Sundays are the days I really reflect on my prior week – what i did, what I didn’t do, what I want to do better, what I have to change. I think about the things that need to be removed, and the things that need to be added. This requires me to strip away the flesh (the skin, muscle, clothing, make-up & appearance) and think about what is underneath it all. Then I ask myself, “what needs work?” Of course, my answer is a loooong list, but I know the things I need to tackle first – I think we all do.
However, if we don’t stop to purposefully analyze our life and give ourself a little spiritual “check up”, it is so easy to let the days slip by, the problems build up and our soul deteriorate. Just in the same way our muscles deteriorate when neglected – so does our relationship with God when we neglect Him.
The question for me today was “Are you where God wants you to be?”
Am I doing what God called me to do?
Am I being obedient – in the big and the small things?
Am I ignoring Him?
Do I even know what I am supposed to be doing?
Am I giving Him enough time in my week to even let me know?
These are all things I am reflecting on today, and just wanted to share my thoughts with you. While we are on a quest for physical fitness, we should want to improve all areas of our lives – not just our body. I don’t know about you, but I have a LOT of work to do! 🙂
Have a great and reflective Sunday!
You know how much I value fitness, and how much I believe we should take care of our body and work to be the very best we can be. That will never change. However, how silly would it be to work so hard to be fit for this world and neglect our soul?
As a fitness professional and a Christian, I cannot help but think of the people who I have helped get in the shape of their life, but missed the opportunity to help them get in shape for eternity. I believe in heaven. If you don’t, I will hopefully continue to help you on your journey to be the most physically fit you can be. However, I will personally still strive to work on both my body and my spirit because I don’t want to just work to better myself for earth, but I want to be ready for heaven – and I know God doesn’t look at my body, He looks at my heart.
Today is a special day. It’s Easter. For me, that has nothing to do with bunnies and everything to do with heaven. God sent his son to die on a cross for me – and for you. He did that because He knew we could never be truly fit for heaven. We needed a Savior, and all we have to do is believe (if only being physically fit were that easy!) I do believe. I believe that with all my heart and today I celebrate. I celebrate a God who loves me despite all my stupid ways. A God who loves me like a father loves his daughter – unconditionally.
If you are spending a lot of time on sculpting your physique and improving your health, that says a lot. It means you care about your future. It is SO easy to focus on what we see in the mirror and forget what lies underneath our skin. I struggle with this daily. It’s not like i look in the mirror and go “Oh my gosh! I’ve GOT to get rid of that envy and pride”. No, I see body fat and physical flaws – but I have more work to do beyond what I see in the mirror.
This Easter, I challenge you to think about eternity and your spiritual fitness. We will never be perfect, but we can always be better.
Every where we go we are inundated with weight loss commercials, diets, exercise gimmicks, workout fads and commercials for healthy food. Just by all the commercials alone, it is clear everyone knows America has a weight issue.
149 million Americans are overweight or obese. We suffer $208 billion in lost productivity and $46 billion in direct medical costs as a result of our weight issue. One out of three youth are overweight, and one out of six is obese. And, if a parent is overweight, their child has a startling 70% chance of being overweight or obese too. So, it would only make since that anyone who wants to make money would jump on the weight loss bandwagon to sell us something to fix our problem.
So how do diet and fitness brands try to grab our attention? They don’t attempt to hook us by listing health risks or obesity facts. No, they capture our attention with six-pack abs and hot fit bodies. Why? Because our outer body is more tangible and real to us. It’s what we see. But what about what we cannot see?
Rolls of fat are bothersome, and tight jeans are frustrating. Our outer layer of fat speaks to us every day. It stares us in the face and screams at us constantly – but what if your organs, blood and bones could talk to you and explaim how your weight affects them?
This picture (posted above) is a look inside the body of a person who is overweight vs a person at a healthy weight. Look at how crowded the overweight person’s organs are. Look at how the body fat shifts their joints out of whack and changes their posture.
Let Me Hear Your Body Talk
If your body could talk, your heart may ask you for a much-needed break, and complain about how hard and fast it’s been beating. Your lungs may tell you how cramped they are and how badly they would like to expand more so you could perform better. Your bones may cry for relief from carrying such large loads day in and day out. Your blood might be too busy yelling at your artery walls to even have time to complain to you about your cholesterol issues. Each blood drop is probably yelling “pardon me, coming through, make a way” because of all the build up it has to dodge or squeeze through every second of the day.
We take life for granted. It’s not that we forget the fact we are alive, but we neglect to realize all the work it takes to keep us alive. We have such high expectations for our body. We expect our body to perform well even when we treat it like crap. We act surprised when we have health issues when, if our body could talk, it’s probably been struggling for years.
Sure, weight loss looks great, but we can’t forget about how much better weight loss looks on the inside too. Don’t you think your body deserves a break – and maybe even a little pampering? It’s been working so hard all these years. Let’s take good care of it, so it can continue taking good care of you.
Today’s Fitness Motivation:
Yesterday, I posted this statement on facebook and twitter. It got such a good response, I decided to make it one of my mantra pics – and then I got to thinking about all the excuses we make.
We come up with many lame reasons why we can’t workout but, in the end, we are making the choices we want. We want to be lazy, we want to watch TV, we prefer to be on the computer, we like to eat unhealthy food, and we want our freedom to do what we want. We choose to do many different things each day – and rarely is anyone making us do any of them.
Sure, we “have” to work – but even that is a choice. We only work to have a certain lifestyle. We don’t NEED a lot of the things we want in life, but we CHOOSE to work to attain them. Exercise will become a priority when you realize your health is more important than the best movie, the tastiest food, the greatest job, the newest car, and the latest facebook status.
TUFF TALK: Things to Think About
Many people don’t realize how exercise affects their life until they grow older, or when it’s too late. Your health affects your relationships, confidence, performance, mind, energy, and even your purpose in life. No matter what you are called to do in life, you can’t possibly do it to your best of your ability if you are unhealthy and/or overweight.
These are very harsh words, but in most cases, they are the honest truth. Although I wish our body didn’t affect us the way it did, and that we could be ok when we are heavy, but we normally can’t. And even people who once struggled with their weight, but were seemingly ok, confess they were not as OK with it as they seemed. They just settled for less than best, and that’s no way to live.
What is your goal in life? To be the best parent, to move up the corporate ladder, to serve at your church, to have a great marriage, to leave a lasting legacy? Well, let’s think about that for a moment.
- You can’t be the best mom or dad you can be if you aren’t the best you.
- How can you take care of others, when you can’t take care of yourself?
- How can you convince your children to not smoke and damage their body, when you damage yours with food?
- How good of a friend can you be if you are unhappy, unhealthy and no fun to be with?
- How do you expect your spouse to feel if you don’t even want to see your own body naked.
- You can’t treat your body how you want all your life, and expect it to treat you good back.
- It’s hard to go far in your career when energetic, healthy, fit, sharp people are competing against you.
- Inactive adults rarely grow up to be active seniors.
- How can you travel, and explore the world, if you lose your breath going up a flight of stairs.
- Material things are worthless if you aren’t healthy enough to enjoy them, and share them.
- How can you say your thankful for your life, but treat one of God’s greatest gifts to you (your body) poorly?
Your Body is a Gift.
If your car got out of shape, you’d fix it. Mostly because you’ve invested in it and you don’t want it to fall apart on you. But even more importantly, you want to use it. You didn’t buy that car for it to sit your drive way, and you want to USE your body too. You want it to be there for you when you need it most. You need it to be reliable and strong. All of those things take maintenance and work. YOU take maintenance and work – and you only get one shot so make it count. Unlike a car, you can’t trade it in on a newer model. You are stuck with you. Like it or not.
Don’t say “I will. Tomorrow”, because tomorrow may very well be too late.
How has improving your health affected you in ways you did not expect?
One time a guy, pointing to a poster of me, said “do your abs really look like that?” I was taken off guard, and kind of perturbed. I mean, did he think I would have just drawn them on? Did he think I looked fat now? Was that photo really so unbelievable? The truth is, my abs didn’t look like the poster that day. So much goes into photo shoots, it’s honestly unfair to anyone else who references professional shots as “normal”.
Kristia Knowles, who’s landed the cover of countless fitness magazines like Oxygen and Muscle & Fitness Hers, openly admits magazines photoshop the heck out of pictures. Although I know Kristia is absolutely beautiful and fit in person, the reality of what you may see in print is it’s not always reality at all.
When a fitness article shows off an amazing physique, with a headline to match like “5 Butt Blasting Moves”, the reader automatically thinks (even if they know better) those 5 moves are going to give you “that butt”. How unfair is it that the magazine doesn’t talk about their extreme pre-shoot diet or insane amount of cardio they do to shed fat for that day? Or how about discussing the water pills and laxatives they took to shrink their tummy and skin? Then there’s the fact they are posing on an empty stomach and can’t wait to totally pig out as soon as they’re are done. That, my friend, is the reality.
Aside from the actual physical work a fitness model does to prepare for a shoot, there’s the workout the model gets after the shoot. Abs get painted, skin is smoothed, skin folds are removed, and muscles may even get “pumped”. Although this photoshopped picture of Angelina Jolie is an extreme example of what someone can do with a photo, there are very few pictures that don’t get photoshopped in this business. Kristia says, even the best bodies still get photoshopped. So even the people who already have amazing physiques are made to look even more amazing – and we wonder why we have self-esteem issues. Read the rest of this entry