When you envision your ideal second half of life, what do you see? What are your hopes and dreams for 10 years? 20 Years? Even though I don’t know you, I am certain of one thing – you don’t have poor health included in your ideal life. You are not hoping for a heart attack in 10 years and diabetes in 20. Am I right?
If good health is something we all want, why is it that so many of us struggle with making healthy, lasting changes? If we know exercise is good for us, why is it so hard to make it part of our routine? If we know our nutrition affects our health, why is it so difficult to say no to unhealthy foods? Why do our obesity rates climb each year even though we spend billions of dollars trying to lose weight?
From my 30 years in the fitness industry and from God’s promises in Scripture, I believe moving from fitness frustration to healthy living starts by admitting you can’t do it on your own.
The commentary from II Chronicles in my NLT Study Bible states “The secret to victory is first to admit the futility of unaided human effort and then to trust God to save. His power works best through those who recognize their limitations. It is those who think they can do it on their own that are in the greatest danger.”
Once we believe we can’t do this on our own, it’s time to get back to the basics and learn our ABC’s.
Ask God For Help
God wants to give us what we ask for so why is it that so many Christians don’t ask for God’s help with their health and fitness plan? For many, the reason is they don’t think God cares about what they eat or if they exercise.
The truth is, He cares about all parts of your life. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). Is your health something you worry about? Is it something you care about? If so, then God wants to help you with it.
Believe He Can Help You
“I can do all things though him who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:13
“Nothing is impossible with God.”Luke 1:37
Do you believe these verses apply to all parts of your life, including your fitness plan? Do you believe the Holy Spirit, who lives in all believers, can direct you on your journey to better health? If you ask God for help, know His power is strong enough to change you.
If deep down you fear you won’t be able to be committed, talk to Him about your fears. If you are worried that you will start out strong and then fall into old habits, let Him know about your concerns.
If you struggle believing that He can help because you lack self-control, all the more reason to allow God to be at the center of your fitness plan. Self-control comes from God. It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). In 2 Timothy 1:7 we are reminded, “God does not give you the feeling of fear and timidity but He gives you power, love and self-control.”
Believing that God can help you is different from believing you can do it. The confidence we have in our success is not based off our own ability. Our confidence comes from believing in God’s power.
God cares about all parts of your life and He wants to give you what you ask for but there’s a catch – your motives must be in-line with His will.
“The Lord examines their motives.”Proverbs 16:2
“If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”1 John 5:14-15
What are your motives for wanting to get fit? The “world” tells you to exercise and diet so you’ll have a great looking body that will impress others but God doesn’t look at outward appearances (1 Samuel 16:7).
There is nothing wrong with having a body that looks fit and healthy. However, if your only reasons for wanting to get fit are so you can look a certain way, God might not see how this furthers His plan for your life. Therefore you may have to do it under your own steam without His power helping you. But if you want to make healthy changes so that you will have the energy and strength needed to respond to God’s calling, He will be there to help.
Keeping faithful to these ABC’s and making healthy, lasting changes will be challenging. You will be tempted to fall back into old habits. Your life will be busy and you won’t make the time. The promise of a new diet or pill guaranteeing weight loss will seem like the easier way. Healthy change that lasts requires a change in the way you think.
“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do” (Romans 12:2). Too often, when we want to make a change, we focus only on what we are doing and neglect trying to change the way we think. Lasting transformation starts with our thoughts.
Old thought: “I wish I didn’t have to exercise today.”
New thought: “I am so thankful I am healthy enough to exercise today.”
Old thought: “I can’t eat that, I’m on a diet.”
New thought: “I am so thankful I have access to healthy food.”
Old thought: “I have to lose 20 pounds before my reunion.”
New thought: “I can’t wait to get to a healthier weight so I will have the energy and strength to respond to anything God asks of me.”
Your Journey Can Begin Now
So there is no need to wait – Ask for God’s help, believe He can help you and check to make sure your motives are in line with His will. Then get ready for an awesome journey to better health in your second half.
The Halftime Institute seeks to serve you in a very unique way because we know on this journey toward second half significance it is tough to go it alone. Let us help you. To learn more, call us at 855-2ND-HALF or visit www.halftimeinstitute.org.