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July 2010 Your health

Are you taking care of your body? One woman's mission to encourage us into good habits

Treat your body like a Temple

Claire Friend thought she was a good role model for healthy living,  but she was soon to discover that she had a lot to learn

Back in the summer of 2005, God gave me a vision. He showed me that his people were in bondage to unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise, and this was affecting their quality of life and effectiveness for him. He also told me that it was necessary for me to become a better role model for health and fitness.

I work in the fitness industry and have a very busy job managing a gym. I was eating relatively well and exercising now and again, so I thought I was a good-role model. I wasn’t sure what to do about my vision, so for a while I did nothing.

In November, I had a spell of sickness and I felt God was talking to me again about that vision. While I was ill, I read an amazing book called Greater Health God’s Way by Stormie O’Martian. I have never read a book like it! She talked about eating food the way God designed, and fasting and exercising regularly. I realised that this was what I needed to do to become the role model God wanted me to be.

During this time, my pastor’s wife visited me and shared an idea she had about me giving on-line health and fitness advice.

I began to apply the things I had read in Stormie’s book to my life, making one new change every week. I switched from white to whole meal pasta, reduced my caffeine intake and began regular fasts. Before long I had more energy than ever before and this made me want to get serious about my exercising.

Whilst making all these changes, I began to notice other benefits. My emotions became more under control; instead of wanting to shoot my husband or boss, I found myself coping with situations in a calmer manner; and I started to discover the joy that is spoken of in the Bible.

I really believe that when we treat our bodies like temples we gain more energy and the ability to cope with difficult situations.

As I researched and prayed more about the idea of creating a website giving health and fitness advice, things began to fall into place. A good friend gave me the money to attend a part-time web design course; another gave me an old laptop; and then I had a ‘divine’ meeting in my gym. As I was chatting to a new member, I discovered that, not only was she a Christian, but also she was a small business mentor, specialising in the start up of new businesses. Talk about coincidence!

So I put together a business plan and registered the website, www.godsbest4health.com, as a Christian health and fitness internet site, providing advice on exercise and nutrition.

There are general meal plans and exercise plans to download, but users can fill in a health questionnaire to enable me to give individual advice. This costs £14.95 per month and users can then look forward to receiving weekly menus and meal plans (healthy meals and snack ideas), recipes, exercise advice, personalised fitness programmes, and advice and questions answered via e-mail (within  48 hours) .

The website has taken me over four years to finish and the journey has been challenging in lots of ways, from having internet problems that affected my website provider to having the time available to build the business whilst working full-time, however all things are possible with God.

I have made lots of mistakes along the way, which at the time were painful but were necessary and valuable lessons. If you are thinking about starting your own business or you’re in the process of starting one, my main advice to you is don’t give up because perseverance wins out in the end.

I believe God has taken me on a health and fitness journey myself, before letting me start this business, so I can be the role model he wanted me to be. I’ve also been shown how strong and manipulative the flesh can be in this area, and how difficult it is to overcome the time and willpower factors that prevent people from living this amazing life.

I hope to be able to do seminars in churches throughout the UK, giving advice on freedom from bondage to food and yo-yo dieting, and the major benefits exercise and nutrition can make to our lives. I believe God is just as concerned about how we treat our bodies as he is about how much time we spend with him. He wants healthy, happy people because Jesus came to give us life, overflowing and abundant.

Five things you can do today to improve your health:

1. Eat five fruits and vegetables a day
2. Make vegetables 40% of your main meal
3. Aim to buy the most natural foods you can (ie organic) and eat food that grows rather than food that’s processed.
4. Aim to drink eight glasses of water a day and limit caffeinated drinks to three cups a day
5. Aim to exercise three-five times a week for at least 30 minutes

* For more information, please visit my website or e-mail me on clairefriend@godsbest4health.co.uk




 

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