Stick To Your  Health Plan 

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The purpose of this article is to convey the importance of staying well.  You will never grow spiritually if you are out of shape and overweight.  I meet many people who are seeking a successful spiritual life but they often fall short.  Many times, it is the lack of proper diet and physical activity that causes them to fall down.  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”xcv  I often find that this is an overlooked missing link between a mediocre life and a great life.   

The following suggestions will help you stick to a plan of health, even after the newness wears off: 

  1. Involve Others.  Cooking healthy meals with your kids, or going to the gym with your spouse will allow you to spend quality time together.  You will help to keep each other on course if one of you begins to falter.  Involve as many people as possible; family, friends, co-workers or neighbors are all possible choices.  Who knows, you may be helping them stick to a plan of health, as well. 
  2. Take Action.  I can guarantee that there will be days when you just don’t want to stick to your plan.  On these days, just do what you can to stay on track.  Do some jumping jacks and then eat a salad.  If that is too much, move your thumbs; just do something!  Seriously, go for a walk with your daughter or instead of going to happy hour on Friday afternoon, take your family out to dinner.  Get the salad bar. 
  3. Think.  Use exercise times as opportunities to think.  Get out and get some exercise; spend some time playing.  Do it now!  You will feel better physically and will probably mentally digest some important
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    information about your health.  When you are exercising or playing your brain is still working.  It doesn’t work the other way though. 

  4. Avoid Vanity.  It’s important to feel good about yourself when you begin a program of physical health.  Your confidence will improve and you will look better.  Don’t allow this feeling of well-being to cross over from a benefit to a liability by becoming vain.  Never think that you are better than someone else because you look better in the mirror.  “…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”xcvi  If you fall into vanity, you will quickly erase any gains you would have otherwise made from this principle.  Don’t avoid someone who is new to staying healthy simply because they are out of shape. Instead, help them along and be a power of example for them. 
  5. Stay Positive.  A positive attitude will get you moving towards your health objectives, even when you are having a bad day.  “A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”xcvii  I have found that when I am dealing with some negative feelings and I don’t feel like working on health, it’s best to just get moving.  Get started on something. Whether it’s planning the menu or working out, momentum has a way of kicking in.  If you don’t feel like going for that 4-mile run, tell yourself you will only go a half-mile.  See how you feel, chances are you will finish your whole run once you start.  
  6. Common Sense.  Don’t run ten miles today, if you have not exercised in 15 years.  If you haven’t had a vegetable in a while, don’t load yourself with a meal of only salad and mixed vegetables.  In both cases, you will be sorry that you did.  Instead, start slow and move gradually towards your health objectives.  Small, steady progress is much better than trying to change everything at once.  Think of New Year’s resolutions; they don’t work for the long haul because you are trying to change everything at once. 
  7. Avoid Excuses.  We all have them; they are very good reasons to not work this plan.  “I work too hard.”  “I’m too busy.”  “I don’t have the energy.”  There are probably hundreds more.  They are all just nonsense.  Whenever you allow yourself to fall victim to an excuse, you are moving away from victory and moving towards defeat.  There is an Arab proverb that says, “He who has health, has hope.  And he who has hope has everything.”  Physical health is so important to the overall quality of life, that you simply can’t ignore it.  It will help you in every area of your life.  Therefore, no excuses, Period! 
  8. Get Back Up.  I can guarantee that there will be times when you lose sight of this principle.  It may be a day, a week or a month.  It has happened to the most health conscious of us and it will happen to you.  It’s okay to indulge occasionally, but if you fall off your program, get back on it as soon as you can.  Missing a day of exercising or eating fast food once in a while won’t kill you, but continued behavior like this will definitely affect the way you feel. This will have an overall negative effect on your life and your success.

God Bless

Michael at R2W

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