I am sure you have heard this saying before, but I want to say it anyways, “health is wealth.” I am so overjoyed to see that more and more people are thinking about their health and taking deliberate steps to do something about it. Being healthy has finally become the new normal.
Indeed, you do not wish to cause unnecessary illness, disease, or early death upon yourselves; instead, you want to live long to enjoy the fruits of your labor, your children, grandchildren, and even a few great-grandchildren. Furthermore, there is still so much in the world that you want to explore and experience. To make this happen, you decided that though life is unpredictable, you have to do whatever you can within your control to improve your overall well-being.
So, like many others, you started to eat and drink better, exercise, serve God and avoid undue stress. You were doing excellent at the beginning of your journey, and over time, you began to feel incredible, plus you loved the results. And so you told yourself that you would never return to how you used to be. Yet, slowly you begin to lose momentum, and before you know it, you are back to old and unhealthy habits and practices. No matter how often you reset, you repeatedly fall back into old patterns. Finally, frustration grips your core, and you cannot help but ask yourself why it is so hard to be healthy.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We must understand that it is hard to do most things outside of what we are accustomed to, and, like anything else, gaining victory over bad habits can be challenging. Some may take time to overcome, while others may take a lifetime. Consequently, we might have to take a more deliberate approach to get through each day successfully.
Change Your Mindset
The mistake many of us make is that when we think of a lifestyle change, our minds automatically go directly to diet and exercise. As a result, we immediately started replacing our lousy food with better options and either joined a gym or found another way to exercise. Mind you, these are all good, but there is a lot more to it than that. So if you are already doing all that I mentioned and keep falling back into bad habits, maybe you need to change your mindset. Sometimes our bad habits and practices are more mental than physical. We could make more consistent strides if we could change how we see health overall and not just focus primarily on diet and exercise. A lifestyle change must be holistic for us to succeed, and it begins with our minds. For example, we must eat to live instead of live to eat, that is, eating for survival and not pleasure or comfort. Too often, we eat until we are so full that we feel uncomfortable. I have done that many times, especially when the food is good. Next, we must divorce ourselves mentally from our extreme love for excess and unhealthy foods. Eating just enough to nourish and strengthen our bodies is perfectly okay. Anything more than that is toxic and will make us sick.
Additionally, exercise is not a punishment, so when you think of exercise, focus on the health benefits, not just how much effort it takes or the outward physical appearance. When we view exercise as unfavorable, we form a wrong impression in our minds that causes us to struggle and not want to do it even more. Exercise is necessary and should not be done only to look well for a particular season or event. If you make it short-term, your results will be the same, and then it’s back to square one. Sometimes telling ourselves that something is easy and worthwhile helps us to get it done. Say “I can” more often and see the difference that will make. Retrain your mind to appreciate and desire what is good.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” 3 John 1:2).
Finally, the first step to leading a healthy lifestyle is a change in mindset. Once you mentally conclude that something is not suitable for you, your appetite and behavior toward that habit will change. So if you want to be healthy but find it hard to do, know that it is not impossible. And though it is challenging, keep fighting, start over if you must but never quit because by fighting for your health, you are fighting for your life. And when you have done all you can do mentally and physically, trust God to do the rest.
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