Eat To Perform

The noise from my alarm startles me out of my slumber. It seems as though I just closed my eyes and 4:00 am came in an instant. I reach over and turn it off. Besides the feeling of drowsiness from waking up so early, I feel a heaviness in my stomach. “Am I getting sick?” I think to myself as I lie there trying to decide if I should get up. I don’t think I am. I debate going back to sleep until 6:00 and get a couple more hours of sleep. I don’t feel the greatest anyway. I decide against it because I need to make it to my 5th day of workouts this week. I peel myself away from my bed and my feet hit the floor.

My stomach feels as though I have undigested food sitting in it from last night. I walk sluggishly over to the sink to brush my teeth. “What did I eat last night?” My mind tries to account for all the food I had the night before. I don’t normally feel sluggish and heavy, so something must be wrong. Then it hits me … I ate pizza and ice cream before bed. I threw caution to the wind at the end of the day and now I’m paying for it. Ugh! Feeling like this at 4:00am before a workout is not going to end well for me.

When I get to the gym I try and get my heart pumping. Maybe I can counter what I ate with a hard and fast run? If I can work off this heavy feeling in my stomach, I’ll feel better. With each step I take, I feel like I’m dragging a load of bricks behind me. Even my footsteps feel heavy. I thoroughly enjoyed the pizza and ice cream last night, but right now I regret every bite. Sure, it tasted good, but I would rather feel good and perform well. It’s not going to happen today. The pizza and ice cream have become my gym companions and will stick around while I struggle through this workout.

I’ve been doing crossfit for more than 3 years now, but it’s not the only thing I’ve done. I did cardio kickboxing for two years and had a personal trainer at a global gym for more than six months. None of that changed my body. I will go as far as saying that crossfit isn’t the only great exercise program out there. Do you know the key factor that makes any exercise routine successful or not? Proper nutrition. 

Food effects our performance. We need macronutrients and micronutrients and our bodies need enough of each in order to perform well. Athletes who need to perform well in their sport are always watching what goes in their mouths so they can be in top physical condition. Working out is a part of getting into shape, but if you look at percentages, nutrition carries the heavier influence on how our bodies will perform and change. Some studies show our bodies change from 75% of what we eat and only 25% of exercise. Don’t you just hate that?? I wish it wasn’t true.

Let me ask you this … if food effects the performance of our physical well-being, how much more does spiritual food effect our spiritual man? If we don’t feed our soul good, nutritious soul food, it will effect our performance in life. Not because we’re not trying to live well, but because we neglect to give our spiritual man proper nutrition.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 4:4, “Man CANNOT live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” When you think about it, our physical bodies only need food to survive. It’s what fuels our bodies to keep living. But God knows we are more than just a physical being. The soul inside of us needs more than just bread … it needs soul food … God’s Word. Think about that for a minute. We cannot merely live on food only. We have to have God’s Word.

Just like I tried one exercise routine after the other and was spinning my wheels, we can spin our wheels in life. We go throughout our day, go to work, go to school, take care of our families, hang out with friends, but are we satisfied with how we live? I can get through a workout, or I can kill a workout. I can get through life, or I can live an abundant life. Which outcome would we rather have?

Isaiah 55:2 says, “Why spend on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen to me and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.” Isaiah the prophet was asking God’s people this question. They were working for something they thought would satisfy the soul, but it wasn’t God. They spent their money on what they thought would preserve life, but it didn’t. It looked life sustaining and satisfying, but once they tasted it, it was like empty calories. Each bite left them with a deeper hunger in their souls. We can try and find satisfaction in work, friends, things, entertainment … but those are empty calories. They leave our souls unsatisfied and we end up existing instead of living.

What are you hungry for? Do you feel like you’re getting through life and dragging weight behind you? Do you hunger for an abundant life? Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” We all hunger. We all want satisfaction and an abundant life. But only those who feed their soul what is good will achieve it.

I started working out years ago. Years!! I wish I knew then what I know now about healthy eating. It would have changed everything. So, I share it with you. Do you want to move heavy weight and workout efficiently? Eat right. Do you want to live an abundant life and become all you can be in this life? Feed your soul. If you don’t believe that God’s Word will feed your soul, try it. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Dean, my husband, has always wanted me to try everything he eats. I would always respond with, “I don’t like the way it tastes.” He would ask, “How do you know unless you try it?” He was right. I didn’t know because I never experienced it. So I started to try it and my palatet has changed. I enjoy so many more foods than ever before. It’s the same with God. How will you know unless you experience Him for yourself?

God’s Word is like a banquet table filled with all the sustenance your soul needs: hope, wisdom, knowledge, life, and so, so much more. More copies of the Bible are sold in this country than anywhere in the world, yet we don’t know it. We regurgitate the words of others, yet we don’t know what His word says about how to live this life He has given us. If I can pass on anything to you, I would say to know it for yourself. Dig in. Your soul will live. You’ll perform well in life as a spouse, parent, friend, and whatever it is you’re known as. I promise, you won’t regret a single bite!




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