75-95% of disease and health related issues stem from our thought life. This leaves only 2-25% of our life being impacted by food, supplements, and other things we put into our bodies, pretty shocking right?! This is proof that no matter how much effort we put into our diet and exercise; it weighs little in comparison to our thoughts.
I’m working hard on not putting my health and well-being into my own hands. I’m trying not to order the things in my life to reflect my control and to to start to break the false belief that if my body looks good, my life will be perfect.
The problem with the pattern of thinking that we are in control and how I aligned my life is that chasing after body image or perfection is a mental trap of self-sabotage. With one word of criticism comes another and another and another. It leads to never having a ‘good life’ because where chasing a destination with a false finish line!
The way we think impacts our abilities to make good choices when it comes to how we treat ourselves. I think that part of the reason, is when the outside forces of our lives feel out of control, we grab onto food and exercise or other things for that ‘one’ thing we have ‘control’ of. Unfortunately, no matter what we think we ‘control’ is actually controlling us.
What goes into our minds has more of an impact on how we digest and utilize our food than what we put in. We need to break free of the desire to control anything and learn how to step into the presence of God to allow Him control over all things.
I’m definitely not saying that what we put in isn’t important, because it is! But our creator designed us perfectly for any and all situations and food is near the bottom of God’s importance list for us. He is more interested in our character than what we look like. We are not a food body connection, we are a spirit, mind, body connection. And we need to live that truth by entering into prayer before food, exercise or an other false god we turn to for sustenance.
Stress & Digestion
We’ll be talking about stress and worry as a distraction later, but now is a better time than any to explain the effects of those emotions on our bodies ability to digest and properly utilize our food. So, let’s look at our stress-body connection.
We were created to deal with stress in a way that will help us survive life connection. We are a spirit, mind, body connection and we were created to deal with stress in a way that will help us survive life and death situations. For example, if we needed to flee from a bear – our hypothalamus receives the situation and tells our pituitary gland to release cortisol and other hormones into our bodies so that our kidneys know that we need adrenaline to run from the bear.
During the spike of our stress response our bodies do other awesome things to help us in survive that bear attack, since we don’t need to utilize our food at this time (because it won’t matter if the bear eats us any way ), our digestive system slows way down. This allows the energy, oxygen and blood flow to go to our muscles and brain to flee or fight in the attack. This is known as our fight or flight response.
Once the attack is over the hypothalamus tells the pituitary gland “we’re all good” so that it can stop releasing stress hormones, at that point our kidneys can stop releasing adrenaline and our body re-balances and begins working again. Once we’re back to a calm state our body begins to replenish everything it used during the attack and expelling the non-needed nutrients as waste.
The problem with many of us today is that we don’t just live in this under attack state sometimes we live in that state 24/7. Our bodies respond to stress the same as if we are being attacked by a bear even if we’re just running late, trying to meet a deadline, stressed about our weight/body image With all the stressors of relationships, the wrong kind of physical activity (if any at all) and a disconnect from God in our lives, digestion and proper utilization of food is left out of balance and backed up causing all sorts of possible issues. (allergies, food sensitives…)
God belongs in every single aspect of our lives and without a relationship with Him, your primary and secondary foods will be out of sorts, confusing and frustrating. We are told over 365 times in scripture to not fear or be anxious for anything. It’s no coincidence that our God-breathed scriptures would add insight to the effects we feel by living in states of stress within our physical bodies.
Our mind and body effect each other and our spirit connects to God to keep all systems working for His kingdom. Without a healthy thought life and a mind stayed on God, we’re not able to bring truth into our daily situations in a way that transforms us into the new creation we are.
Scripture is our user manual and guide for how and who to live life for. Much like you wouldn’t take a Mercedes off-roading because it would break down. Our disobedience to God’s ways, will in time cause physical consequences. God created us and so He knows what will leave us feeling sick, tired, and broken down. He wants us to obey His ways for His glory but also because He loves us so deeply, He doesn’t want us to be like the broken-down Mercedes because we didn’t read the manual!
Now that you know about the stress response and how it impacts our body’s ability to digest food, who has eaten when they are stressed? Ate because they aren’t happy with their bodies and feel like quitting? How about not eating because of self-loathing? Or uses food as punishment or reward?
Isn’t it crazy to think, that in our attempts to be thinner and healthier that we’re self-sabotaging ourselves by worrying about it?
One of the biggest contributors to poor health is in your thought life. Surrounding every decision is a belief system. A belief about you, about food, about God and about life. So, what is it that you’re believing?
Next time we’ll discuss conviction vs. condemnation as well as what we allow our minds to meditate on and how that impacts our health.
Scripture To Start Your Healing
Psalm 46:10 – Be Still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here
Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you