We live in a world of extremes. Moderation was been thrown out the window, and all-or-nothing thinking reigns. Healthy is not simply eating a few fruits and vegetables here and there; healthy now means eating ONLY fruits and vegetables (and not allowing any type of “unhealthy” into your diet whatsoever). Thin is not a number within a normal weight range; thin now means weighing significantly below average (and losing more and more each day). Beauty is not a broad definition that includes everyone; beauty now applies to the select few who have passed the test, spent the money, and toiled over the perfection of image.
Beauty today lies in the extremes.
We all have tendencies to shift to extreme thinking. Every time I decide to eat “healthy”, I notice that I start to twist the definition of healthy to match up to the world’s definition: fruits, vegetables, no sugar, no artificial anything.
That’s not healthy.
Healthy is eating a balanced diet. And by balanced I mean some sugar and artificialness is okay. Eating dessert every once in awhile is not a big deal. Checking the nutrition facts on everything is not necessary. There is room to breathe in the true meaning of healthy.
There is a definite line that gets crossed on the quest to health. When food starts to take over your life and relationships, the line has been crossed. When you refuse to go out with friends for dessert, the line has been crossed. When you can list off the foods you eat day-in and day-out, the line has been crossed.
Extremes lie on the other side of that line.
Some people may not think extremes are bad. “They produce will-power,” some say. Or they “build character”. There are people that live by the philosophy of self-motivation and deprivation.
I am not one of them. At least, not anymore.
I don’t believe healthy is an extreme. Healthy is a moderation-not too much, not too little. It is not a list of rigid rules. It is not an aisle in the grocery store holding cardboard tasting cereal. It is not living by the diet advice of the day.
Healthy is giving yourself the freedom to live. It is paying attention to what your body needs, and not cutting out the “impure”. Healthy is knowing the extremes are not the only means to the end…because the end of moderation is much different than the ends of the extremes.
The end of moderation leads to freedom. The end of extremism leads to slavery.
Today’s challenge is to avoid the extremes. Don’t label food as bad or good. Don’t fall on the bandwagon of health that so many use and abuse. Live in the freedom to make the right decisions for you and refuse to give in to the opinions of the extremists. After all, you have what is best in the end: life.
Verse: “But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”