Yesterday in church, our pastor Megan said something that I loved….and that I fully believe in and try to encourage. “What you feed grows. What you starve dies.”
What does this pertain to? Almost everything!
- Physical Health. I’m a Physical Therapist. The word “atrophy” is one of the first words I learned in PT school. “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” We all have heard this! We know if we quit using our muscles, they will weaken over time. We know if we just exercise for 3 weeks, then quit, our results will slowly dissipate and we will return to the exact same place where we started. My patients often ask me how long they need to continue with their home exercise program. Until the pain goes away? 6 weeks? They often don’t like my response. FOREVER. If you want your body to continue to be strong and healthy, you have to “feed” it with exercise on a regular basis…forever! I don’t care if you are 90 and bound to a wheelchair. You can do seated exercises. My virtual clients might do a 6 week program with me, but I remind them this is a lifestyle and they are in it for life now.
- Nutrition. Oh boy. How many people yo-yo between diets. How many people say a certain nutrition program didn’t work for them? How many people say they just can’t seem to control themselves or stay on track with their eating. Nutrition is HARD! I get it! I love food! So what do we feed (besides our mouths with ice cream, chips, and pizza all the time?) . We constantly relearn, refocus, reengage with our nutrition plan. We find one that works, and we stick with it long enough to get results. Then when we start finding ourselves straying back into old habits (and that WILL happen), we return back to the basics…rewatching the videos of our nutrition plan, or refocusing on tracking, or digging into really learning about the food and what it is doing for us. We constantly work to learn and improve on our nutrition so we never get complacent for too long.
- Mindset. A friend of mine said once that personal development books are pointless because they only work while you’re reading them, and then your mindset starts going downhill when you are done with the book. I will repeat the quote from above. “What you feed grows. What you starve dies.” Yes, if you don’t continue to feed your mind with positivity, continuously learn how to reroute negative thoughts, continue to fill it with things that make it grow in the direction you want, those neuropathways will start to die and atrophy. So yes, one book or audio will not improve your mindset for life. This is something we need to do continuously. If I’m driving, I throw on a podcast or audible. If I’m folding laundry, I’m listening to TED talks. If I’m in the bath, I read 5 minutes of a self help book. It works! It really does! But it will take time and consistency. Our brains are plastic. That means they can change depending on what we are feeding it. So choose what you are feeding it.
- Faith. This is the most important. “What you feed grows. What you starve dies.” Have you ever done the priority thing? Like where you list your top 5 priorities of your life in order with most important at the top? Typically, I put 1. Faith 2. Spouse 3. Kids 4. Family/friends 5. Job. BUT… then you are asked to put them in order of how much time you give to each of them…and every time I’m like “SHOOT!” because the time I put into them is not in the correct order at all! It’s hard, but all we can do is be purposeful in trying to improve it. So instead of just going to church on Sunday and forgetting God the rest of the week, I try to start every day with prayer and active listening to God. I try to talk about him more throughout the day with the kids. I try to hang Bible verses around the house for more reminders. I try to think of God when I see a pretty sunset or tree. God is waiting for us to feed that relationship to allow it to constantly grow. I know when I fall off track of my faith building routine, I pretty quickly start going downhill with my stress levels, mindset, and coping skills. I realize, after a few days, that I need to refocus on the One that I rely on to direct me on this life journey. Now, I just have to learn how to increase that time with the hubby! (#fourkids).
What activities are we feeding that we really don’t want to grow in our lives? What thoughts are we feeding constantly that just bring more negativity our way? If we can work to be more purposeful in what we are feeding every day, and work hard to starve the things that bring negativity and no good into our life, those muscles will grow…physically, mentally, and spiritually.