Don’t Just Push Past the Pain — Move It Out!

Alisa KeetonBy Alisa Keeton7 Minutes

Push Past the Pain Alisa KeetonExcerpt taken from The Body Revelation: Physical and Spiritual Practices to Metabolize Pain, Banish Shame, and Connect to God with Your Whole Self by Alisa Keeton

Moving the Bad Out of Your Body

As a fitness professional in pursuit of good health, I knew something deep inside me was sick and needed help. My soul was crying out for the unconditional love and attention I lacked in my youth. For years I had done everything I could think of to push past the pain I’d grown up with. I’d tried to sweat it out, romance it out, and reason it out. Nothing worked.

Then God showed up —

Or rather I did. I’d heard about Him, of course, but I hadn’t given Him much thought until my friend Shawn challenged me to attend the church where she’d recently met God. After some resistance, I went. I was so desperate and my heart so brittle and broken that I allowed Jesus, the Living Water, to seep in. He was coming to me in my pain but had no intention of leaving me there. God was about to turn everything I knew about fitness upside down and inside out. He understood that I needed more than simply changing the shape of my body or taking another lap around the gym. He knew a daily walk of faith with Him would restore my heart.

But He wasn’t going to toss my love for movement aside. I had no idea that when I placed my trust in Jesus, I gave Him not only my heart, but my mind and body too. My first book, The Wellness Revelation, taught people how to look at their pursuit of good health holistically with God at the center. Readers were encouraged to consider how their relationship with God affected their relationship to themselves, other people, and other created things — like food.

After that book came out, I had conversations with many community and faith leaders. As a way of affirming my message that in Christ we are able to live a healthy and whole life, some well-intentioned people quoted 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” While I love this passage, I noticed that it was often stated like a Christian version of the Nike slogan “Just do it!” with little love or understanding for those who habitually struggle to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it’s true; we are called to honor God with our bodies. But wouldn’t we agree that if people could “just do it,” they would have done it by now?

It’s not as if anybody wants to stay sick or stuck in a cycle of trying and failing. Heavy expectations are the last thing people need when they know they are falling short. While The Wellness Revelation helped many people, it made me aware that it is possible to believe in God and either do all the right things or not do any of them and still feel stuck. The root cause of such disintegrated living needs to be identified and dealt with. I suggest that the absence of change and distance from God may not be due to a lack of willpower or love for Him but to our lack of awareness of how pain has disrupted our body-brain connection.

Revelation WellnessYears ago God let me in on a secret — how the bodies He’s given us are useful for metabolizing, not just food, but also mental and emotional pain. God’s view of health and fitness includes partnering with the natural healing processes of our body, activated through physical activity, God’s Word, and spiritual practices, to metabolize pain. In The Body Revelation, we’ll discover how to harness our bodies’ natural healing properties and access tools to help us overcome rather than be overwhelmed by adversity. By maintaining a strong body-brain connection during adverse moments, the hurtful experiences of the past and the challenging moments in our future can be used as actual fuel — the energy we need — to live the lives God destined for us.

This book is less about finding the right eating plan and doing the right workout and more about doing the patient and kind work of becoming aware of the pain that disrupts a healthy body-

Brain connection and keeps us cycling in an unhealthy pattern of obsessing over or neglecting our bodies. By applying God’s Word to physical and spiritual practices, we can renew our minds and live fully connected to ourselves for the purpose of moving toward the promise and purpose God has for us.

Please note: The Body Revelation is designed to start you on a journey toward health and wholeness, but it is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. It’s important to talk with your own physician if you plan to make significant changes to your diet and exercise routines. Also, if you’re looking for a quick fix, this isn’t the book for you. We will be patient and kind with ourselves because that’s what love does. And it’s the love of God that changes everything!

Order your copy of The Body Revelation: Physical and Spiritual Practices to Metabolize Pain, Banish Shame, and Connect to God with Your Whole Self by Alisa Keeton