academic depression god health PhD Life prayer weight loss

weight loss, covid, and faith

Yesterday was Sunday and I led worship and preached in person. Before church, I posted about my weight loss journey. I wanted to say that in the context of coronavirus, most people might have gained weight. The reason I posted about my weight loss journey on a Sunday morning, and on my social media accounts, during covid, is that I have been battling depression all my life and as part of my depression, I have been unhealthy about eating and sleeping habits for the past 15 years or so.

The reason I finally came to love and care for myself enough to be willing to eat better, go grocery shopping, and to cook for myself is because my depression has improved enough to allow me to make progress on my Ph.D. program. During the Ph.D. program, I have started to feel more competent and more sure of my abilities. But most importantly I want to say, being able to manage my depression better has created a domino effect of making progress in my doctoral program, being able to preach, and to lose weight and adopt a healthy life style. And this domino effect would not have been possible without God’s grace. I often pray for others that they would see and love themselves the way God sees them and love themselves in the way God loves them. After all those years of praying this for others, I started seeing myself as a capable and lovable person who is not perfect, but is a work in progress.

Also in managing my depression, in addition to my faith in God, I have medical providers, friends and family who are closely updated and supportive of my well-being, and have worked with trainers to coach me on exercising and nutrition. For me, my blood pressure was high and I was pre-diabetic when I gained weight. And after losing most of the weight I gained, my blood pressure is normal and I am no longer pre-diabetic.

The truth is, life always throws us curve balls, life journey is more like a roller coaster ride than a smooth sailing ship, and whether now is a good time to be talking about living a healthy life style, I don’t know. But I started making changes the minute, the second, I felt I wanted to get healthier. It just happened to coincide with coronavirus lock-down. Restaurants were closed. So had to cook food at home anyway. And couldn’t go to gym, so went for walks in my neighborhood. I feel so thankful for God’s help and support from friends and family, as well as wisdom and support of therapists, doctors, and trainers I have worked with.

Our health is not only about physical body, but also about emotional and psychological health, as well as spiritual well-ness. To be able to do things God has put passion in my heart to pursue, it’s like I’m in training everyday to be in top shape to accomplish those things. And to do this, I eat healthy things, exercise regularly, sleep enough, drink enough water, read scripture, pray, keep in touch with friends and family near and far. You can’t just lose weight, or just work on spiritual life, or just emotional and psychological well-being. they all go together. And when one of the things starts shaping up, it pulls up other aspects of your self and your life starts falling into place, and not to say you will necessarily be happy, but you will be able to pursue things you choose to and not held back by your body, or your mind or your soul.

Seriously, everything works together, and I thank God I can write a post like this to share about how to feel better. For years, I was writing posts and blogs about how much pain I was in and expressing the darkness and despair I was living in. So hang in there, you are not alone, and start today to get healthy!

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