With a multitude of success stories of various shaped people establishing fitter and healthier lifestyles literally collaging sweat producing factories (otherwise known as your local gym) and scattered through motivational websites where they sit nestled amongst beautiful views of Niagara Falls and quotations from the famous Apple Technology pioneer Steve Jobs, you don't exactly have to be Albert Einstein to see it is possible to achieve a fairly decent bikini body in as little as 8 weeks; although it's your choice if you wear the bikini or not.
So, if it doesn't take long to start seeing results, and shape and gender have little to do with progress, what is stopping you from reclaiming the toned curves of your younger self?
So what's the tip?
A healthy lifestyle and a fitter version of you is not about 40% training and 60% dieting, or any other formula. It is 100% a battle of the brain. If you change the way you think, you are on your way to changing the way you act. By doing this, a change in your current reality is inevitable!
Movement starts with a renewal of your mind.
Ok, so this sounds a little hippy, but don't worry we aren't about to start hugging trees. Unless that's what you like to do and then sure, go ahead! Hugging trees never did the tree harm, however be careful your arms don't get splinters…
But put simply all this means is that a healthy lifestyle can only be achieved with the right attitude. A positive attitude is your wheels; without this you ain't going anywhere!
Fill the Bucket.
Logically, a positive view of yourself would then be a good place to begin any resolution for constructive change in your health and fitness.
I like to view my brain as a bucket: whatever I put in is what I am going to pour out. So to fuel my positivity I want to make sure I am filling my mind with things that are true, things that promote life, substance that will last and stuff that is going to get me through those mornings that I would rather poke pins in my eyes than leave the warm haven of my bed-covers for a skipping rope or say no to chocolate mousse so I can embrace all the array of flavours that celery has to offer.
So, to build a positive view of yourself you can ask your Mum what she thinks of you or rely on the last round of applause you got for your most recent interpretive dance routine for those warm fuzzy feelings, but eventually these feelings will disappear, no matter how good your dance interpretation of a toothbrush was. Shock horror.
I suggest that there is something more sustainable that you can renew your mind with.
I have found it helpful to view my body as a temple. But not only helpful, I also believe this to be truthful.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6 verses19 to 20 [The Message] "Or didn't you realise that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body."
As Christians our understanding of human flesh is that our bodies are not only the skin that that we have been given to live in, but actually form the house of God. Therefore, how you treat your body impacts not only yourself, but ultimately God.
So, if you don't walk muddy shoes into someone else's house as to respect their property, who are you to treat your body like a hovel if in fact it isn't yours.
Suddenly clean eating, healthy lifestyles and a week that involves healthy levels of fitness sound a little less like the latest trends of a popular hippy movement or the quotes of an avid gym junkie and more like actions of respect.
Wow! Doesn't this give every health and fitness endeavour that we could set out to pursue a positive spin?
When we see our bodies as temples of God our minds are renewed with a new and greater perspective. Suddenly the circle is widened and our endeavours become founded in a wider purpose than merely fitting into a size smaller denim (although I don't see any problem in celebrating these wins along the way!).
So rather than letting health and fitness success stories merely decorate your weekly instalment of junk mail as the centrepiece of a weight loss company's latest marketing ploy, why not start your success story beginning with a renewal of your mind?
Whilst the hard yards are ahead, renewing your mind certainly sets the foundations of your health and fitness on a purpose that lasts, widens your perspective to a cause that matters and provides momentum for a long-term win when it comes to earning back your health and fitness.
And just because a good motivational quote never goes astray, here's a gem: "It is never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot (1819-1880)
Charlotte (Charley) works in youth ministry and is studying a Bachelor of Theology at a bible college in Melbourne. Charley enjoys writing children's stories, playing guitar and dreaming the impossible.
Charley Goiris' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/charley-goiris.html