Let’s Deal Honestly With Weight Loss And Fitness Issues On A Realistic Level…Please?

Posted: September 6, 2013 in Articles, Religion
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I know that people can get quite upset when we talk about weight loss and I know that it’s a tough deal but it’s all about perspective, being honest with ourselves, being truthful about our bad habits, and learning to bring the Lord into this area and allowing Him to deal honestly with you in it to be successful in it.

Why am I writing this today you may ask? I’m writing this because people are beginning to notice that I’m losing a bunch of weight and they think that I’m starving myself to do it and that could be further from the truth.

Realize that this is just a “starter” point and I would highly recommend that if you struggle with weight loss and fitness challenges that you find good, Christian-based counselors/doctors to help you start your journey.

I used to be a bodybuilder/power lifter yet over the years I would go to extremes in gaining weight and losing weight which set me up for a lot of weight gain once I had to have a period to be sedentary because of health issues.

To begin; Be honest with yourself!

So many people claim to want to lose weight but they are not honest about their eating habits, their sleep habits, their exercise habits as we as humans tend to exaggerate what we have done to make ourselves feel better about our faults. This is no condemnation but I and others often make excuses for why we can’t lose weight when in reality unless you have a medical condition losing and managing weight is not physically difficult as long as we practice patience (you didn’t get fat in one week so don’t expect to get thin in one either), good meal planning (set yourself up for success), proper nutrition (eat natural foods that are low in fat devoid of processed sugars and more complex carbs instead of “flash” carbs that absorb into the bloodstream like gas into a piston).

Simply put:

Stop eating unhealthy and allow yourself a cheat day: (Mine is on Saturday or Sunday or a holiday) On this day you can eat anything that your heart desires with no restriction. I usually have my favorite “Popeye’s chicken” or whatever burger with the usual accompaniments except for soda because I actually prefer carbonated water to it but I will have one or ten on my cheat day if I so desire.

Set realistic goals: Again, I know of no one that got fat or unhealthy in one day or a week yet so many of us try to beat God’s design and lose it by unhealthy calorie restriction diets, fad diets, various shakes and powders, etc., and while there is nothing wrong with some of these they all should be practiced in moderation and please let your doctor know what type of diet that you are trying because there could be complications that you are unaware of that could hurt or even kill you. I’ve found that eating more whole grains like oatmeal, less bread (limit to only twice a week), less high carb/high starch foods like white potatoes etc., is best and especially if it grows and you can “pick” it off of the vine or take it from being plucked to eaten in little to no time is always best.

Read packaging: there is so much “crap” in packaged food that unless it’s on my cheat day I leave it alone and try to cook enough food and prepare enough snacks for the day and the next day and sometimes I make something like boiled eggs so that I can have a quick, healthy snack available that will satisfy the hunger as I learn to retrain my mind from thinking of food as something to abuse into thinking of it as fuel for the body and that means that I have a lesser chance of eating unhealthy on my non-cheat days…preparation is the key and please make a list of foods that you like, that you can just tolerate, and ones that maybe you don’t like as much but can incorporate into something i.e. a smoothie or cooked into another recipe (can’t stand spinach but I’ve found that I can’t taste it in a smoothie that has banana’s and strawberries and other fruit in it…who knew?). Also, if the package that you are reading has a huge list of ingredients then it’s probably processed and “all natural” means nothing without checking out the ingredients because companies are in the business to make money but not all are looking out for your health…a car is truly “all natural”…it’s tires come from rubber that comes from the earth, it’s body is made of metal which comes from the earth…do you get my drift? So a car could have a label on it of “all natural” but I pray that you wouldn’t think of eating it yet some people see terms like “all natural” or “100 percent natural” or even “organic” (again, a car is organic and so is everything that is made at one time or another) and don’t bother reading the ingredient label when buying something because of apathy or laziness (hey, I know the truth hurts but deal with it…do you want to be healthier or not?)

Stop making excuses!!…Biggie here…ladies stop being upset that men tend to lose weight faster than you and focus on your own weight loss. This only frustrates you and it is what often happens in our walk with Christ when we see someone who looks to have more faith than we have or seems to be more spiritual than we have and get frustrated. This behavior and this attitude if from the enemy and he uses it to keep you in “food bondage” because it is a fear response to a heart problem and it must be dealt with through prayer and honesty. Yes it’s true that men tend to lose weight faster but that doesn’t always mean they are losing it healthier. I’ve noticed over the years that the biggest difference is that men seem to lock in on a goal and be less distracted by things when trying to accomplish it but I’ve seen women that have just as many challenges as other women achieve just as much comparable weight loss (we are different (men and women)) as men but it is because they have learned to carve out time to take care of themselves and this must be done in the physical as well as in the spiritual and I might add that if you don’t take care of the spiritual you will have hardly any chance of taking care of the physical.

Set yourself up for success: Don’t start an exercise program that you cannot stick with for the rest of your life. I applaud anyone that will try any of the new-fangled exercise program but the problem is that they are so exhausting and hurt so much that many who pretend to love them don’t stick with them and regain the weight or devolve in their fitness routing when a much simpler routine that they can live with for the rest of their lives often is best. My cardio is 30- 40 minutes a day for no less than 3 days a week and it is simple WALKING but this will only work if you are dedicated to eating healthier. Resistance exercise is also good and you don’t need a gym membership to do it but just make sure that you don’t go crazy and hurt yourself and again checking in with your doc is a good and smart thing to do before you start any exercise program. I do lift weights but you don’t have to slim down and it depends on your realistic goal. Simply decide what your goal is whether it is to be a “hard body” or just to get healthier (I’ve found that a lot of people want to be hard body but are not willing to put the work in or eat right to do so) and put the work into your goal and you’ll see the results. I’ve long got rid of the pride that makes me want to get back to my “perfect” bodybuilder body but I do desire to be fitter and have my clothes look better on me so I’ve set realistic goals and who knows…maybe down the road I’ll get back to complete hard body but life is too short to be spending hours in the gym when all that I truly need is to be healthier for my family and so that I can serve God better by inspiring others to achieve their realistic goals.

Lastly, but I feel most important…GET RID OF THE PRIDEFUL AND COVETOUS SPIRITS!!!!! These are the biggest killers to the Christian’s desire to be healthy because these take us on the up and down rollercoaster’s and not many are more equipped than I to speak on this because I’ve lived it my whole life. I’ve went from power lifter to bodybuilder to completely unhealthy and varying degrees of each yet as my walk with God has grown I realized that most of that was pride based because I wanted others to look at me with envy and once I shed those and started focusing on being the person that God designed me to be the fear, anxiety, pride, etc., started to melt away and I find myself in a much better place able to laugh at myself without being so critical because I know that God loves me and that healthiness comes in varying body types so I’m probably going to be a bit heavier than most people but I can still be healthy and it is showing both in my body but my countenance.

I know that this is incomplete but this is not supposed to be an “end all” type of post but an encouragement that YOU CAN DO THIS because God has already given you all that you will ever need to accomplish your weight loss/fitness goals but it’s up to you to decide what your realistic goals are and put the work/effort in to accomplish them. I always like to use the analogy of the Christian that wants to get closer to God but never or rarely prays outside of church, never or rarely reads the Bible, never or rarely allows themselves to be led by the Holy Spirit, and never or rarely allows God to lead them yet they expect to be like our brother King David or any of the other great Biblical characters without putting the work in that they did and not realizing that the great men and women in the Bible often made huge mistakes, had numerous setbacks yet it was their faith in God and knowing that their identity was in Him instead of how they themselves or the world viewed them.

Knowing that your identity is in Christ and that you are not your own prepares your heart for the task ahead and while I’m not a certified trainer nor a dietician nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night I do know that God has taught me THROUGH PATIENCE AND GROWTH that my weight gain had more to do with the unresolved issues in my mind and my heart as well as bad generational habits than almost anything else and once I allowed God to start dealing with those things I was able to start allowing Him to teach me to honestly deal with myself on a God-level instead of a human one which enabled me to look at myself as God does instead of the way I do through the often “hurting” eyes of my past and then the pride and pressure was released and I could truly begin to work

I urge you to first pray, be willing to let God start to transform you spiritually, be willing to be honest with yourself, and stop worrying about what you’ve done as you learn to focus on what you have to do and you WILL need the encouragement of others to do this because God made us to depend on each other.

As you start reaching goals celebrate them in healthy ways and you, your family, the church, and those who depend on you as a light shining in the darkness will be able to notice that the God in you is changing you and you will be able to articulate this without the phoniness that so many personal trainers operate in (from a position of hurt or financial gain) as they try to make a name off of your pain for themselves (nothing wrong with personal trainers…there are a lot of good ones but just like “Christians” there are a lot of fake ones who pretend and can send you down the wrong road which is why God is the key so that you’ll discern their intentions).

I left out a lot intentionally and I’m willing to sit down with anyone to discuss tips of what they can do to live a better life by shedding a few pounds and being healthier but again, I’m not a certified personal trainer (my choice and could do so if I decided to go through the process again) but my desire is to see Christians live a better life so that they can serve their families, each other, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ better and have more life abundantly as His word states.

The reason that I left out a lot of what I am doing because I don’t want people to follow me or what I’m doing but to follow God and He’ll give them the ideas, the exercises, etc., that best suits their lives, goals, etc., and so that exercise, diet, and nutrition does not become another idol in their lives.

I love you and I pray that this helps and to the “know it all’s” that I’m sure will leave silly comments this post is not for you and I will not argue with you about what I’ve said because as I said if you are that professional (I have been like you BTW and I hate that ME that I was because I was so judgmental and critical of everyone and myself) then free up some time and help others instead of criticizing me for doing the same because my heart is to help people deal with these issues realistically and not to create more “gym rats”.

Be blessed and I pray that you have a Jesus-filled day!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

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