Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I am halfway through the first week of a 13 week health challenge I cooked up over Christmas vacation. It is based in the Word of Wisdom. a revelation given to Joseph Smith outlining inspired principles of healthy living. For anyone not a Mormon, but acquainted with one--it is the reason we don't smoke or drink. For anyone that is a Mormon--it is about so much more than not smoking or drinking. It is a focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is about finding hidden treasures of knowledge as we care for our bodies in wholesome ways. It is about temperance, prudence, and judgment. We learn in Doctrine and Covenants 88:15 that "the spirit and the body are the soul of man." That adds an important level to the injunction to come unto Christ, offering our "whole souls" unto him (Omni 26). That means we can't just read, pray, visit teach, and attend the Temple while we ignore our body and expect to truly offer ourselves to Christ. We are a package deal. Where I want my spirit to go, I must be willing to make my body follow. I can be disciplined and study the scriptures every day, but there will be an element of purity and happiness missing if my discipline ends there. And so this challenge was born. It is not a punitive, narrow, depriving sort of challenge. I am married to a therapist. . . so I am all about positive reinforcement. I get points for good stuff like fruits and veggies, and every week has a different challenge that will teach a different lesson. So far, I am learning a great deal. Several folks are joining in and one person has said, "So I knew I could be more healthy.. but WOW, lots of work and ways to improve." It is enlightening. Everyone also sets their own personal challenge, worth 15 points. Mine? No desserts or candy. I've tried no sugar before and the strictness destroyed me. I am hoping to get there this year, but I've adopted "gradual" as a new favorite word in this process. Sure, maybe I'm eating a little more cereal, but tonight I had shredded wheat and honey instead of a brownie sundae at dinner, so I for one am totally calling that a success. I am WOWed. Stay tuned for more. . . . I certainly will.