Energy and Endorphins

Energy and Endorphins

The articles in this issue provide practical ideas on eating, emotions, and exercise. I pray that you will be blessed.

Janet Page serves as associate ministerial secretary for pastoral spouses, families, and prayer

So many advertisements promise quick solutions and miracle cures for almost any condition— weight loss, saggy skin, bulging stomachs . . . the list is endless.

Years ago I was feeling sluggish, low in energy, and emotionally drained. I was sure there must be something wrong with me. When I noticed a health lecture scheduled in my area, I decided to go. Maybe the information would help.

The topic was the importance of diet, fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. After the lecture I started walking every day. At first one mile was hard. But within a couple of weeks, I could speed walk three miles.

I was amazed at how much better I felt. The endorphins were flying in my brain. (Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins in the brain that reduce pain and trigger positive feelings. We have a wonderful Creator!) I felt so energized and happy that walking became a passion. In fact, I drove my family crazy with how happy and energized I was!

Then I learned that my diet—which consisted mostly of white flour, fat, protein, sugar, and lots of salt—could make me feel tired and depressed. This was also the food I was feeding my family. So we started eating more vegetables (raw or cooked) with some seasonings instead of oil or butter. I was amazed at the difference in how I felt!

My eyes were really opened one day. For a special treat our family went to a restaurant. And, of course, the food was high in oil, sugar, and salt. Then we stopped for ice-cream sundaes. We were having a wonderful time laughing and enjoying one another—that is, until we were driving home. Soon our sons were arguing and fighting with each other, and my husband, Jerry, and I started to disagree. It wasn’t long before we were all irritable. What was going on? I started to pay more attention, and I observed the same behavior at other times when we ate high-fat foods with a lot of sugar and salt.

Recently I was in Turkey for three weeks. The food was good, but it was too rich for me. I began to feel sluggish and tired. Then I started eating more raw veggies and dark-green salads. Within days, my energy was back and my mind clear.

I am more and more convinced that a lot of our ill-tempered behavior and depression could be avoided or resolved by following God’s laws of health. My husband pointed out to me, “We are all going to die of something. After all your healthy eating, you could be hit by a bus. We need to eat healthy food so we have clear minds and can better understand what God is trying to communicate to us.” 

I realized that he was right. That became my focus and gave me a stronger desire to eat a healthy diet. I don’t want anything to cloud my mind. And with more energy, I am able to get up early so I can listen to God’s voice. What a precious experience with my God and Savior!

The articles in this issue provide practical ideas on eating, emotions, and exercise. I pray that you will be blessed.