As someone who struggled with weight issues most of my life (severely overweight till after college) fitness is very important to me. However every year I find myself going through the same cycle.
- By the end of February I’ve lost weight, and am at the peak of fitness (for a white dude in his late thirties)
- By the end of March I’ve put on a few pounds but that’s no big deal
- By the end of April what used to be an incredibly easy run now feels like mount Everest
- The Summer finds me putting on my annual “seriously it’s too hot to run outside” weight
- Lots of progress is made in the Fall, only to be destroyed by Thanksgiving and Christmas
The point is this is the month that I usually start slipping with my fitness plan .
The crazy thing is I KNOW those extra March pounds are coming, but I almost NEVER do anything about it!
There are many reasons for this yearly setback, but it pretty much boils down to motivation.
See physical motivation (I am going to get in shape) will only last so long (three months max). After that you need to have something outside of yourself to withstand temptation.
There are only a few times that I’ve been in shape by the end of April, interestingly one of those was the first time I started losing weight.
The day before thanksgiving one year my father came to me with a proposition. We all knew that I was overweight by at least twenty pounds, but there was never a motivation on my part to do anything about it .
For motivation he promised to pay a certain amount of money if I reached a weight loss goal, and more money if I kept it off for a certain amount of time.
Suddenly I felt VERY motivated (and got all of the money).
The problem is there aren’t people walking around giving you money for weight loss  so we have to find something else that motivates us.
This motivation is going to be different for everyone but let me share mine…I want to fulfil God’s purpose for my life with excellence.
Near the end of his life the Apostle Paul wrote these words
II Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
II Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Paul knew he was going to die soon (4:6) but didn’t worry about this since he had a testimony of faithfulness (4:7). Another way of describing this verse would be, “I did all God called me to do.”
I want to be able to say that when I’m dying.
But in order to do this my life must be characterized by physical discipline.
- A mind that can concentrate and think clearly in my later years
- Extra energy that can be invested in the work of God
- The ability to continue working late in the day instead of collapsing
- Turning to fruits of vegetables and times of stress instead of junk food
Just so we are clear I am nowhere near this right now
But that’s the point.
Reaching a lifestyle of true fitness so that I can do the Lord’s work with excellence is going to take more than a few months.
And that’s what motivates me
Chances are I’ll end up with five or six extra pounds by the end of March like almost every year . But if that takes place I can promise you one thing.
I won’t be doing the work of God with excellence