“…for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."
1 Timothy 4:8
It is almost summertime and everyone is trying to get summertime fine. People are hitting the gym, lifting weights and performing cardio exercises, but while physical fitness is effective in helping us reach our goals, there is something that is often overlooked and neglected in our journey to getting fit: our diet.
Unless you’ve lived under a rock your entire life, then you should be familiar with the term calories. Our suggested daily calorie intake is 2,000 (based on how active you are) and to put this into perspective a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder with cheese at McDonald’s is at least 540 calories a piece! That is a quarter of our suggested daily allotment. An order of fries is 340 calories. Put that together and that’s 880 calories. That is almost half of our suggested daily intake. What often happens is that while people are working out, they are also eating foods that are counterproductive to their goals and become upset when they don’t see the progress they desire. They’re basically standing in place and not making the progress they could be making.
To maximize our results, we need to also regulate our diets. Regulating your diet with the proper nutrition will help you shed body fat and tone up as you workout. It will also help you reach something called a caloric deficit, which is when you provide a shortage in how many calories you consume versus the amount needed for maintaining current body weight. In layman's terms, the more energy you exert and the less calories you intake, the more weight or body fat you will lose. So how can we relate to this spiritually?
"All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.
1 Corinthians 10:23 ESV
As it is with our bodies, so it is with our spirit. We have spiritual desires and goals, but are we really prepared to do what is necessary to obtain those goals? While we may desire to be as close to God as possible, we often times want to do the bare minimum to get there. We want all of the work done for us. On top of that, we can also put ourselves in awkward and tempting situations that will hinder our spiritual growth. If we’re honest, we can admit there are times when we want to please our flesh and indulge in sin. There are things that we entertain that we shouldn’t. For example, if you struggle with porn, then don’t watch porn or anything sexual that will trigger your impulses. If you are an alcoholic, don’t put yourself in compromising situations that will cause you to stumble. Some people cannot listen to certain types of music or watch certain types of movies because of how it entices or speaks to their sinful desires. Whatever the case may be, we have to be on guard and reduce our “caloric” intake.
What we must do instead is remove any and all obstacles of sin until we build up our strength and even then, we shouldn’t go back to what easily entangles us. Decrease the bad stuff and increase the good. Like Paul said, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NASB).
We all have habits that need to be broken. Throughout my journey, I struggled with lust and anger and I didn’t make the progress I desired until I cut things out and never looked back. We have to seek the ways we can reduce our caloric intake in order for us to achieve our goals. Now some people will say that you shouldn’t enjoy or do anything that isn’t Christian. I am not going that far. Those people have their reasons, but I am trying to help you build up your strength, get that spiritual body, and increase your resistance to outside influences and temptations.
I am not here to tell you what you need to do, but to only offer you suggestions and encouragement. I want to see everyone succeed and be healthy in mind, body, and in spirit. Don’t let your only goal for the summer be to become summertime fine, but also be spiritually fine. Here are some links to my previous posts, which may assist in your journey:
Spiritual Fitness: The Introduction
Spiritual Fitness: The Inner Disciplines
Spiritual Fitness: The Outer Disciplines
Spiritual Fitness: The Tortoise and the Hare
God bless you and I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the gym!
Kofi Houston is a blogger and Youtuber from Illinois. "I am just a regular dude that loves Jesus and loves to tell jokes and inspire others to live an abundant life." You can learn more about Kofi on Twitter and Instagram. You can also read more of his blogs at his website.