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Day 8 Weight Loss: Lifestyle Therapy – Our physical bodies are mortal in nature and how we treat them determines how long they will last. Our bodies are exposed to environmental conditions, viruses, and bacteria that can cause them to die sooner. They experience pain, illness, disabilities, and temptations like overeating and addictions. In some religious and spiritual circles our bodies are recognized as temples of God’s Holy Spirit, but many of us no longer acknowledge this to be true. This may be one reason that we don’t take care of our bodies, causing us to suffer many chronic diseases and illnesses.
Even though we live longer than we did in 1900, our health has declined. Our lifestyles today create more stress than they did in 1900. We have technical tools available to make our lives easier, but we are still stressed and anxious. Working long hours, long commutes to/from work, getting stuck in traffic, eating processed food are just a few causes of modern lifestyle diseases. Some conditions considered chronic are high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
Now, people are taking more responsibility for their health than they ever did before. They are not relying only on modern, western medicine, but combining it with other natural therapies or just engaging in Lifestyle Therapies. Many of these are spiritual in nature and seen as mechanisms of prevention. People are pro-active about their health and using therapeutic, alternative interventions known as Lifestyle Therapies. These tools are key to increasing health and longevity:
- Yoga, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong
- Therapeutic massage (not the same as going to a masseuse in a gym)
- Wellness coaching in nutrition, exercise, and stress management
- Body work to reduce and eliminate pain
One example of a lifestyle therapy program is DBC, a natural holistic health center in Michigan that offers Lifestyle Coaching. Review the video at the end of this post to see just what one lifestyle therapy program offers.
In August 2009, Science Daily’s article, “Healthy Lifestyle Habits May Be associated With Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease”, identified four healthy lifestyle factors from a study that appeared in JAMA and Archives Journals. The four factors are:
- Never smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- A healthy diet
Read the brief article for more findings on the four lifestyle factors, such as “together [they] appear to be associated with as much as an 80 percent reduction in the risk of developing the most common and deadly chronic diseases…” This study is proof that our personal stake in our health is more important than we ever thought. Our bodies are designed to heal. When we cooperate with healing interventions, we increase our health and longevity. If we need help, we can consider lifestyle therapy.
I concentrated my efforts on hydration by drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Drinking water helps weight loss, keeps blood pressure and blood sugar down. My body is more than 60% water, which is why staying hydrated is important for a healthy body.
When I go to the grocery store I only purchase fresh food–produce, meat, and fish and no packaged food. The fresh food is located on the peripheral of the store and not in the aisles. Packaged foods are located in the aisles; they are loaded with sugar, salt, chemicals, and unless the packages state, “No-GMOs”, they probably contain GMO food products. I even read the labels of food located on the peripheral of the store. Is the beef grass fed? Is the chicken free range? Is it unsweetened coconut milk? Is the produce certified organic? Reading labels is a requirement no matter where the food is located in the store. It is the only way we can eat healthy.
I adjusted my exercise plan to include two 15 minute exercise sessions since I couldn’t stick with 30 minutes straight. It’s better if I adjust my plan to fit my lifestyle so I don’t stop exercising altogether. My goal of exercising 30 minutes a day is realistic for me by making this adjustment. I call this “chunking.” I will become stronger and increase my time, stretching my sessions to 30 minutes. Right now, two 15 minute sessions seems to be working for me.
While I was meditating last night, I had a thought, “My body is a temple.” That’s all that there was; nothing else. When I was a child I was told this in religious class. I really didn’t give it much thought when I was young or as I got older. However, after meditation last night, I kept thinking about the meaning of the words “My body is a temple.”
From this contemplation, I determined the following: My body is my home. It’s where the Holy Spirit lives. I can lose my material home in this world located on any street in some town USA, but my body is my true home. It’s the home I need to take care of everyday. I need to feed it the right fuel so it is energized. Keeping it moving is important to keeping it healthy. I realize my spirit is divine and is one with God. God gave me the gift of life through the Holy Spirit and a temple for the Spirit to live in. It is up to me to use my mind to sustain the awareness that my body is the temple and sacred home for the Holy Spirit. I accept and love my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.