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Life’s Too Short to Not Live Healthy

mac cliftonI’m back from my uncle’s funeral in Virginia. I’ve been mostly silent this past week while away with family. Life is too short!! Sadly, we often put work, life, social obligations, community and just plain busy silliness in front of the most important things in life – like family, our own health and precious friends.

Listening to all the stories about my uncle’s generosity, and of how he gave of himself, his money, his resources and his time really inspired me to be more giving and try to make the most out of this life of mine. It inspired me to want to live a life worth remembering – a life that makes a difference even more than ever. It also reminded me how healthy it is to take time off, even when we think we can’t afford it or feel guilty for doing it. God blesses our sacrifices and wants us to build quality relationships. He wants us to take care of our body, and our loved ones.

Oftentimes people leave this world too early because of their unhealthy choices earlier in life. While uncle Mac was a great steward over his money, he wasn’t as good at taking care of his health when he was younger. Even though he quit smoking, his tobacco abuse early on ultimately took his life – and we weren’t done with him yet!! My uncle had bi-pass surgery years ago, surely due to the tremendous amount of stress he endured while he built his businesses. It was only recently (just weeks ago) we discovered he had lung cancer, and just a few days later he was gone. I was just celebrating his birthday, and now we are mourning his life. 

We never know how much time left we have, but one thing we can do is make better decisions today – healthier decisions today. I urge you not to wait until your later years to lose weight, get healthy, mend relationships, spend more time with family or live a life more pleasing to the Lord. Tomorrow isn’t promised, and even if you have many more tomorrows, what you do today greatly impacts how healthy and happy your tomorrow is.

What are areas in your life that need improvement or prioritizing?

Here are a few things I feel I need work on.

  1. Live less selfishly, being more eager to give my time, money and resources.
  2. Quit putting work before God, spouse and family. 
  3. Invest in family and quality friends.
  4. Do more kind acts for loved ones – from writing letters, sending pictures, to cooking and serving them in any capacity I can.
  5. Take care of my body so I can be healthy enough, for long enough, to take care of others.
  6. Rest more. I’m no good tired. I can’t bless anyone if I’m constantly exhausted. 
  7. Live like I’m dying – because I am, eventually. This means I decide to spend my time, conversation and effort on things that are important and lasting. 
  8. Constantly strive to maintain balance. In this hectic world, it is easy to get out of balance. Maintaining balance takes a constant effort.
  9. Learn to say no. I don’t need to please everyone. I need to please God, my spouse, my family and then my friends (in that order). BUT 9 times out of 10, if I strive to please the Lord, I’ll be pleasing to so many more people just by default. And for the ones I can’t please, I wouldn’t be able to please both them and the Lord anyway. 🙂
  10. Simplify. I will find more time if I can simplify my life and not try to squeeze in every bit of entertainment, material item or extra work in every second. We have so much added stress that’s unnecessary and not worth the extra stress. By letting go, and doing less, we can do more of what matters. 

Tuff Talk: Less Excuses, More Execution

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. 

You have a responsibility to take care of your body.

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.

Your Turn:

How has improving your health affected you in ways you did not expect?

Fit or Food: What Do You Want Most?

In Steve’s blog today, he talks about fighting for what you really want. In a scene from the last episode of Once Upon a Time, Captain Hook tells Rumpelstiltskin “If you aren’t willing to fight for what you want, then you deserve what you get”. How TRUE is this?!

Joyce Meyer smoked since she was 9 years old. I imagine that was one strong habit. She said she used to lead Bible studies at her house while puffing on a cigarette (which totally cracks me up picturing her do this in her younger years). She really didn’t want to quit smoking, but she said “I finally got to a place where I wanted to please God more than I wanted to smoke” so she was willing to fight for what she wanted most.

When will you finally get to the place where you want to feel fit more than to taste food? How hard will you fight for what you want most?

Read Steve’s short blog on fighting for what you want, and also get his workout of the day with video instruction by FitStudio.

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