If I asked you if you worship other idols you would probably think, “Of course not why would you even ask.” Well, I ask because of what 1 Samuel 15:23 teaches us, “stubbornness is as bad as worshipping idols”.

Now, if I ask you if there is any area of your life where you are being stubborn, what would your answer be? 

Stubbornness is defined as: 

“having or showing dogged determination not to change one's attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so”

“fixed or set in purpose or opinion” 

“difficult to move, remove or cure”

When it comes to your health, does this old saying come to mind, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Even though you know you need to make changes, are you being stubborn and holding on to the way you’ve always done things? When we are stubborn we are “difficult to move, remove or cure”.  You have a decision to make, will you be stubborn or will you change. 

If you decide it’s time to change be on guard and deny the lies that Satan will try and fill your mind with.  Do you ever hear things like this:

“You’ve tried in the past and failed. Don’t even try and change”

“You know you won’t be able to break free from your sugar addiction so just go eat a bowl of ice cream”

“Mac n’ cheese will bring you comfort. You deserve it since you had a bad day.”

“You’ve been overweight since you were a child, you will always be overweight”

“You’re not coordinated enough to workout. You’ll probably just get hurt”

“You’re too old to start exercising”

Satan wants you to be stubborn when it comes to your health. He wants you lack energy and excitement for life. He wants you to be held captive to your old way of thinking. He wants you to look in the mirror and be disappointed in what you see. 

Don’t listen to Him. Don’t believe his lies. 

This time you will beat the odds and succeed at making healthy, lasting changes. The reason you will change and not remain stuck in your old ways is because you are doing it differently this time. You now know your ABC’s

A - Ask God for His help

B - Believe He can change you

C - Check you motives

Studies show that change typically happens because of 1 of 2 things:

  1. It is too painful to remain where you are
  2. The picture of where you want to go is so appealing 

The problem with #1 is too often we don’t believe our situation is painful until our health is adversely affected. We are diagnosed with cancer, we have a heart attack….. then we realize the pain of our unhealthy lifestyle. Don’t wait for one of these things to happen before deciding to make healthy changes. Sadly, many people don’t get a second chance. They have a heart attack and die. They have a stroke that leaves the with permanent damage. 

As for #2, close your eyes and think about your life in 10 years, 20years. You are strong, full of energy, your mind is sharp, you have a positive, confident attitude - you are able to respond to anything God asks of you. How fun is that!!  Now, of course, there are no guarantees but why not start doing what you can to improve your health!!

Never forget though, you need God’s help. He is the source of self-control. He is the one who can change the way you think so that you can change your actions. Read again, what you were sent in Week 1:

"The secret to victory is first to admit the futility of unaided human effort and then to trust God to save. His power works best through those who recognize their limitations. It is those who think they can do it on their own that are in the greatest danger.”  (commentary of 2 Chronicles in the NLT Study Bible)

One last thought - I started this article asking you if you worshipped any idols, I want to go back to this for a moment. Are you putting food before God, if so it should be considered an idol. Anything we put before God is an idol. Do you crave God's comfort more than you crave mac n' cheese. Are you turning to food for comfort instead of God. 

I love this line in the boo Crave by Lysa Tekeurst,  "nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satisfying them"

**Is there something you are being stubborn about that is keeping you from reaching optimal health? What can you do to crave God and turn to Him for comfort over other "comfort" foods? 


How hard should I Workout?

The #1 way to judge how hard you should workout comes from listening to your body. If your muscles are getting tired and you are starting to lose proper form it’s time to slow down. If you start to feel light headed or nauseous it is definitely time to ease up.

When you are working out with others or doing a DVD let them be an encouragement to you but do not allow them to push you past your 100%. You want to give 100% of what you are capable of and you are the only one who knows what your 100% feels like.

If you are new to exercise it might be difficult to evaluate your exertion level by listening to your body. It might be easier to use the target heart rate test. This approach requires that you measure your pulse periodically as you exercise. This formula will help you determine how hard you are working out. When exercising you generally want to stay within 50% - 85% of your maximum heart rate. This range is called your target heart rate.

Here is how the target heart rate test works:
220 minus your age = maximum heart rate (MHR). So if you are 50 years old, your MHR is 170.

Your target heart rate zone, during exercise, should typically fall between 50% - 85% of your MHR

So for a 50 year old the target heart rate zone would be between 85– 144 beats per minute. (MHR or 170 times .50 = 85 and 170 times .85 = 144

Most of your workout should be done is you Target Heart Rate Zone. You should only work out above 85% of your MHR for short periods of time. When you are exercising at more than 85% of your MHR it is called anaerobic. You do not want to stay at this rate longer than 2 minutes.

Typically if you are just starting an exercise program you should keep your Target Heart Rate closer to 50% of your maximum heart rate. As your fitness level improves it is safe to bring your Target Heart Rate closer to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

I suggest when you first begin an exercise routine to take your heart rate several times during your workout. (It’s best to take your pulse at your wrist and use your index and middle finger. Take it for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4 to give you your beats per minute.) This will begin to help you get a feel for how hard you are working.

These numbers are estimates that provide an average value. Many people have a higher or lower MHR, sometimes by as much as 15 to 20 beats per minute, things like your resting heart rate can influence it.

After you have worked out for a while you can feel how hard you are working just by listening to your body. This is called a perceived exertion test.

Perceived exertion is a measurement used during exercise to determine the level of difficulty of your exercise routine. The measure of intensity is commonly called the RPE, or Rating of Perceived Exertion

A simplified version of the rating scale is listed below:

0 No exertion
1 Very light exertion
2 Light exertion
3 Moderate exertion
4 Somewhat hard exertion

5 Hard exertion
6 Heavy exertion
7 Very hard exertion
8 Very heavy exertion
9 Extremely hard exertion 10 Maximum exertion

A great way to determine where you are on this scale is the talk test. At 0 -1 you can sing a song without a problem, at 4-5 you can say a sentence, 6-8 it’s difficult to say a short sentence, over 8 it’s hard to say even a word. The Faithful Workouts DVD’s are designed to take you through several different levels of the perceived exertion test.

If you feel you are always around a 2-3 you need to do something to make the workout more challenging if you are continually around an 8 or higher (typically you do not want to stay at this level more than 2 minutes) you want to slow it down a bit. The best fat burning workout brings you up and down the scale during the workout.

*Figure out your target heart rate range. The next time you workout, take your heart rate twice and then using the Target Heart Rate formula figure out if you are working out with the right amount of intensity.  

Weekly Goals

Each week you will be asked to set goals. Your goals can be about faith, fitness or food (or all 3). I highly recommend that you write them down and post them on your mirror or someplace you will see them often. When setting goals make them action oriented goals, not result goals.  Stay focused on doing the next right thing and be patient with the results.