CLIMBING THE HILL
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."
I Cor. 6:19-20
I take extended power-walks in the local parks. One time I was huffing and puffing up a steep hill when a physically fit man jogged around me with ease. He looked back and said, simply, "Way to go, man!" It was encouraging. He's not the enemy! Recently I have tried to make the same habit of encouraging people I encounter who seem to be struggling. Just a smile and a kind word can help. Whether you are trying to get fit by jogging up hills in the local park or struggling with any other kind of life-change, you are fighting a real battle and probably can use all the encouragement you can get.
It has been 22 days since I have consumed caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and carbonated beverages. The desire for these things doesn't go away. What is mighty good is to know I have the strength to say no. People talk about moderation- just drink one or two Cokes per day. It's a good theory, and maybe I'll get there one day? But right now I'm in the midst of changing lifestyle, habits that have been developed over the last 40 years, so moderation just does not work. I've made a commitment and intend to stick with it. Why? I do not like what this stuff does to me, physically. And, happily, there is a discernible improvement since the change has been made. And as far as the sweeteners go, it is bothersome to read the warning label- "has been known to cause cancer in laboratory animals." I know, I know, it seems that somewhere along the way everything has been determined to cause cancer! But for me, just to read the long unpronounceable names of those ingredients and know there is nothing natural about them is cause to pause. Garbage in, garbage out!
Currently, as I continue to stay away from the caffeine and other stuff, my additional goal is to lose 15 pounds in 5 weeks. It is absolutely doable. This is day 9, and I've lost 2.8 pounds. I'm afraid it just doesn't come off as easily as it used to! My strategy involves moderation with eating- cut out the junk food, choose healthy snacks, eat less late-night stuff- and take regular walks. I was wanting to do 10,000 steps 5 days per week. But I've cut it down to 4 days, which fits my schedule better. I think it is sensible, a winning strategy. It is not easy. A drive in my car around the block doesn't count for a daily walk. And late at night nobody but God is watching when I am thinking about that candy bar in the kitchen cabinet.
A lot of us spend a good bit of our lives thinking, one day, I'll make some changes. 22 days surely does not make one an expert! It's just a start. But it's a good start!