Saturday, March 20, 2010

Health & Beauty - 3. Get Ready

This article was the 3rd of 10 appearing in ConXion Magazine's Health and Beauty Section in 2010.

OK ladies (or gentlemen ;), you have your diary to get organised, you are committed to weighing in regularly to keep accountable, the third thing to do is get ready!

1. Get a Diary
2. Weigh In
3. Get Ready

In order to improve the health of your body or your life, you need to make sure you have the supplies that you need, otherwise there is no chance you'll make it past the first hurdle.

For exercise, I required shoes and clothing for walking, sync'd my ipod, got rid of my favourite biscuits, chocolates and sweets (that was fun ;) and stocked up on healthy alternatives and water bottles.

For my spiritual toning up I dusted off my Bible, put away my magazines and got out a good devotional book and occasionally an uplifting novel.

What you choose to put in will have a direct effect on your progress both physically and spiritually.

To tell you the truth, I was going to buy a new pair of shoes to start my daily walking, but I couldn't guarantee this whole exercise and eating healthy thing would last more than a few days so I didn't! Most of the time, our good intentions are thwarted by opportunity. The snacks in the cupboard, the ice-cream in the freezer, the morning tea at church. The trashy novel that we haven't finished, our favourite TV shows, magazines, music or the internet.

We can be reassured though, that we are not alone. Throughout history God has always provided his people with instructions on how to live life to the full. The Bible is our manual for living and is full of troubleshooting tips for problems of life such as this.

"Whatever is whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Phil 4:8. If you want to eat right, it is good to have a list of foods acceptable and available for you to substitute what you used to eat. And if you want to live right, the same is true. Think about these things, or, as my mum says, "what goes in, must come out!" She neglected to tell me that the 'out' would happen on my hips!

So as you embark on or get real about your journey to spiritual and physical fitness, make sure you have all that you need and remove the obstacles you are able to. But thats not ALL you need… its not all about your effort and preparation, God wants to help to overcome those struggles, limitations and hinderances, if only you would submit your life to Him. "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose" Phil 2:13.

Off you go, Ill be praying for you :)

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Health & Beauty - 2. Weigh In

This is the second article published in ConXion Magazine's 2010 Health and Beauty Section.

So, do you have your diary? Last month you read about the need to get organised to begin to be healthy in both body and soul. The first necessity on the list was to get a diary so you can set aside time, both to exercise and to spend time with God.

The second thing I challenge you to do is to weigh in.

1. Get a Diary
2. Weigh In

I was given a Wii Fit for mothers day and so every day, even when I know I have done the wrong thing (eaten badly or missed exercise), I weigh in and it keeps track of my progress. It gives me good tips on exercise and healthy eating. If I haven’t weighed in for some time, it comments on my tardiness and encourages me to get back into it. If my weight has gone up more than a certain amount, I have to explain! And what’s worse, that explanation is recorded! But if I have been exercising and eating right, the result is encouraging and it’s nice having ‘someone’ to share it with.

Now that’s stretching the analogy a bit far, my little talking wii balance board is hardly a friend (and doesn’t scold me for turning him off just before the explanation part so I don’t have to ‘fess up!)

You need to be accountable to aid in being disciplined, so that you can recognize the consequences of making wrong choices, and so you can be encouraged in the good that is being done. And, even though it might require time and transparency, you need some other ladies to do that with.

Just like a good Bible Study group, the accountability and encouragement keeps me coming back. There is great teaching on good Biblical truths, accountability as to how I am really travelling with God and with others, and encouragement to make the right choices throughout the coming week. Knowing a friend will ask me if I’ve been spending time with God is an excellent motivation for those times when it would be easy to drift out of the habit.

You need to weigh in regularly, and adjust your behaviour and habits if you want to be healthy. Join a group; they will give you training, companionship, accountability and encouragement. Join a church or ladies Bible study; we’re here for the same thing!

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Heb 10:25

p.s. I wanted to get into shape for a special occasion, and worked harder as the day approached. How much more should we be getting into shape for the imminent return of our Lord!

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