1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
This scripture reminds me that Heavenly Father has given each of us an amazing gift, our physical bodies. We are each responsible to care for our body or temple spiritually, mentally, and physically. Taking care of ourselves physically can increase our capacity to serve others and serve the Lord. It keeps our minds strong and our spirits free from the debilitating effects of depression and addiction. But how do we go about improving our physical bodies?
Start small with a concept I like to call baby steps.
Begin with one change at a time. Little differences can add up to big results. Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to rule or completely alter your lifestyle. By starting small you won't feel completely overwhelmed and give up. Baby steps are the key to making lifelong changes. Instead of losing weight with a crash diet – which always comes back on – or starting an ambitious exercise program and getting injured or burned out, take it slow and change one thing at a time.
One change a month is a great goal. Twenty-one days will form a habit (good or bad). If you stick with a goal for a month you can be certain of making it into a long-term habit and if you concentrate on one goal a month you won't become frustrated and quit, but will instead make a positive change.
January - make a goal to eat five servings of fruits/veggies a day. Reward yourself with a treat on Saturday night if you keep your goal.
February - outline a plan to lift weights twice a week. Write on your calendar which days and times you're going to strength train or program it into your cell phone (the reminder feature could be very helpful).
March – decide to use only child-sized plates and bowls, it will force you to eat smaller portions.
April - convince your family to go for an after dinner bike ride or walk every weekday. If this is too overwhelming with busy schedules aim for a couple of nights a week.
May - trade white bread for high fiber bread.
Our main goal should be healthy and fit for life not just a desire to lose weight because we have an exotic vacation or a best friend's wedding coming up. So go write on your calendar what your next month’s goal is going to be. I write my monthly goals on my desk calendar then I’m reminded of them many times a day. My latest goal - walking at least 20,000 steps a day. It's a tough one but I'm amazed how those steps add up when pacing with a baby, dancing with my preschooler, or going on bike rides with my older boys (we put the pedometer on our shoe so it counts rotations, hope that's not cheating!).
The difference between a normal weight person and an overweight person is a hundred calories a day. An extra hundred calories a day adds up to ten pounds of weight gain in one year. Can you believe that? A hundred calories is half a Twix bar.
It's amazing how seemingly insignificant choices (baby steps) can make a big difference in our health. The choices you make today not only affect you but your family now and in the future. Because my son has a blood disorder the doctors have instructed me to eat extra healthy for him. Now that's amazing motivation. If you're struggling think about how your choices will affect your family, it makes it a lot easier to choose wisely.
Change your diet slowly and the healthy food will become tastier to you than the junk. I still haven't given up a few chocolate splurges each week (I don’t believe any woman should!), but I can hardly stand greasy food anymore. It takes time to change your diet and exercise habits. Decide on one area and do it today. I promise you will like the long-term results.