Health, Isa style

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]I[/mk_dropcaps]n my experience, living a lifestyle of health all comes down to moderation and integrity based on one's values and goals. Every season in my life has been marked by different measures of my 'definition' of healthy. I grew up dancing and performing, which entailed many hours of strenuous physical activity. I could eat whatever I wanted without a care in the world (pretty normal for the average athletic teen). Entering college years and a new marriage, I was cooking a lot, was practicing an oppressive religious theology and went from dancing 8 hours a day to having a desk job and becoming pregnant with my first child. I gained weight like I have never gained before. I was unhappy and confused. I began to practice what I have come to believe to be a healthy balance of movement, diet and journey into a spiritual life when I was pregnant with my second child. I committed to working out each day, either walking, swimming, or water aerobics and meal prepping healthy meals. My girls still have memories of me eating leaves of swiss chard RAW (ewww!). It’s funny when I think about it now.

I began to practice a rigorous workout routine and became obsessed with counting calories and lifting weights. My friends asked me when I was going to slow down after reaching my goal weight but I kept on going in a relentless pursuit of what I thought (in my opinion) was ideal. I was on a quest for perfection and ridding myself of pain emotionally. So, as people often do, I went extreme before finding a happy place. My lulu's were falling off of me and my sitz bones were poking though...not attractive or healthy. I found inspiration and solace in movement. I ran a half marathon, joined a CrossFit gym, started Pilates, hot yoga...a journey into different movement and atmospheres.

Then I met Jesus. Like the REAL Jesus, the one who they talk about in the bible. The rock we can all stand on without shame or proving ourselves. My life changed dramatically. Moderation and balance entered.  Equally powerful I found a community of friends who I learned I could trust, love and lean on to show me what healthy living in all areas looks like.

In the present moment this is health to me, in this order:

  1. God
  2. Partner
  3. Family/Community
  4. Financial/Provision
  5. Church

When there is alignment in priorities based on values you will flourish! There is no formula.  Currently I work out 3-4 times a week, doing things I love. I eat a well-rounded diet of protein, veggies, and healthy fats, plus a cheat day! (80/20 rule). I sleep and rest as much as I can having vibrant relationships, two children, my own business, and ministry life. There are seasons that are easier to achieve goals and there are seasons of necessary exercise for making it through to the next day. The point is that you don't give up. That as change comes, your character and your values increase, and your actions benefit all around you.

Seek the LORD and His Strength; seek His presence continually!-Psalm 105:4




Isa is a massage therapist in San Diego.  She has two daughters Chloe and Lily.  She serves as the Pastoral Care lead for C3 San Diego - North Campus, in My City (the youth ministry of C3) with her boyfriend Jim.  She has a heart for adventure, loves to hike, food prep, and spend time with friends.  She is affectionately known by myself as "yod-isa" for what deep wisdom she shares.