Do you ever find yourself in that terrible cycle of ups and downs in your fitness level? Why is it that we have such a hard time with consistency? Why is it so hard for us to maintain what we have attained? Well, my whole goal in this post is to bring fresh revelation and a new mindset to this issue that we all have struggled with… We are not created to live in an inconsistent cycle of highs and lows all of our life. Not to say that there are not things that we go through in life that may have us in a hard season at times, but it is in overcoming those times that we get better. God wants us to grow exponentially in every single thing in our lives, all of our lives. That’s the Glory to Glory Way of living.
In my opinion, losing the weight is the easier part - keeping it off is the challenge. Maintaining what you have achieved is one of the hardest things we must do. Think about a professional sports team, winning one championship is great, but winning several in a row and defending their title is when you know they are a great team. This is why Arnold Schwarzenegger was so great because he maintained his greatness for years. You might ask… “well I’m not a professional athlete and I don’t get paid lots of money to be in shape so how can you compare me to them?” It is about the mindset that you must have to maintain over the long haul; I call it the maintenance mindset. The best coaches are not just thinking about the season that they are in but also the seasons to come. We have to ask ourselves “Is what I am doing right now to lose weight or get fit sustainably?” If we’re not thinking about what we’ll do in the long term to keep off the weight, we need to stop and reevaluate what we are doing and why we are doing it. There is a reason all of these crazy diet and exercise programs don’t work because people are only able to do them for a couple of months and then they go crawling back to their old habits. We must change the way that we think about our bodies. We must change our actions into habits and eventually our habits turn into a lifestyle, and a lifestyle is maintainable.
Every car takes gas (or I guess electricity for some fancy cars nowadays), but you get my point… everything needs a fuel source. Without that fuel source, the car cannot operate in the way that it was intended to run. Think about if you started to think that gas was too expensive and decided to put water in your car to save some money; would that car operate in the way that it was made to? No! It wouldn’t even run at all. It is the same thing for us… If we do not have the right fuel source, then we will never be able to operate in the way that we were made to. What motivates us to stay in good shape? If it is to look good at the pool or to impress the opposite sex then we have it all wrong…
We must have our primary fuel source from the Lord. Let’s be honest, of course we want to look good and impress our spouse (or future spouse), but if that is our primary motivation then it will fade super quick. If we are making staying fit about honoring the lord and stewarding our bodies, then he will become our fuel source and lead us in maintaining as we bring him the glory. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul says “do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and are you not your own?”. Most people quote this as an excuse to get shredded or to make fitness and idol. The issue Paul is talking about is primarily an issue of the heart, as is the issue of maintaining for all of your life. For those of us who are saved we have the Holy spirit on the inside of us and that spirit should be the source of everything we do. We must let the lord work on our hearts and bring in fresh perspective and as a result of that our physical bodies will reflect the work he is doing inside of us. Think about the temples that were built in the old testament and how beautiful and wondrous they were, our bodies house the Spirit of the living God, so shouldn’t our bodies be treated with the same care that those temples were? God wants to fuel and fill us for the things that he is calling us to do. If we let him do a work on the inside, then naturally our bodies will mirror that as we go from Glory to Glory all of our lives.