Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Motivation: Challenge vs. Reality Part II

After many attempts to stay motivated to lose weight I could not find motivation in a pair of jeans, in myself, other people or a piece of paper (AKA diet). God has given me direction and showed me how to stay motivated in my journey.

God: His plan, His Now Word, His Goal for Me
I was at the bottom of a pit when God healed me and gave me His plan for a healthy, abundant life. I was depressed and feeling bad about myself while putting on a happy face at work and at church.
I received a word from God as an individual, which has guided me until today in my weight loss journey. As a human being in this journey, I get tired, weary and discouraged. Seeking what I call a ‘now’ word from God also motivates me to stay encouraged. God knows the end from the beginning, therefore He knows and He has the power to give you guidance to stay encouraged. I’m talking about specific things you can do in order to finish your weight loss journey well.
Another great thing I learned from Lisa Bevere’s book ‘You are not what you weigh” is that God, as your Creator, knows how much you are supposed to weigh. Fashion cannot and should not dictate how much you are to weigh. God can. Knowing that piece of information has been really encouraging. I often write and say that I can do all things through Christ. Through Him I can reach His goal for me. Talk about having a great assurance!

Planning
The Bible tells us to write the vision and make it plain. I notice that when faced with a busy week, I tend to write down when I am going to exercise. By doing that I am preparing my mind and therefore my body for action. Planning takes me from wishing I was doing something to actually having a concrete plan of doing it.
It’s unwise to start a company without a business plan. Because of the plan success is possible. Just ask Bill Gates or Donald Trump about that.
A simple illustration I heard further encouraged me to plan. I love cakes. I specially love wedding cakes because they are so beautiful. They only reason why my wedding cake was so beautiful on my wedding day, it was because someone followed a recipe. When I first started on my weight loss journey, I walked daily. I walked in the park, I used a pedometer… I walked. Recently I’ve been using a new recipe. I walk, run or work on another aerobic workout but I added a new ingredient: weight lifting. Ask God what is the recipe to get to the size He wants you to have. Make sure you follow the directions!

Prayer
I pray for a lot of people. I don’t pray for myself that much. As I was walking and reflecting on the subject of motivation, I realized it is okay to talk to the Lord about your weight loss journey. Pray that you will hear His voice. Present your plans to Lord and they will succeed (Proverbs 16:3). Include God in that area of your life. Jesus came to be Lord of all areas of our lives, our eating habits is an area we all tend to leave Him out (I know I did). Pray for yourself. I know you pray for others but start praying for yourself. This week I need to pray that God will give me the grace to exercise at least 3 times. God hears and answers our prayers. He cares about everything, your exercise habits too!

Seeking Peace
I’ve established that being busy can wreck your weight loss efforts. In my case, that busyness and the lack of exercise can lead to the lack of peace. You might feel anxious, afraid. You might get the shakes or whatever. Your stomach may hurt. When I’m anxious I have chest pains. These symptoms do not come from God. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. We are to pursue peace. We are to crave it, to seek hard after it.
Worrying and being anxious can mess up the most gorgeous of days. As I was walking in a day like that, I noticed how beautiful it was outside. I felt like I needed to enjoy that day. Psalm 118 says ‘This is the day that the Lord has made.” The other part of the verse is not ‘let us worry about our projects at work, scream at our family members because they’re not as organized as we are, feel condemned because we overate and be mad in it.” The psalmist encourages to rejoice and be glad in it.
Joy and gladness work with motivation, not against it. Do a joy check when you are feeling down.

Confession
A couple of weeks ago, during my search for motivation I dragged myself to the gym. I was really tired but I needed to be there. I was so tired I thought I couldn’t finish my aerobic exercise in one of the machines. My mind desperately started to seek for motivation. I found it while remembering God’s plan for me and confessing it. I opened my mouth and said: “I am not what I weight, I weight what God wants me to weigh and I can do it through Christ who strengthens me.” There’s power and strength in the Word of God. I want to encourage you to confess His word. Make it personal too!

We are all unique. God knows that. It was difficult for me to find motivation based of someone else’s experience. God has a plan for you, He knows just how to encourage you and He will lead you to people to help you. The key is to rely on Him as your all in all.