Jesus, Spinach And Tommy Boy (In That Order)

My healthy living journey didn’t start with nutrition but it has slowly morphed into a healthy eating journey, too.

After my husband had a food sensitivity test done, I saw the positive changes it made for him and decided do one for myself. When I am disciplined and really remove the foods that I shouldn’t be eating, it’s amazing how good I feel. It’s taken a long time to learn how to eat the right way without feeling like I’m missing out or always hungry. After I got comfortable with figuring out what to eat and what not to eat, I decided to up my game a little and make a concerted effort to include something green every time I have a snack or a meal.

In the movie Tommy Boy, Tom Callahan Sr. says, “You’re either growin’ or you’re dyin’. There ain’t no third direction.”

It’s interesting to me how many areas of life this can be applied to but today we’re going to keep it to two.

First, I think about it when I eat. Is this food going to make me more healthy or less? Is it going to grow me or hurt me? There is not a third option. Sometimes I do pick up something and think, “This is not going to improve my health” and eat it anyways. But just pausing to have that thought before I eat is a step in the right direction.

What does it look like for me to add something green each time I eat? Sometimes  it’s covering my plate with a bed of spinach or arugula before heaping on some meat and another veggie. Sometimes it’s kale in a chocolate smoothie. Sometimes it’s taking a snack of apples and peanut butter and adding a few stalks of celery. Sometimes (let’s be real) it’s adding green peppers to a pizza.  It doesn’t have to be complicated but it’s a plus one in the growing department any time that you manage to do it.

The other area where I think this quote applies directly is my faith. I never thought I’d be using quotes from Tommy Boy to strengthen my relationship with God but here we are. Each day we either spend time praying, reading His word, and trying to hear Him speak through the busyness… OR we don’t spend even one minute with Him or thinking about Him at all. The days where we don’t lean into Him are dying days. Your relationship will suffer and you’re not even aware of it. The gradual separation that goes completely unnoticed can be very scary and, I’d argue, worse than a deliberate break.

Some nights as I’m throwing lovingly placing my kids in the bath, I realize that the whole day has flown by without a glance towards the One who has given me these tiny lunatics that I love with everything in me. I’ve been knee deep in whining, diapers, trying to make healthy meals/snacks and fights over toys. In those moments where I realize that the day is almost done, I can choose to try again tomorrow or do what I can right then and there. Singing worship songs while I smile through the hard days has been my go to. Other times when I don’t have anything left in me, I just say the name of Jesus over and over in my head as I’m barely holding it together. I like to imagine that He looks warmly on those moments where He gets my scraps and loves me more for not giving up entirely.

I know for many of us in the trenches of early motherhood, it’s easy to think about the free time that’s coming. We dream about sleeping through the night and sending them out the door to play in the backyard by themselves. It’s easy to think that we’ll do better when that time comes. We’ll eat better and we’ll spend more time with God. It’s dangerous to wait until then. Your spiritual and physical health matter now. Each day you’re either growing or dying. “There ain’t no third direction.”

Today I’m hoping to grow – even if it’s just by a couple spinach leaves and a few minutes of prayer. I hope you do, too.

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