Here in Hawaii, life has been a blur of packed boxes, cleaning supplies, and scattered piles of accrued odds and ends. Truly an organizational mess. This is my fourth move since coming to Hawaii, and in all honesty, it has not gotten any easier. In fact it has gotten exponentially worse due to my mysterious accumulation of so much stuff.
But in the midst of the chaos and clutter, I came to an important realization. A realization that is pivotal in my path to becoming a nutritionist and at the most basic level, of just leading a healthy and active lifestyle.
For so many of us, we are searching and grasping after new ways and techniques to get healthy. To get happy. To be fit. We are constantly fed new the newest fads of “dieting” and the hottest new workout regimens. We read the latest trends: “Healthy fats are your friends!” “Strength training is the new cardio!” “Smoothie bowls that look better, taste better.” Don’t get me wrong; these things are all GOOD nuggets of advice (especially the healthy fats bit—avocados and peanut butter are like… actually my friends). But in all honestly, for any of these things to be of any significance to us we must start at the beginning. If we want a fitness routine that sticks, we need a lifestyle that sticks. If we want to nourish our body with good foods, we need a body that is capable of being nourished. And I truly believe this all begins with centering yourself.
At the very center of my being is a God who created me and loved me enough to sacrifice his own life on my behalf. At the center of my being is a God who looks at my chaos and clutter, my flaws and imperfections, my days of skipped workouts and guilty over-indulgences of chocolate & peanut butter, and says, “you are loved & you are beautiful.”
At the very center of my being is a realization that I am good enough. A realization that this life is a beautiful gift. A realization and steady truth that no matter how much I exercise and how much kale I eat, truly the only thing that matters is that I have already been accepted. Flaws and all. So I choose to honor that. I choose to honor the fact that I have been gifted this imperfect body and that I am able to nourish it and care for it. Because it is a beautiful gift and I never want to forget that.
As the boxes and piles seemed to be caving in around me, I began to look at my list of to-dos and all the things I had failed to follow through on. I promised to blog once a week. I have not. I committed to eating clean. I ate chocolate on the first day. I And I have a beautifully wrapped box containing a Christmas present to a dear friend STILL sitting in my closet. Forgive me, Kristen!
But, as I look at this laundry list of so called “failures”, I am reminded of the small victories in my life. I just successfully moved into, essentially, a treehouse with my dearest friend and have a delicious view of the ocean. I got a 97 on my last anatomy lab exam. I started the BBG Kayla Itsines workout regimen, and am feeling stronger every day. And I haven’t missed a day of reading my bible.
And so as I begin to feel discouraged, or frustrated with myself, I am choosing to be reminded of my center. Where I belong. I choose to listen to the small gentle whisper of hope and love from my father, rather than the insecurities and subtle nagging of my inner perfectionist.
Though oceans roar you are the Lord of all, the one who calms the wind and waves and makes my heart beat still
Though the earth gives way the mountains move into the sea, the nations rage, I know my God is in control.
Know your God. Know your center, and live there. Thrive and flourish there. Choose to let that fuel and motivate your fitness routines and healthy eating lifestyles rather than a desire to be thinner or more fit. Because when I look at the collection of “accrued odds and ends” I realized I am not defined by my possessions. I am not defined by a good body or a fridge stocked with a colorful array of veggies. So while I will continue to perfect my smoothie bowls and eat my avocados, I know above all else I am centered in a deeply satisfying and enriching love.