk/run, a rose bush caught my eye. Normally, I would barely glance in its direction, but with my new resolve to pay attention, I stopped and smelled the fresh perfume. I looked up and saw a scraggly tree beside the path ahead, a bird sang over me from a thin branch.
Life is too short to miss the simple pleasures. I am now listening to my body, instead of torturing it into submission as I’ve done in the past. Eating well, exercise, and drinking lots of water make me feel great. I’ve stopped trying to stick to a rigid plan, and simply follow Dr. Rita Hancock’s advice from her book, The Eden Diet. And I feel as if I’ve been released from a self-induced prison.
Without realizing it, I’d become confused by the many voices, messages, and conflicting pieces of advice I’d heard about health and nutrition. Dr. Hancock’s book gave me permission to start fresh. To listen to the signals pre-programmed into my body. Now that I am, I can’t believe how much lighter I feel. The pressure is gone, and not only am I getting healthier, but I’m having fun.
This makes me wonder what other gifts I’ve missed by mindlessly following the world’s instructions. In our culture, we’re told we need to be doing something at all times — and in some instances, rightly so. However, we should pay attention to our noise-polluted, crowded, over-burdened minds and occasionally take a break from the chaos.
As Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
These days, my body is crying out for rest.My spirit wants to be still, and know God. My mind needs to meditate on His word. And I am listening.
Improved health comes from living God’s way — As Dr. Hancock says, “You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be persistent.”
Finding joy where you are is what living is all about.
What simple pleasures bring you healthy fun?
John 8:32 (NIV)
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Specialist, Certified Team Training Facilitator, Marketing Specialist, national speaker, and author. She lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.
She’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research.