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The Healthiest Year of My Life
By Jimmy Page

Executive Director of the FCA Fitness

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” – Proverbs 14:12

I love the story of the underdog. I love to read articles or watch movies that tell inspiring stories of people who have faced challenging odds or amazing obstacles and have triumphed in the end. It is a testament to what is possible for those who believe — for those who sacrifice, strive, strain and never give up.

If we are honest, a lot of us feel like we are underdogs when it comes to our health. We feel defeated. We see our history of false starts and failures and have become discouraged. We begin to believe that we are destined to be overweight, out of shape or unhealthy.

Well, I am here to tell you that is not God’s design for your life. Not by a long shot! If someone was to tell you that you were destined to have a difficult marriage, you wouldn’t buy that for a minute! You would argue that God has given us clear instruction on relationships and that He wants more for us. We have a choice in the matter! The same is true for our health.

Let’s be honest, our physical bodies will eventually wear down. However, God has asked us to be faithful stewards of all He has blessed us with. In other words, He wants us to make the most of our circumstances right here and right now!

As we start the new year, wouldn’t it be great to write our own stories of how we, the underdogs, overcame obstacles (even the ones that are only in our minds) and had the healthiest year of our lives?

The most important thing you can do is begin. Just get started! And get someone else to do it with you. You are seven times more likely to succeed when you are in it together.

The following chart gives you some simple, clear ideas for how to get started in the three key areas of total health — nutrition, exercise and spirit!

Nutrition
1. Eat breakfast every day (whole grains, fruit and a protein source).
2. Eat whole foods — veggies, fruits, whole grains.
3. Avoid sugar — cut out the sodas, sweets, white breads and pasta.
4. Use smaller plates to cut your portion sizes.
5. Eat fish at least three times a week.
6. Eat when you are hungry to avoid overeating.
7. Fast from “bad” foods you feel compelled to eat.

Exercise
1. Walk every day for 30 min. to get started.
2. Add “all-body” strength training three days/week for 15 min. to boost metabolism and burn fat.
3. Be active every day.
4. Build physical activity into your family time (ride bikes, go hiking).
5. Train for an event (pick a 5k or “fun run” to start).
6. Get a partner to exercise with you.
7. Get advice from a professional trainer.

Spirit
1. Read the Word out loud every day (5+ minutes).
2. Pray for others every day (5+ minutes).
3. Memorize one verse each month.
4. Listen to praise music instead of the radio.
5. Turn off the TV, computer and cell phone at least an hour before bed.
6. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
7. Do something for someone else.

 Did you know?
• 71% of men are overweight.
• 62% of women are overweight.
• 33% are considered obese.
• 18% of our youth are overweight or obese (up 70% since 1988).
• Obesity and related health problems cost $117 billion each year.
• Poor employee nutrition costs $1,474 per year per employee.
• Excess weight lowers gas mileage. Americans spend more than $2.2 billion in gas because of additional weight.

For those of you who used to be athletes, it’s time to get back in the game! Take the new FCA Fitness Challenge and get back in shape. It is easy to get started. Go to www.fcafitness.org to register. You’ll find all the tools, resources, motivation and inspiration that you need to have the healthiest year of your life!


*For more stories about faith and sport, visit www.sharingthevictory.com, the official magazine of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

*For more information about fitness, health and nutrition, visit www.fcahealthandfitness.org, the official website of FCA Fitness.


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