I recently shared with you about surrendering your body to God. This surrendering is where we all must start in order to reach our goals.
Have you come to the point of surrender? I hope so. This month, we will consider the second part of getting unstuck in our fitness, and that is the subject of excuses.
I have come up with the three Ts: time, tired, taste.
I hear this first one so often: “Well, I just don’t have time to exercise.” Let me tell you the truth: If you don’t have time to exercise today, then you’d better go ahead and block out some time for illness later on because it is possible that God is going to shut your body down. Then you’re going to have to have a lot of time to go to doctors.
I understand this excuse about not having time. In fact, I recently went to the doctor, and he says to me, “You haven’t been here for a while.” He’s right. I used to go to the doctor every month. I had to take the time to go to get him to write out my prescriptions. I needed to take my prescriptions so that I could eat my food and sit in my La-Z-Boy chair. It took a lot of time to deal with doctor visits and filling prescriptions.
Yes, it does take a little more time to eat a little healthier and to stick with an exercise program. I am very busy and still struggle with taking the time to eat healthy and exercise. It helps me to realize that it’s a choice: Eat and exercise today, or go to the doctor tomorrow.
How about tired? I hear this one: “Oh, I’m so tired. I’m so tired.” Yes, when you first start exercising, you’re going to be more tired. But if you keep exercising, you are going to find renewed energy.
When you first start out, you’re going to feel worse than when you started, but if you keep going, you’re going to feel better after you start. Honestly, I still don’t like the routine of exercise. Some people say that they love to exercise. Not me. I despise it. I hate to exercise. The routine of exercise—I can’t stand it.
I go for the results. It’s the results of exercise that have caused me to be addicted to it. Once you start getting those results and having that feeling of good health in your body, you have got to do it.
Finally, how about taste? Today we will focus only on water. This is what I am told: “Well, I don’t like water.” Does it matter whether you like water? Our bodies are 70 percent water! Only 30 percent of our bodies are not made of water. When people tell me that they don’t like water, I tell them that I don’t care whether they like water! I tell them that they need to drink it. And so do you.
In fact, your body needs even more during this time of year. One reason we need more water is that our skin is getting all dried out in this cold weather, and then we’re putting all these manners of lotion on our skin, which then goes into our bloodstream. We’ll talk more about this another day!
What I had to do was stop making excuses, and for me that meant bringing my belief and my behavior together. You see, I believed the right thing. I believed my body was His temple, but I was not willing to change my behavior. My belief system was intact, but my excuses were keeping me from connecting with my behavior. Excuses come from focusing on the obstacles of a healthy lifestyle.
We allow these obstacles to stand in our way. In Matthew 26:41, we are told that our “spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” That’s my problem. I’m very weak in this area, and all it takes is a good excuse before my flesh gives right into it.
In John 10:10, we’re told that Satan is going to give us all kinds of excuses because his agenda for us is to steal and to kill and to destroy us. So, he is going to whisper to us and tell us, “It’s OK. Just one of those won’t hurt you.” Or, “You don’t have time to exercise today. That will be OK.”
I’m not saying that your world is going to end if you don’t exercise one day, but the point I’m trying to make is that you need to realize where those voices are coming from. This is spiritual warfare.
Excuses are overcome by focusing on your "why." Why do you want a healthy lifestyle? When you have identified your "why," then any "what" is possible.
Steve Reynolds is the senior pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Va. He is the author of the books Bod4God and Get Off the Couch. He is also the creator of the Losing to Live Weight-Loss Competition. Steve has lost more than 120 pounds and has led his church to lose over eight tons of weight.