Written by Char Groen
Excuses, excuses, excuses!!! I sure do well at coming up with excuses if I am not genuinely committed to change even though I know it is necessary. A couple months ago I was driving home from work and sensed God asking me this question: “If I told you that the health issues that you struggle with would be healed if you took better care of your diet and exercised, would you change?” My immediate thought was, wow, yes, of course, I would. My mind raced with excitement at the hope of healing.
It is now a few months later and the brutal reality stares me down; I have not made consistent changes. I eagerly made diet changes and started regular exercise and fitness routines which were going strong for several weeks and then the frequency decreased and the excuses started to slip in…it’s raining, I’m exhausted, I didn’t pick up groceries, or I’m running late so I’ll grab a quick bite to eat… blah, blah, blah! Hearing my own thoughts and excuses went on in ad nauseam. The truth is that I have just been lazy to implement consistent changes in this area.
Up through my thirties, I was very physically fit and active; I played competitive softball for twenty years, was involved in track & field all through school and played several other sports for recreation. I felt great physically and was athletic. I was very skinny during these years and could literally eat ANYTHING and never gained an ounce. Actually, I fought to gain weight.
Heading into my forties, things changed; my lifestyle didn’t include sports and activity like it did in previous years and all the ‘you’re so skinny’ comments dwindled away. Because I was so skinny for so many years, I never disciplined myself with healthy eating habits and now I had to also deal with weight gain.
I came under self-condemnation, shame, this is my own fault, I’m just lazy, I’m undisciplined, to yes, I can change, and just do it and the cycle repeated itself with no lasting changes. How many times haven’t I said, ‘I’ll wait until after that party coming up, or that event at work, or after the weekend, it’s Thanksgiving, it’s Christmas’ etc. There was always some event that had all those enticing, and unhealthy treats which I allowed to be my excuse to delay change.
I’m now faced with a decision AND no matter the outcome, it’s my CHOICE!! I can change and improve my health OR continue on my present course with continued health issues with the possibility of them becoming worse or gaining additional health concerns.
I had to ask myself, do I want to be ten to twenty years down the road and battling irreversible health issues and not being able to do physical activities because I am making the wrong choices now or am too lazy to change? I don’t want to be in that place and living in regret.
I recently heard a quote by Darren Hardy, that rattled me, “It’s not what you’re willing to do, it’s what you’re willing to suffer.” What am I willing to suffer (willingly endure pain) or sacrifice to improve my health? Am I willing to suffer and walk away from something I would love to eat or drink KNOWING that is not healthy whilst my body is screaming, I WANT IT; I WANT IT; I WANT TO EAT THAT…NOW!! Let’s be honest: the flesh doesn’t want to change.
So, I’m choosing today, by an act of my will, to make daily changes to improve my diet and exercise that will result in a consistent, disciplined healthy lifestyle. I will make myself accountable to people for my progress. I will write a plan that will outline the changes and the healthy foods and exercise that will be implemented. I will put reminders of my goals in visible places in my home. I will make declarations, despite the failures of the past, that I can and will succeed.
Everything in me cringes because of this declaration because I know my track record but I will not let my past determine my future. It’s time to change!
You may be at exactly the same place as I am in this area or you may have some other habit or issue in your life that requires change. I encourage you to stand in front of your mirror, face yourself and say, “ENOUGH WITH THE EXCUSES; IT’S TIME TO CHANGE!!” It will take effort, hard work, consistency in denying the craving/desire and developing the discipline to change. Are you willing to suffer or sacrifice to make the changes that you know are necessary?
I’m reminded of how important it is to take care of my physical body when I read Romans 12:1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship”.
LET’S DO THIS!!
Are you with me?
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