Me: I’m going to take better care of myself.
Also Me: Nice! A gallon of Blue Bell Cookies ‘n Cream ice cream is ten cents cheaper than last week. I better get three to really cash in!
Alright, so maybe that’s a little dramatic but I really do love ice cream. And cookies. And chocolates. In fact, I’ve been known to eat a sharable size bag of M&Ms…without sharing.
Almost daily I find myself eating something of the dessert persuasion. While I don’t wake up and plan for it to be a part of my day, it seems to happen anyway. Slowly I find myself becoming unhappy with how I feel and look. Then it’s back to Dessertville, USA where I can get my fill of sugary goodness to bring me right back to artificial tranquility.
While we’re on the topic of poor life choices, let’s talk about sleep or lack thereof. During my work week, I average about five and a half hours of sleep. Then on my days off, I’m playing catch up to maintain a sense of balance. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention says 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep and recommends “at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being.”(1) I wish I could get the recommended amount of sleep each night, but adulting seems to make it only a dream.
Exercise? Unplugging from work on my off-time? Doing things that rejuvenate me? Spending quality, life-changing time with God? Just more examples of things I know I should be doing but don’t find myself doing enough. There are other things that I shouldn’t be doing but I do them anyway. Why is it that I so easily find myself where I don’t want to be?
The Apostle Paul said it perfectly in Romans 7:15-20 (NIV): “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
Paul goes on to say “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25 NIV). Paul outlines not only the problem but also the solution; Our weakness and His strength!
We all struggle daily to keep ourselves healthy and balanced spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. We won’t always succeed, but we won’t always fail either. God can and will deliver us through our struggles. We have to choose to replace the unhealthy with the healthy. That means you may need to drop your Netflix binge to catch up on some much-needed sleep or actually share your share-sized bag of M&Ms with a few other people. It may be starting an exercise plan or a Bible study with a friend who will hold you accountable. Change is never easy but that’s okay. Seeing the positive results of your change will reinforce you and accelerate you to your next step.
You got this. I got this. We got this. God’s got us. Let’s put in work!