Be Healthy in Spirit and Body

Jeremiah 30:17 For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast …

Recovery from addiction and alcoholism has many signposts that will help you to have a wonderful life and live life to the fullest. One of the signposts that is sometimes a challenge to deal with is our health. Now that you are clean and sober, the next step is to make amends and stabilize so life can get better.

Often many people forget to add their health to the amends list. Drinking and using drugs, put your body through a great deal of stress. After the chemical abuse and alcoholism ends, your body can begin to heal. Although the healing begins, a deeper level awaits us if we are going to enhance the quality of our health. Cravings are normal in early recovery because the body still looks for the chemical it got used to. One way to cut down on those dangerous cravings is to make healthy choice about what we eat and start an exercise program to cleanse the body of the toxins that are left.

Withdrawal from the affects the abuse had on your body can take up to a year or longer in some cases. How long you abused drugs and alcohol, genetics and other things make a difference in your health condition. If your eating habits were not the best, then it is likely your nutrition suffered. A glass of gin, a ‘joint’ and three cigarettes for breakfast is not such a great idea even if you thought it got you going. Making healthy food choices and eating balanced meals, help to support long term recovery more than you might realize. Alcoholic diabetes, herpes, hepatitis C and other conditions are sometimes the negative consequences of use and abuse. You might not know you are at risk or do not want to know about it. Nutritional healing has to be a part of recovery. Remember physical recovery includes what we eat.

Some helpful suggestions are to start an exercise program. Wake up early and go for a brisk walk. You will be amazed that this simple exercise can help to lower cholesterol and drop some of those unwanted pounds. Also if you are skinny and drawn up walking can increase appetite; and it is free. Swim if you have access to a pool or live near the ocean that has safe access. Eat smaller meals four to five times daily. Join a fitness center and exercise three to four times a week. Most of all stop smoking.

Consider this, if you smoke, a pack of cigarettes cost $5.00 on average. If you smoke one to two pack per week that works out to about $40.00 month. Many fitness centers cost about $30.00 per month. If you took your drugs with you every place you went and had to get away for about ten minutes a day three to four times a day to use, eating four small meals, a day is just a simple replacement for the time you already set aside to get high or drink. As we know through the steps, we begin to practice the principles of recovery in all of our affairs. So get going and treat yourself to a greater health life.

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Copyright 2009 by Jimmy Cathey, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Jimmy Cathey is a substance abuse counselor and educator. He founded Support Systems, a substance abuse education program that helps families learn about the negative consequences of addiction and the rewards of life in recovery. He was a staff consultant to small and emerging non profit organizatons at Management Center in San Francisco, California.
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