Thursday, October 04, 2012

Don't Quit!

In addition to what my blog normally is, I am going to do some posts on my fitness journey.

One of the things that most of us struggle with is perseverance. Most of us start well, but finish poorly (if we finish at all). This is true in almost every area of our lives.

As a Pastor I see this way too often when it comes to people making spiritual commitments. I think in our hearts we really do want to fulfill those commitments, but we get tired, or things come up and we get distracted, or maybe we don't see the results quick enough.

In Galatians, the Apostle Paul exhorts to stick with it by saying, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

This lack of perseverance is also seen in the physical arena of our life. How many times have you started a diet and given up within a week? Or how many people have bought the latest and greatest home gym only to end up using it to hang up their clothes on? 

Several years ago my wife and I did the Body for Life program. We stuck with the program for the entire 12 weeks and we had very good results. But after the 12 weeks I kind of modified the program to allow me to eat a little differently and work out a little less. Before I knew it I was back to my old ways. It wasn't an overnight thing, it was a gradual process.

Here's what I've discovered. when we are going on diets or working out only for the aesthetics of our bodies, our likelihood of quitting goes up exponentially. But when we are doing these things for our health and the way we feel rather than the way we look, the likelihood of success goes up exponentially.

Now, it isn't wrong to care about how your body looks. You should.  I love having 6 pack abs and low body fat. I like the looks of that, but what keeps me focused and willing to get out of bed at 5:00am is my overall health. 

I do not want to be someone who has all sorts of medical issues that could have been prevented by health, fitness and nutrition. As a Christian I really believe that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I do not want my lack of care for my body to restrict what God wants to do in me and through me. Don't get me wrong, the spiritual aspect of our lives is the most important thing, BUT I function better spiritually when I am functioning properly physically!

As you know I am a huge fan of P90X. I love the program. Quite frankly it's not for everyone. It's hard. It's very hard. But there are many other programs available that may fit you better. You may not even want to do a program. I get that, but let me tell you why I find it helpful to me. When I press play, I immediately feel like I am being pushed by a personal trainer. Everything is timed and there is no wasted time. You move from one thing to the next. 

I have been in enough gyms to know that most of the time when I finished with a set I had a tendency to take too much time before starting my next set. I would be in the gym for an hour and a half and hardly feel like I've worked-out. I can do my P90X from start to finish in less than an hour and I am whipped. It's awesome!

Even with things like P90X most people don't persevere. For those that do, there is change. For those that don't, there is regret.

I firmly believe that the only way to persevere with any type of fitness and nutrition is to make it a lifestyle. It isn't something you DO, it is something you ARE!