Staying The Course

There are many things along the path to physical fitness that will try to lead you astray. Here are some tips to help you resist temptation and remain true to your pursuit of physical and spiritual well-being. Some of the suggestions might seem basic and maybe you’ve even heard them before, but believe me, they can be valuable tools if you find that “living the lifestyle” is becoming a struggle.

  1. Like yourself now.

People with low self-esteem are often the first to give into temptation. They expect immediate results, and if things don’t change right away they tend to despair and feel like their goals are unattainable, so they simply give up. Everyone’s journey on this earth is different, and the path to spiritual and physical balance is often a long one. And believe it or not, it’s really not so much about results as it is about making the effort and having the confidence to persevere. I’ve seen people get into great shape and still remain unhappy with themselves — happiness is not a superficial issue. You can strengthen your resolve and learn to like yourself by realizing that you are a unique creation of a God who loves you.

  1. Learn to recognize

all the lame excuses you’re going to use to avoid exercising. “It’s raining out.” “I’m tired.” “I’m busy.” “The car won’t start.” “The gym’s too crowded at five o’clock.” “I have to work late.” These are not legitimate excuses to skip a workout. If you can’t get to the gym, you can exercise at home, go for a walk or a run, jump rope, do some pushups, etc. If the President of the United States can find time to exercise, so can you! Sometimes you’ll have a good reason to skip a workout, but as soon as you start making excuses ask yourself if they’re really legitimate.

  1. Choose an accountability partner.

I believe that “you’re only committed to what you confess,” in faith as well as in fitness . That’s why it’s good to have someone with an under- standing ear to talk to about your successes and failures as you pursue health and fitness. Find someone you can trust and tell them what you want to accomplish, and what your concerns and fears are. For example, you might tell this person that you want to lose 20 pounds in three months, but you have a weakness for chocolate chip cookies. This person can be a professional trainer or nutritio