So you set out on a path to get healthy, lose weight and get fit – but how committed are you really? Do you have a back-up plan or an escape route already in place? Maybe you have a few pit stops you’d like to take along the way to make your journey a little more fun. By the end of this blog, you will be able to determine if you have prepared yourself for success, or set yourself up for failure.
People do not like commitment. Ironically, pretty much anything that’s amazing requires it. Marriage, work, family, finances, where you live – you can’t be successful in any of these things unless you fully commit. But commitment is not just about what you hold on to, it’s about what you have to let go of.
When someone gets married, they say “I do” at the alter. They list all the things they promise to do, but they don’t list what they promise to NOT do. Of course, that does without saying but, with fitness, I think we need more closure. We need to remember it’s more than just what we plan to do – but what we plan to stop doing.
Can You Let Go?
When we set out to get fit and eat healthy, I believe one of our biggest problems is that we refuse to let go of certain things. There are still foods we want to eat, things we want to do (or not do), and a certain lifestyle we want to lead. Even if we plan to get rid of stuff for a while, we still have plans to go back to them, or at least make it an option. The evidence of this may be in your pantry, or it maybe in the big clothes you still keep in your house (just in case). Holding on to some of these things might be holding you back from faster progress.
When you hold on to these things, it’s like you have a back-up plan – a Plan B (or what I’d call a Plan F, for Failure). If you truly want to turn your life around, there should be no option to “going back”. You need to completely let go of the things that created the old unhealthy you, and grab hold tightly of the new you and new healthy lifestyle.
Breaking Your Food Addiction
I’m going to give you 2 examples to help you think a little deeper on this. First, let’s use a recovering drug addict as an example. Even if the addict gets rid of all the drugs in the house, how successful do you think he will be if he keeps all the paraphernalia and friends that enabled that lifestyle? There must be a complete disconnect with that world in order for most addicts to kick it for good. In many ways, living healthy can require some of the same steps – and overeating can be a very real addiction.
Ending Your Love Affair
Second, let’s look at marriage again. What if you still kept a relationship with your last boyfriend or girlfriend? What if you were faithful for a few months, but allowed yourself to kiss someone every once and a while? Do you really think that marriage would work? I don’t think so. Marriage is a total lifestyle change. There are things you simply cannot do if you plan to stay married – and there are things you simply cannot do if you plan to stay healthy, fit and trim. However, many people treat fitness like a temporary fix – not a completely new lifestyle. Of matter of fact, many people actuallly plan to return their old ways. They count on it – like a “prize” for their efforts.
Can you imagine saying “honey, I’ve been so good for so long, so I was thinking I really deserve a treat”? (and they weren’t talking about having an ice cream sundae!) Of course no man in his right mind would say that, but they may change their behavior. They might not be quite as careful maybe as they used to be. Like in marriage, what can start as just having a little fun (a “treat), and having an innocent relationship, can turn into a full-fledge affair. I believe the way we treat our relationship with food has many similarities. We put our guard down, we “play” a little, and we ultimately fail.
No Going Back – The Ultimate Example
If you want the perfect example to follow, I’ll give you a great story to think about. It’s the story of Elijah and Elisha (thank you Jim for touching on this yesterday!). Elijah was a regarded prophet by all faiths who did many great works. When it was time for him to “pass the baton”, he found Elisha plowing the fields. When he shared his plan to pass his ministry down to him, check out Elisha’s response. Not only did he say “yes” (that he’d leave his life there and follow Elijah), but it’s what he did next was simply the most perfect example of being sold out and whole-heartedly committed.
He went back to his family to say goodbye and threw a party – but it’s what he served at the party that made the biggest statement. He grilled Oxen. Not just any ordinary oxen – he actually used the oxen he used to plow his field – and grilled it over a fire that was fueled by the tools of his trade. This was his way of saying “I’m not coming back“. Even if he was tempted to, it wouldn’t even be an option. (1 Kings 19:19-21)
THIS is how we should be when we decide to turn our life around – whether we are talking about getting spiritually healthy or physically healthy. We need to fully commit, become sold out and be able to say goodbye to the things of the past.
Are You Ready to Say Goodbye?
Are you so sold out to change your life, to get rid of your weight once and for all, that you are ready to say goodbye to your old ways? Or are you going to keep your “oxen” just in case you fail? I challenge you to search your heart deeply and ask God to reveal to you the things that you are holding on to that could be holding you back. A new life awaits for you – but only if you can say goodbye to your old one.