(Love Your Body is a series I write the last Monday of each month on living healthy)
This week marks the last Monday of 2015, and if you’re like millions of people you’re thinking about making some changes in your life starting January 1. You may have overindulged throughout the holidays with the consolation that you’ll get back on track “next year.”
As I contemplated what to write to you today, I reread what I wrote last year and it’s exactly what I want to say to you again this year. So I’ve updated it a bit and I hope that if you had some successes in 2015 by reading Love Your Body Monday blogs that you’ll share those with me, like Janie did below and some of you have in my past blogs. I’m looking forward to sharing some new ideas for you to get healthy in the New Year.
As an avid gym member for many years, I always noticed how crowded the gym was the beginning of January. Those of us “regulars” would complain that it was hard to get on the equipment and the classes were packed. But we comforted each other with the knowledge that it wouldn’t last. Soon all the New Year enthusiasts would be gone and we’d have the gym back to ourselves.
What Goes Wrong with Resolutions?
Wikipedia describes New Year’s Resolution as:
New Year’s resolution, a commitment that an individual makes at New Year’s Day.
Notice the use of the word “commitment.” I think the reason many people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re not making the “commitment” to anyone who will keep them accountable. It’s way too easy to give yourself a ton of grace and slack on the commitment you’ve made to yourself.
If you want to make a change in your health and lifestyle, I’d like to propose that this year you make a three-fold commitment to God, another person, and yourself.
Commit to God
Journal or write down a letter to God delineating the changes you want to make. Keep this letter in your Bible and make it part of your daily quiet time. Maybe it will help you have a regular quiet time—that might be one of your resolutions. Read this letter every day for the next year. Be specific and ask God for His help in keeping you faithful to making the changes you’ve listed.
Commit to an Accountability Partner
If you don’t tell your resolutions to anyone else, you may not be disciplined enough to stay faithful to your commitment. Tell a family member or friend your resolutions and ask them to help keep you accountable. Let them know how you would like them to do that and ask them to pray for you to stick to your commitment.
Commit to Yourself—Love Yourself Enough to Change
Do you really want to live a healthier lifestyle? Do you want to lose weight? Reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure? Prevent diet-related diseases? Exercise more? Eat healthier? Only you can motivate you. No one can make you live healthier no matter how many “resolutions” or attempts you make. But you do have a choice to make those resolutions a reality not just dreaming.
I have to admit that as I write this Love Your Body blog post, I often wonder if anyone has made any healthy changes—does anyone care enough about themselves to try any of the suggestions I’ve been sharing. Seldom does anyone leave a comment, so I was asking God, “Am I talking to myself?”
The Lord answered in a very tangible way. The weekend before Thanksgiving 2014, my daughter and I spoke at the Nazarene Church in Ontario, Oregon. The first night, Janie Morey came up to me and told me that she had been reading my Love Your Body series and she and her husband decided to make some major diet and exercise changes with amazing results. I asked her if she would write a comment in last month’s Love Your Body During the Holidays blog post and she did. I’ve copied it here to encourage you to make 2016 the year you get, and stay, fit:
Thank you for the helpful ideas for loving our bodies to be healthy. Several months ago, I read your similar writing and was reminded that God loves us so, every part of us, including our bodies. I began praying for His help to get to a healthy weight. I have lost 22 pounds! Everything is better physically, but more importantly, my faith has been strengthened. For me, fitting exercise into every day is key. If I am not walking, I am doing physical work at the Love INC thrift store or doing Pilates (good for me at 64 years old!). Variety in exercise and food helps to keep up my healthy behaviors. Have you tried Farro? So delicious and whole grain! Cutting down on sweets and fats has sparked my appetite for the fresh vegetables that fill most of my plate these days. I use the app My Fitness Pal to keep track of what I eat. This app shows me that a cookie once-in-a-while is acceptable and my goal of healthy and balanced meals daily is possible. And lastly, I suggest getting a health buddy for support. Mine is my husband who has lost 35 pounds! Thanks Janet for reminding me to ask God for help…He loves us so!
I Want to Help You Have A . . .
I hope that Janie’s story inspires you. She started exercising, eating less sweets, eating more fresh vegetables, keeping track of what she ate, and most importantly, she enlisted the support of what she calls a “health buddy” and he got healthier too!
If you want me to pray for you to make healthy New Year’s resolutions, and keep them, leave a comment below with as many specifics as you feel comfortable sharing and I will commit to pray for you to be successful.
Commit to God—commit to a friend/family member—commit to yourself —commit to me. Together let’s make 2016 the year you Love Your Body like God loves your body!
Happy Healthy New Year