Armed with our greatest determination and countless diet and training plans, it should be easy; but many of us find that it’s not. Somewhere between setting our goals and facing reality, we trade healthy habits for quick-fix gimmicks and temporary results. All the while our only motivation is too often found in pictures of actresses or models whom we want to emulate.
We’ve all tried a quick-fix diet or two in hopes of “getting healthy.” But often we find ourselves trapped in a vicious cycle of self-defeat. We question why we’re not able to get that body on a magazine cover or television screen, and we feel defeated in our efforts to meet the same standard of perfection these images boast.
The media does an incredible job of showing us what beauty is supposed to look like, but the media doesn’t always get the story right. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying women shouldn’t want to look their best or lose weight. However, many women make an ideal look they want to achieve the basis for health and fitness; and, this is a motivation that cannot last. An even bigger problem is that the ideal look often comes with an ideal number on the scale and an ideal diet that will quickly get them there.
Consider these numbers:
- “$72 billion—The annual revenue of the U.S. weight-loss
industry, including diet books, diet drugs, and weight-loss
- 108 million—The number of people on diets in the United States.
Dieters typically make four to five attempts per year.
- 85 percent—The percentage of female customers consuming
weight-loss products and services.
- 1 Hour—The amount of time spent in daily exercise by people
who lost and kept off at least thirty pounds of excess weight for five years.”
You can’t turn on the TV or open a magazine without seeing a dieting product. We are so inundated with infomercials and ads, but if these products work, where are the lasting results? If 72 billion dollars are being spent on diet aids, and 108 million of us use them, how is it that nearly 70 percent of adults are overweight or obese? The answer is that we’re trained in quick fixes that don’t last.
Like finances, marriage, and other subjects studied through the Word in our churches, a healthy approach to life can be attained when our focus is on God. We can’t get healthy, remain balanced, and maintain the results on our strength alone because healthy is so much more than a look we are trying to obtain; it’s a lifestyle we are trying to maintain.
Seeking God in our health, fitness, and wholeness journey is how we redefine ourselves as fearfully and wonderfully made women of God and we stop judging ourselves according to the numbers we see on the scale both before and after we lose the weight. You and I are so much more than our bodies, and this transformational journey is about more than going down a jean size or two.
When we walk with God and pursue things of Him, we feed our spirit and it gets stronger. But when we walk in the flesh, our spirit is malnourished and weak. The flesh continually makes the same disappointing decisions and leaves us feeling powerless. It’s driven by emotions, and it doesn’t care what we really want because it wants what it wants and it wants it now.
The Spirit of God enables us to practice self-control whenever our flesh is screaming for a chocolate chip cookie. Let’s be honest, most of us have had plenty of cookies won by our inconsolable flesh, but when we listen to that still, small voice, we have power—power and the ability to say yes to who we really want to be and to make the decisions we really want to make.
Changing the way we eat or the amount of time we exercise will bring results, but those results won’t last if there is nothing to sustain us. God’s Word says if we walk by the Spirit, then we will overcome our flesh. But how do we do that?
Connecting to God through prayer and His Word is the way we overcome our flesh. Diets are not the answer; changing how we view our food and ourselves is. Think about what you eat on a regular basis (even if you are on a strict diet) and determine if it’s bringing balance or causing more chaos in your life.
When we’re seeking Him along this journey, we achieve health the right way—from the inside out. Combining our faith with fitness may seem like a new concept for some, but how good are we for God when we feel overweight, tired, and depressed about the way we look?
As Christians, we often give ourselves a pass because we think taking care of ourselves is vain, but we shouldn’t confuse vanity with health. Keeping our focus on Him and seeking a healthy lifestyle with Him is the answer. There is no vanity in that. It’s a life I believe God wants to give us, and the results of such a life are eternal and never fleeting.
God places desires in our hearts that will lead us to the best life we can possibly live in Him. Your health should be important to you because it’s important to God. Don’t you think he wants you to enjoy a long, healthy life? Don’t you think he wants you to play with your grandchildren someday? He’s willing to do his part to get you there. Are you willing to do yours?
Kim Dolan Leto is the creator of the F.I.T. work out series now on Pure Flix streaming (www.pureflix.com) and the author of the best-selling Christian fitness book, 10 Steps to Your Faith Inspired Transformation, F.I.T., and the host of the Strong. Confident. His. Podcast.
Kim’s mission is to equip women through Word-based strategies, daily action steps, and the tools they need to achieve a Faith Inspired Transformation in their health and live Strong. Confident. His. Kim has a BSBA from the University of Arizona. She is a Dale Carnegie trained speaker and has certifications with the ISSA as a Fitness Instructor and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. Kim and her husband live in Arizona with their daughter. Her website is www.kimdolanlet.com and social media is @kimdolanleto
You Tube channel: www.youtube.com/KimDolanLetoFIT