Healthy on the outside, a mess on the inside

I was a fat kid.  I was teased relentlessly for it, and in sixth grade, I discovered this great thing called exercise, and I lost over twenty pounds.  It felt like a miracle!

The thing was, though, I was skinny fat.  I hated vegetables.  I didn’t eat much fruit.  And I loved carbs almost as much as I loved fast food.  I discovered that I could eat what I wanted to, if I just did enough aerobic exercise.  And so I did that, for a really long time.  It didn’t matter that I felt yucky as in always, always tired, and that I got headaches constantly.  All that seemed to matter to me was that I appeared healthy on the outside.

Even as I was destroying myself on the inside.

It caught up to me.  Autoimmune diseases are knocking on my door.  I’m not that dummy who says, “Huh, how did that happen?”  I’ve had a conscience about this for years.  For the last decade at least (told you I’ve been doing this for a while), I’ve been feeling guilty.  I felt like an addict:  after every cheeseburger and French fries from McDonald’s that I consumed, I’d tell myself it was for the last time.  Next time I was hungry, I’d eat a carrot.  Except I didn’t.

Joint pain, fatigue, and abnormal blood tests made me change my life around.  I eat healthy now.  Not that I didn’t throw a million tantrums in the grocery store when I realized EVERYTHING I ate before had tons of sugar, gluten, or chemicals in it.  The first three months were the hardest, but I’d allow myself one cheat day a week, and I discovered after eating clean, I no longer liked the processed junk.  I no longer understand why I liked it to begin with.  And I feel amazing.  I feel young, even if the date on my license tells me that I’m not.

My eating habits have reflected my spiritual life more times than I’d like to admit.  I’d nurse that anger, focus on the negatives rather than the positives, focus on myself rather than consider anyone else’s needs, and overall let myself slip into habits that I knew weren’t necessarily practices I was proud of.  But I still went to church.  I still read my Bible.  I still prayed (if praying, “Please let this crazy annoying driver in front of me turn left while I turn right” counts).

Semi healthy on the outside.

While decaying on the inside.

If doing the wrong thing makes us feel so horrible, and doing the right thing makes us feel so amazing, why do we keep chasing the wrong choices?  For me, it was about habit.  And comfort.  Familiarity makes me feel safe.  And, to be brutally honest, because I am, you know, incredibly lazy.  So much so that it sometimes frightens me.

Creating my own illnesses scared me straight.  I realized I was poisoning myself by being so lazy that I wouldn’t look up new recipes or buy unfamiliar produce or try something new.  And each time I go out of my comfort zone and smile at a stranger and ask them about their day or do something selfless, I understand that my spiritual life is the same type of thing.  While I may know what nourishes my body, it does no good until it is what I choose to consume.  And while I may know the difference between wrong and right, it doesn’t do any good until I choose to engage in the better choices.

I don’t want to be fake.  I want to be as real as I can be from my soul outward, and I want to shine a light that makes other lives better.  Religious practices mean nothing if you aren’t communicating with the Savior and putting yourself out there as His vessel.  What is right isn’t always easy.  But it is always worth it.

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.  James 1:25 (NIV)

Written by Ellen Marie Hawkins

The Beginner Camping Tips You Need to Know About

If you’re planning to go camping, then you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared for the trip. While it’s one of the best activities  you can do with your family, it can end up being a horrible disaster if you don’t prepare well.

That’s why it’s best to follow camping tips and keep yourself organized to have the memorable trip you’ve always wanted. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced camper, you’ll want to check these tips out for a happy trip ahead.

Camping Tips for Any Happy Camper

Here are the seven best tips you should follow for you to have the best time when camping:

1. Watch the Weather

While you can camp anytime and anywhere, you’ll need to take account the weather conditions on the dates you’ll be going out! You can check weather forecasts to either move the dates or pack according to what you expect while camping.

If the weatherman predicts intense rain or snow, then I advise you to stay at home and move the date. But even during hot days, make sure to pack raincoats or blankets just in case!

2. Research on the Campsite

One of the most important things you will need to do before going camping would be to figure out where you’ll be camping in. Make sure to research on the facilities and location of your chosen campsite, so you know what to pack and expect.

It’s best to find a campsite you can easily access and with the facilities you and your family will enjoy, such as clean toilets or areas where you can create a fire pit.

3. Pack Extra

Since you never know what will happen during your camping trips, always pack extra just in case. Always focus on extra food and other things that can get wet easily. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Pack extra toilet paper, batteries, and a lot of food

4. Clean Up

The number one rule when camping is to always clean as you go. Since you’ll be outdoors and explore nature, you wouldn’t want to mess it up! Be respectful towards nature and for the next people who will be camping.

Whether you’re packing up to leave or after eating, keep a trash bag and avoid making too big a mess, leaving the place cleaner than when you found it.

5. Be Prepared But Flexible

While you should always plan and schedule how your camping will be like, not everything will go your way. That’s why you should have everything organized, but to give a little leeway when things don’t go according to schedule.

It’s all about spontaneity and enjoyment, so go with the flow and simply enjoy your time outdoors! If you make mistakes, then move on and take note of it during your next trip.

6. Do What You Want

Nature will never judge you, no matter what you do. As long as you give respect to your surroundings, you can wear what you want. It doesn’t matter if you look homeless or weird, as long as you are comfortable. 

Not wearing makeup and have your hair up? No problem! Just have fun and focus on the moment rather than what you look.

7. Play Games

Camping isn’t all about survival and eating; it’s about having fun with the family! You can play games to explore the surroundings, such as a scavenger hunt. Not only will you have a blast, but you’ll find out a lot about what nature has to offer. Make a list of car games and camping activities you’ll surely enjoy with everyone.

In Conclusion

Want to go camping? Then you’ll need to make sure you follow proper etiquette and planning to have a truly enjoyable trip. It doesn’t matter if you’re alone or with your loved ones, as long as you are prepared and know where you’re camping.

I hope that this article on the best camping tips helped you know what you should do for your next trip. So what are you waiting for? Follow these tips and begin planning the fun and memorable weekend getaway today!

If you enjoyed the article or would like to share your camping experiences, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

 

About Author: Deann Rebello – I’m a founder at BearinForest.com, a Camping blog that shares everything about traveling and camping. I’m just a young lady who loves camping out and always eager to share my bonding experience to the world. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter