Let's Step It Up!
A lot has changed since I first became interested in healthy living more than 30 years ago. I remember well my mother’s reaction when I announced that I was becoming a vegetarian. “You’re becoming a what?” she asked, obviously quite puzzled.
“A vegetarian,” I responded matter-of-factly.
“You mean you’re never going to eat another piece of meat? What about your favorites—like steak and fried chicken?” she queried, looking at me as though I had lost my mind. Back then, at least in my circles, being a vegetarian wasn’t exactly considered mainstream. And most people—at least the ones I knew—weren’t all that interested in health. A healthy lifestyle was something that was pursued only by those who were called—well, “health nuts.”
Fast forward 35 years and the topic of health pops up nearly everywhere you turn! Newspapers, magazines, television and radio talk shows, and well-publicized documentaries, such as Forks Over Knives and Chow Down, feature people who tout the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Well-known lifestyle medicine experts speak volumes in the popular media about the vital relationship between lifestyle practices and health. Even public figures such as Michelle Obama have jumped on the bandwagon with such initiatives as Let’s Move Day, which is designed to fight the growing problem of childhood obesity. Unlike years ago, today there is no lack of solid, well-documented information and advice on health.
Given that scenario, you’d expect everyone to jump on the healthful living bandwagon, right? We all know what to do to get and stay healthy, don’t we? And we’re all doing it, right? As much as we’d like to think so, we know that isn’t the case.
Recently, as I was pondering my own personal struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, a realization hit me like a lightning bolt. I realized that my challenge isn’t knowing what to do, it’s practicing and continuing to build on what I already know. I lamented the fact that despite making healthy food choices, watching my portions, fat, and calories, and even walking 30 minutes a day, I am still challenged by more than a few extra pounds. Then it suddenly dawned on me that I needed to step it up, and that I hadn’t heeded the big, bold message that has dominated the media lately: You need to move a lot more!
With that realization, I began to step up my efforts to become more active. I’ve set my alarm a little earlier so I can start my day with exercise. I've "resurrected" my pedometer, I avoid the elevator whenever possible, and I’m finding ways to move away from my sedentary spot in front of the computer. I can’t tell you that these changes are easy to make, but I will say that I’m determined. And with God’s help, I know I can reach my goal of losing those pesky, unwanted pounds.
I don’t know what your health challenge is, but I do know this: “I can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13), and so can you!