Daniel Plan 3/20/17: Relationships are Key to Improving Health and Fitness

Hello all!

Today, we embark this week on the final pillar of the Daniel Plan: friends.

It's a simple fact. We were created to be in relationships. Think about it. What was the first community? Father, Son and Holy Spirit in eternal communion. This is a mystery that we will not ever fully understand. Yet, we can see that even before the creation, God existed in a relationship and when He created man He created others with whom man could interact.

Jesus tells us that we are to:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.
— Luke 10:27

So, we have a vertical relationship with God that transfers into a horizontal relationship with each other with the pivot being love.

We are embarking on a journey of lifestyle change. Dr. Dean Ornish is a Harvard trained physician who famously discovered a regimen to reverse heart disease. It goes like this.

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Eat a plant based diet
  3. Reduce your stress
  4. Quit smoking

However, he wrote that relationships ultimately are what motivate us to eat healthy and exercise. He wrote:

Medicine today seems to focus primarily on the physical and the mechanistic: drugs and surgery, genes and germs, microbes and molecules. I am not aware of any other factor in medicine - not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery - that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes than love and intimacy! Love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings us happiness, what makes us suffer and what leads to healing. If a new drug had the same impact, virtually every doctor in the country would be recommending it for his or her patients.
— The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life

We find, in our practice, that people who attempt lifestyle changes together are far more likely to succeed than those who go it alone or, God forbid, have a person at home who is actively opposed to or sabotaging their efforts.

I am reminded of the verse in Ecclesiastes:

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
— Ecclesiastes 4:12

Healthy Blessings