Study, Savor, Simplify Part 3

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This post is part 3 in a series. If you missed Part 2, Part 1 or the Introduction be sure to read them.

It’s the simple things

Have you ever worked at something for hours only to find that you could have done it differently and it would have been a million times easier and faster?

A couple months ago, I started doing a bit of web design on the side. For some reason, every single task I worked on took me four hours of work only to realize right as I had completed it, that I could have done it differently and been done in half the time.

My problem was, I was making things way more complicated than they needed to be.

It seems like a lot of times we complicate things way beyond necessity, which is why I’ve made one of my missions in life to simplify everything as much as possible.

Don’t Eat That

One aspect of our culture that’s been super overly complicated is (you guessed it!) our diets.

For some reason…okay not for some reason…there have been a lot of reasons. Most of those reasons have been money related. Companies figured out that when they tell us what’s good for us, we buy more of it.

Take fiber for instance. Suddenly, “science” decides we need fiber and we aren’t getting enough of it. So, what do they do? Tell us to eat lots of veggies and fruits because they contain tons of fiber, right?

WRONG

No, now we have cereals with fiber added, granola bars with fiber added, bread with fiber added…I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of cheese out there with fiber added.

Because fruits and veggies are…just…fruits and veggies. You can’t add things to them, you can’t dress them up in trendy packaging, you can’t make them using cheap ingredients. They ARE ingredients.

I don’t like the thought of eating some complicated product. That’s why I propose we simplify our diets. Stop eating things made of ingredients and eat the ingredients. You know…aside from the funky stuff like hydrogenated oils and what not.

Just eat real food. Things that are grown. Not things that are made.

Keep it simple.

Run only three days a week for exactly 60 minutes under 4 mph and you’ll be lean and looking good.

It seems like all I ever hear lately is complicated exercise advice.

Do this so you won’t get bulky.

Do that so you can speed up your metabolism.

Use this machine for 2 minutes each week and you’ll get a six pack in a month.

The whole idea of exercising can get so complicated that people don’t know what to do or where to start so they just don’t do it.

I joined a globo-gym a couple years ago. The place was overwhelming.

The screaming purple machines pierced my eyeballs in every direction and before exercising on one of the machines, I had to spend a good 5 minutes reading a weird diagram on how to use the it before I finally just gave up on understanding it all together and decided to run on the treadmill.

Why does this stupid crap exist when we could just run outside until we felt we’d had enough and call it a day? Or, we could do some push ups pretty much anywhere. OR we could actually enjoy exercising and by something entertaining at the same time like kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, or biking.

Because we humans like to overly complicate anything.

If you want to exercise…just exercise. Go outside and walk around. Or run around. Or bike around. Do something active that you enjoy.

You don’t have to use a complicated machine or worry about getting bulky because the weight you’re picking up is too heavy (which by the way…is not a thing.)

Stop worrying about everything and just get out there and move! Simplify it.

Maybe if you get to the point where you have some extreme fitness goals like entering a body building competition or some sort of weight lifting competition, you can worry about the complicated stuff. But for the purposes of just improving your health stop making things too complicated.

Simply move.

Complicated Faith

Can I admit something to you guys? Sometimes I wish I didn’t believe in God.

I know, what a horrible thing to say.

But sometimes it just seems like my life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to worry about all that…”God stuff”

You know like:

Am I doing the right thing?

Is this what God wants?

What the heck happened to the dinosaurs?

Should I call someone out when they’re making a poor decision or is that judgmental?

Does God like my blog?

If God didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

God is totally aware of this situation. Remember Mary and Martha?

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Luke 10:41-42a (NIV)

If you let these worries take over, you end up doing more harm than good.

But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. – Mark 4:19 (NIV)

The worries of this life.

That’s what gets me. Worrying about unnecessary things. When I find myself overly complicating my faith and worrying about things that matter, I try to simplify it.

I try simplify my faith by doing two things:

  • Reminding myself that everything is in God’s hands
  • Focusing on showing others God’s love

Because these are two things that are certain, right? God is in control. If he wants something to happen, it’s going to happen. Remember Jonah and the whale? God wanted Jonah to do something…and Jonah tried to run away. How did that work out for him? Not well.

God is in control, and God loves everyone and wants us to love them as well.

I know that faith is much more complicated than that, but it’s easy to get caught up in the complications and end up in a dark place. So when I find myself going there, I just simplify it.

Simply Simplify

We can make things a lot easier on ourself if we:

  • Simplify our diets by only eating real, simple foods
  • Simplify our exercise by just getting out and doing something active that we enjoy
  • Simplify our faith by focusing on showing other’s God’s love and remembering that God is in control

What are some other ways we can improve our lives by simplifying things? How do you work to simplify things on a daily basis? Am I totally wrong and complex things are good? Let me know in the comments!!

7 Comments

  1. Mom   •  

    Very good advice, Alysia! And so true! Thanks for the reminder

  2. Stephanie Loudmouth   •  

    Such an awesome post. I am constantly trying to simplify my life because I am quite the complicated human being. The “dieting” thing is definitely about money, absolutely. I personally think most of of what we’re taught is a government conspiracy to make us all get cancer, but that’s another story. About exercising, I personally hate running — it hurts my joints and I can’t breathe — so for most of last year I went to the gym and saw a trainer. I learned a lot and now I can do most of those exercises at home with little equipment.

    • Alysia Caringi   •     Author

      Thanks! I totally agree about the government conspiracy! I feel like such a crazy talking about it but it’s always on my mind.

      • Debbie   •  

        I agree with both of you!!!

  3. Debbie   •  

    Great post, Alysia!! And so true!!!

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