One of my health coaching clients sent me an article she received from her gym in New York City. Coincidentally, it was also an article about overcoming the urge to quit and she asked me what I thought about it. A couple days ago, I debuted my first blog also on ‘not quitting’ (which I purposely chose the positive affirmative of “Tips to Keep Climbing”). If you didn’t see it, check it out HERE!
This other article was written with the intention of helping keep people from already giving up on their New Years resolutions, which as we all know is very common around this time of year! Just 1-month in the New Year and a large population of people have already forgotten those new habits they were so determined to get right this year! Like many in the Health and Fitness Community, this gym came up with a very concise and straight forward list of tips:
1. Remember the reason why you started
2. Speak Positive Truths
3. It’s Just A Valley (ie. don’t quit from the challenge)
4. Play It Loud (get new music)
5. “They” expect you to quit (do it to show others they’re wrong)
6. Look at the ladies (or guys) for motivation
7. Eat Well (don’t cut too many calories)
8. Go To Bed (sleep)
9. Picture the New You (imagine your success)
They are all friendly reminders and with good intention behind it. I am not bashing the intention of this article at all and on the surface, they are all great tips.
But that seems to be my biggest issue with the way the Health and Fitness generation is trying to teach health. Everywhere you look, you are given tip after tip after tip! Often times, they are contradictory too and more confusing than anything.
But the reason why I feel I am called to this platform writing and expressing my view of health and why God is calling me not only to write my truth but to also question the truths that I have long been accepting from “experts”. My whole life I have been trying “harder” to follow ALL the tips at once, and feeling defeated when I couldn’t sustain any of them for very long.
It wasn’t until I dug deeper into my health in my spirit and my mind that I was finally able to have real impact on my body’s health. I believe that we as a society need to GO DEEPER in order to invoke any real change in the trajectory of our health both as individuals and as a nation.
We can see all around us that we have a health epidemic on our hands. Our nation is sick, literally dying from health related causes. Our kids, our elderly, our poor and our rich–it doesn’t escape anyone. Our health has everything to do with much more than what’s on the surface too. Ironically, there have never as many Diet and Fitness Experts in society as there are today too. Thousands of them out there that will give you a thousand different “Tips” on how to lose weight and meet your goals. And YET, if you look around, all these “experts” aren’t really having any impact.
To Me, most people will fit into one of three categories:
A. Yo-Yo Dieters— hopping on and off the health bandwagons in an “all or nothing” fashion
B. Apathetic— that choose not to pursue their health and quit before we even start, seeing that the struggle is not worth the fight or it’s just “how they’re built.”
C. Extremists— The Uber fit, overdoing our goals to meet some unrealistic body image that doesn’t actually exist for long-term health.
As I read the list from the New York City gym, I don’t disagree with any one of the tips. But I also find the list to be very shallow in motivation and severely lacking in the DEPTH or any real CONVICTION behind it.
For example, if I were the old me and thinking about my New Year’s resolutions of years past, for Tip #1: Remember the Reason Why You Started?, my answer would have been something like:
“I want to fit into my size 6 skinny jeans so I can feel confident and better about myself!”
And I would log hour after hour at the gym until I reached my goal! Then, yes, as I slid on those size 6 skinny jeans I would feel really good about myself…….for about a week. Maybe two.
Then I would need another “motivation” or new “goal” to keep me going further otherwise I would just go back to drinking and binge eating and soon the skinny jeans wouldn’t fit so well any more.
That is literally how I lived the majority of my life. I was a “new goal” junkie, just creating more and more goals to get me “fitter” and “fitter.” Never having actually felt fit at all. Making small-time goals and reaching them, only to not feel as great about them as I thought I would. Most of the time I actually felt disappointed by them! Something was lacking. There was no “Joy” in my success. There was no real success!
The type of True Health and thus True Goals I am talking about are much deeper than this. To make goals based on FAITH and not FEAR. To use GOD and not GUILT. Tying our goals to our Greater Purpose makes the reason why we get-up-and-going to be a much deeper and much more life changing.
My True Health Goals look something like this:
I want to feel loved, fit and good enough no matter what my jean size is. I want to go to the gym and increase my strength and power so that I know if God calls on me to do something great, I will be physically strong enough to do it. I want to be a shining example for my kids, my friends and my family and I want to show them that anything is possible at any age. And, I know I can do this because I know “I can do all thing through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)
Doesn’t my WHY resonate SO much deeper to SOULFUL level? Doesn’t the above goal not just hit what I want for my Body, but also my Mind and my Sprit too? Doesn’t it sound like the kind of life-changing conviction that will change my whole life and keep me motivated for longer? Not just help me with some small-time skinny jeans goal for the New Year?
So what if we turn that list into something with more DEPTH? Take their great tips and just add some Greater Purpose thinking behind it?
I think it would look something like this:
1. Remember why God is calling you to be fit, how does it tie to your Greater Purpose?
2. You are able to speak positive truths because you are perfectly Loved
3. Valley’s are purposeful so you always must rely on God. Embrace the challenge and draw nearer to Him.
4. The Music Lives Within— No matter what beat you hear, the movement will come from within you. Tap into that beat.
5. “Do Not Judge or You Too Will Be Judged” (Matt 7:1)- Think about ways you can support others in their goals and you will find that they will support you back.
6. Look to your soul for motivation and the men/women will come in the right time.
7. Eat Well to sustain your fuel for your Greater Purpose.
8. Find REAL rest to renew your body, mind and soul.
9. Picture Yourself Living Out your Greater Purpose!
What are some of the goals that you have made so far this year? What are some ways you can re-frame those goals to serve your Greater Purpose?
If you are struggling with knowing what your Greater Purpose is, I invite you to sit and pray about it. Even if an answer doesn’t come to you immediately, the act of listening will be rewarding for you soon enough. What God might be telling you is that your Greater Purpose for right now is to do exactly what you are doing, but do it in a way that would bring honor to Him. Do it with integrity, courage, faith and love. Their is purpose in everything we do, so do it well and do it for Good.
In Good Health,