You've made the choice to change, acquired a better understanding of how your body works and are learning to choose self-discipline over regret. Now design a plan.
Having a plan is essential, but it's of no importance if you're not prepared. Prepared for what? Prepared for unseen circumstances, for illness or injury and for the challenging but rewarding opportunities ahead.
For example, when I'm sick, instead of consuming junk food, I focus on juicing organic fruits and vegetables. This not only aids in recovery, but also makes it much easier to get back on track when health resumes.
Many who lose interest in exercising and eating correctly do so because they are not prepared for the interruptions and the distractions that can break the routine. A successful weight-loss program will encourage you to continue, regardless of your situation. People fail at health and weight-loss not because they're defeated, but because they quit. Those who succeed are those who continue despite delays.
You might be surprised at some of the excuses I've heard throughout my years in the fitness industry, but I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that time is the number one excuse, and sometimes it's a good one. Time is one of the most important commodities you possess. It can thrust you into the core of achievement or it can leave you consumed with guilt and regret.
Time, if left to itself, will be the thief that robs you of opportunity, but when controlled, it can be used to great advantage. Use time wisely; it cannot be replaced!
One of the most disheartening statistics about weight loss is that a high percentage of the people who diet and lose weight gain it back within a few years. Why is this? I've found most people depend on a short-term diet to assure long-term success. They planned a two or three month program, but short-term solutions do not produce long-term results.
Those who change their habits by following a realistic eating pattern and exercise program can make changes that last a lifetime. As your body adapts to these changes, the amount of weight you lose will rise and fall depending on genetic predisposition, lifestyle, metabolism and the biological changes that are taking place within your body.
Forget what lies behind and press ahead. Begin now for the first time, or begin again. Success doesn't come without failure. It's through our failures that we learn how to succeed.
I want to challenge those who do have the time to eat properly and exercise. We often forget just how precious time is. How many days, weeks or even months do we waste because we don't prioritize our lives? We need to be very careful when we say that we don't have enough time. What we are really saying is that it's not important. If it were important, we would find the time. If we don't schedule time, time will schedule us.
You'll never get everything done that "needs" to be done in the course of a day. Therefore, it's important to prioritize your day. Ask yourself, "What's the most important thing for me to do in any given hour?" In essence, it's all about leading a productive, balanced life, using time wisely. Don't let time be the excuse that keeps you from succeeding.
Many of America's most popular foods have little nutritional value and contain harmful ingredients. Add to this the absence of fruit and vegetables for fiber and dietary value, and it's obvious why cancer now affects one out of three individuals—we're not feeding the body what it needs to fight cancer, heart disease and poor health in general.
For me, the best approach is consuming God-given foods whenever possible, rather than foods created in a factory. To borrow from a fellow health adviser, "If it wasn't here 100 years ago, it's probably best not to eat it." And most of us know exactly what these are.
For those of us who eat meat, I suggest not every day, and organic whenever possible. The word "organic" is not a New Age term. It simply means that, in most cases, the food is free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, hormones, preservatives, sewage sludge and so on. These things can severely damage health.
Choosing organic helps avoid many toxins. It's a wonder we don't see more disease associated with poor health. Granted, the monetary cost of healthy food is higher than processed food, but the overall cost is much lower—less sickness and fewer trips to the doctor, along with more energy and productivity, not to mention the health benefits to our children.
There is great discussion today about cancer not being able to thrive in an alkaline environment (the body's pH balance). Ironically, or should we say providentially, most God-given foods are alkaline, and thus, aid in the fight against disease, while junk food is often acidic and contributes to extremely poor health. God knows what He's doing. We should follow His plan.
On the flip side, we should avoid being obsessed about health and weight. Many people spend most of their lives trying to look different. They often rate their appearance by society's standard and strive to look like a "perfect 10." This false perception causes many people to remain unfulfilled, even the "10s." When we compare ourselves to others, we are not using wisdom. You were not designed to be someone else; you were masterfully designed to be you.
A perfect physique does not guarantee happiness any more than a good mattress guarantees sleep. True happiness does not come from outer appearance. It comes from spiritual health. Although I barely scratched the surface, hopefully you will have enough information and motivation to be well on your way to better health.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. He recently released his 7th book, Desperate for More of God. Shane's sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at www.WCFAV.org. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/confusedchurch.
For the original article, visit westsidechristianfellowship.org.
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