It really seems simple in task - make right eating choices, get enough sleep, keep sugars low, minimize/eliminate gluten/processed/starchy things, drink plenty of water, get my short workout done 6 days a week, keep a good mindset, keep stress low. Also, keep the body guessing with the exercises. That's really it in a nutshell. Consume less than what my body requires and move.
Do these things repeatedly week after week, month after month and eventually I'll get to my goal. That is it for most people, too.
So, why do millions of people fail at doing this, including myself. I have had success and pretty good success in the first Ageless Abs program. What is my problem now?
A couple years ago I read a book by Andy Andrews called The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success. The basic point of this book is "I am where I am because of every decision I've made." It's taking accountability and responsibility for your actions. It doesn't mean that if bad things happen to us that we necessarily deserve them, but whatever decision we made, that was the outcome.
That was a turning point in my life where I began to really look at the bad things in my life and take responsibility for each of those decisions.
Then, earlier this year, I devoured Andy Stanley's book on The Principle of the Path: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, where that book expounds on what Andrews talked about. We choose a direction and that direction can be the wrong direction. As we continue to make those decisions & choices in the wrong direction, it takes us further and further away from where we need to be.
What got me in Stanley's book was a question he posed, "How do smart, intelligent people end up in bad situations?" Yes, how did I end up where I am in life? It all started with a choice. It was an original choice to be offended by my parents' correction, which led to a heart rebellion. Though outwardly I obeyed my parents, inwardly, I did not and had resentment towards them. This very act led me to try and experiment with things to assert what I felt was best.
I do remember my mom telling me that sleep was very important and I ignored her. I pay the consequences now with health & metabolism issues, as well as weight issues.
Also, though I grew up reading the Bible, which it tells me that God loved me sooo much He sent His Son to die on the Cross for my sins, and that even if I were the only one, He would've still died for me. It says that I am beautifully and wonderfully created, that I am lovely in God's eyes. Yet, I kept thinking growing up and into adulthood how ugly I was. If I believe the Bible to be true, why did I not embrace what God said about ME?
So, that led me to another course of actions in believing those lies about myself. I became a workaholic, exercise addict, perfectionist, control freak. That led to me choosing men in my life that were not my equal in education or intelligence or even interests, rather men all wrong for me. Ultimately, this also led to my financial demise.
We choose a path and unless we purposefully, intentionally choose another path, we keep going in that path. If it's a bad path, the ultimate road leads to destructions. Yes, maybe along the path we keep ourselves from going on that path as quickly by making good choices. We can liken this to 2 steps forward, 3 steps back or 3 steps forward, 1 step back. If we're on the wrong path, then, it's better that we make fewer choices forward (these would be bad choices) and more choices backwards (these would be good choices).
However, the wise, instead of continuing in that same path, they totally do a 180° about face and change directions altogether. In Proverbs 27:12, it says, "The prudent when they see danger, they take refuge. The simple continue on and suffer for it."
I've chosen the right path for my health & fitness, but I haven't gotten very far in 2+ decades. Yes, I've made some strides, but right now, I've run into a pothole in the road and I keep attempting to go over it and not fall in, but I keep falling in. The smart thing to do is to completely avoid it, right?
What does that look like in real life?
Gina, my accountability partner, says she doesn't always want to workout. In fact, usually she doesn't, but she gets it out of the way first thing in the morning before she can talk herself out of it, then she is free to do whatever she wants. As for food, not sure how she does it. If she's told me, it's not sunk in.
In Stanley's book, he talks about how most people live disconnected lives. What he meant is that they make choices today thinking that it does not impact the future, but it does. They see the future is never here, rather, the wise see the future as now and make choices knowing that it does impact the future. Every choice, no matter how little.
Now, we are to take making choices seriously, but not to the point you are paralyzed with fear or have great anxiety. However, I can attest and confess that sometimes I think eating this one little thing won't hurt, or skipping this one workout, or staying up a little later. That won't hurt. However, it does. When my sleep gets thrown off, that impacts my decision making processes. Poor time management causes me to miss workouts or not be able to plan my eating real well.
I'm reminded of a verse in Romans 3 that says paraphrased, "Apart from God, I am utterly incapable of living out this glorious life God has for us." I can't. I sabotage my own self.
Today I make better choices and do not live disconnected.
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