Focusing On Faith & Fitness

Every day do your best, and God will do the rest!!

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Faith And Fitness Lords GymThis page will focus on how you can combine your diet & exercise plan along with your faith in God to strengthen your health, fitness level, & faith all at the same time!! I'm sure that you have seen or heard somebody reference the scene in Talladega Nights where Mr. Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is saying the prayer before dinner to Baby Jesus and then everybody starts telling how they like to picture Jesus (To watch it, click here!!). Well to start, I am going to tell how I love to picture my Jesus!! Unless you have been living under a rock your entire life, you have probably heard the story in The Bible of Jesus feeding the multitude of 5,000 people with just 5 loaves of bread & 2 fish. Now you get to read the real story that was never printed!!

While going about his ministry, Jesus received the terrible news that His friend John the Baptist had been killed. Very upset, Jesus withdrew with His disciples by boat to a remote place, for rest and prayer. Great crowds of people in the nearby areas heard that Jesus was near, and they ran to see him. When His boat landed, Jesus met all of the people and had compassion on them. He taught them about the Kingdom of God and He healed the sick. At the end of the day, the crowd of about 5,000 men, not even counting women & children, started to get hungry. What do you think Jesus did then??

Instead of sending the people away, Jesus had His disciples look for some food. About a mile away, they found a little boy named ATLAS using a low-hanging tree branch to do pullups. He had a basket of food with him consisting of 5 loaves of 100% Whole Wheat Bread and 2 Alaskan Pink Salmon. Little ATLAS gladly donated his food for the crowd of people. In return, the disciples let ATLAS present the food to Jesus himself. Jesus accepted the bread and salmon, looked up to Heaven, gave thanks, and then passed the food to the disciples to be distributed amongst the people. Everyone (men, women, & children) ate as much as they wanted!! Jesus miraculously multiplied the loaves and salmon so that there was more than enough. Jesus then told His disciples to gather the leftovers so that nothing was wasted.

Enough food was collected to fill 12 big baskets!! Jesus did not want the food to go to waste though, so he decided to do his first FOOD CHALLENGE!! He even let little ATLAS work the stopwatch. As he was about to start, the devil approached him saying, "You know you can eat the bread faster if you dunk it in water, right Jesus?" Jesus then flexed His arms saying, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God!!" With a roaring crowd, Jesus began to eat the massive meal, starting with the Alaskan Pink Salmon first. Upon finishing the salmon, Jesus quickly ate the 100% Whole Wheat Bread. To the crowd's amazement, Jesus finished all 12 baskets in 9 minutes & 59 seconds!! It was the coolest thing that ATLAS had ever seen!! Even the devil himself could not believe what he saw. The crowd then understood & knew that Jesus was the prophet who they had been promised :)

How Healthy & Fit Is Your God?

To start, I will give a brief summary about myself. My family is Catholic, I grew up Catholic, and I call myself a Catholic. Currently, I would not call myself a "Practicing Catholic" though because I rarely go to Church. I went to a Catholic elementary school and I chose to attend a Catholic high school. I chose a public university though because private colleges are way overpriced, I disagree with a lot of their rules, and typically their athletic programs are not very good. Anybody that knows me knows that I only typically care about things that directly involve me or somebody close to me. Almost everything else goes in one ear & out the other. When it comes to religion, I have my own views that most likely will not change. I definitely disagree with anybody that tries to force his or her religious views upon somebody else. While I think many religious customs are really weird, I don't look down upon anybody for what they choose to believe. With that being said, I do feel that a healthy spiritual life can have a very healthy effect on your diet & exercise goals.

Who is God? To me God is the "Highest Power" in my life that I look to for guidance, wisdom, courage, comfort, and power. I pray to my God to help me through hard times, to help me though life's challenges, and to help me make wise decisions. I also pray to Him to thank Him for all of the great things in my life such as good health, a great family, a beautiful girlfriend, and awesome friends. My God is 6'5", white, and weighs around 235lbs. He is in great shape, can eat a lot, and He is pretty muscular & ripped!! I also pray to my God before & after meals to thank him for the food. I pray to Him to help me through tough workouts, and then I thank him afterwards. My God gives me strength, comfort, & motivation to continue my nutrition & fitness programs. He helps to keep me from cheating & getting lazy.

"Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body." This is directly from 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (New Living Translation). Without getting into religious translations, this is basically saying that we honor our God by respecting our bodies & taking care of them. Our body is the only one that we will ever have!! We take care of our bodies physically through eating healthy, staying active, and by maintaining great physical health.

Is this saying that we have to have ripped abs and look better than everybody else to honor God? Is this saying that we can't enjoy a good cheeseburger or ice cream sundae every now & then? Hell no it does not!! We were put on this Earth to enjoy life & to make the best of it that we can. Every single person is unique, and some people were created more well-off than others. We honor our God by being the best individual person we can be, both physically & mentally. Each person has a unique view of God too!! My God is not the same as anybody else's. I'm sure my view of Jesus is different too!! Hopefully you involve your God in your physical fitness plan. If you don't, or even if you don't have Him (or Her!!) involved enough, I feel you could benefit by giving the idea a little more thought :)

Faith & Fitness Tips In Your Everyday Life!!

I have given a pretty good idea of what I mean by adding your God into your personal fitness goals, allowing Him (or Her!!) to help keep you strong thoughout the day. Even Jesus was tempted by different people & situations throughout His life. He used His faith in God (His Father) to stay strong so that He did not give in. Do you think the movie Braveheart would have been nearly as good if William Wallace had given into the pain & suffering at the end?? He did not, and then he got to yell FREEDOM!! lol this is a funny example, but everyday we are tempted to eat this & eat that which we know is not healthy for us. At the same time, we are tempted to skip our workout to go do something less strenuous. Should I go home & workout, or should I take today off & go to happy hour with my friends? Here are a few tips that I have learned that help me use my faith to stay strong:

Pray while exercising - If you read my Tips For Food Challenges page, you learned that you can distract yourself from eating by listening to music. Then you are able to eat more. Well this idea works the same for exercising too. Especially if you workout by yourself (like me), make your workout your own time to talk to your God. This will help you focus on something other than your workout, and your routine will go by a lot faster!! Before a heavy set, feel free to ask God to help you. Then when you get the weight up or get through your set successfully, make sure you thank Him!! A lot of prayer can be done during a 45 minute cardio workout. Plus, in addition to a good workout, you will feel better mentally after your long talk with God. You are relieving stress mentally & physically!! Your faith will grow stronger just like your body. Try it next time ;)

Pray while eating - This follows along the same lines as praying while exercising. Next time you eat a meal, try praying before, during, & after the meal. Pray for the strength to order, eat, and drink healthy foods and to avoid the bad stuff. Then thank God for the meal afterwards. You will be satisfied again both mentally & physically!! You will be more motivated to avoid dessert and to continue strong throughout your day. If you pray at every meal, that is 3-6 times per day in addition to your workout time!! Good work!!

Listen to Christian Music - If praying while working out and/or eating is not your thing, they try listening to some Christian music. Anywhere a radio works, you can usually tune into a good Christian station. My favorite is K-LOVE which can be heard in cities all over the country, and online (click here). To find a radio station near you, click here. I find many Christian songs to be very inspirational. I do fully understand if you can't workout to Christian music though!! Try it while eating? Eventually you will learn many of the songs, and you will be able to sing along. Remember that singing is a form of prayer too!! I enjoy listening to K-LOVE not only because of the good motivational music. I also enjoy it because there are A LOT of stories about people WAY MORE unfortunate than me, which keeps me "down to earth." While I am complaining about not wanting to eat celery again today, somebody else not far away is wondering when he or she is going to eat his or her next meal. I may be complaining about my legs being sore, and there are other people that were not even born with legs. Listening to Christian music helps keep me focused on being the best Randy Santel that i can be every day :)

Talk to your workout partner - If you have a workout partner, he or she is probably a good friend that you have a lot in common with. Try talking to that person about something faith related. The worst that can happen is that the person does not want to talk about anything like that. Maybe he or she does though? That could be something to discuss during the workout while you strengthen your bodies & your friendship. Especially if you are doing cardio like walking together. There is a lot of time to talk during a long walk. You can talk about politics & sports all you want, but none of it will ever change a thing. Talking about your faith might be a little more constructive. Faith is a personal thing. Everybody in politics is already bought & paid for, and most people in professional sports feel they don't earn enough to try their hardest!! Try it next time!!

A good final option to try - First of all, by saying this, I am NOT promoting not going to Church or Mass. I feel that going to Church is a great thing for people & families to go to, and can really help a family bond spiritually. I live in Overland Park, Kansas which is 3.5 hours away from my mom, dad, & sister in St. Peters, Missouri. I have been to Church a few times by myself, and I found that I personally don't really get a lot out of it. I also found that every week that i went, I was praying mostly for the same things... to lose weight & to be more physically fit!! Therefore I thought of something new to try. This worked great while I was in my old apartment with a fitness center & treadmill. I don't do it nearly enough anymore, & I need to start back up again. I set aside 1 or 2 hours per week each week as my time to go to my "church." There was never anybody at the fitness center, so it worked great!! I brought my radio in with me, turned on K-Love, walked for 45-50 minutes on the treadmill, and during that time all I did was pray to my God for a great week of health & fitness. lol I am not that selfish though... I do pray for the health of my friends & family!! I alway made sure that I set 1 or 2 times per week and I went to my "church." That worked very well for me and kept me motivated to continue!!

My Conclusion

Hopefully now you have a great of idea of how you can use your faith to motivate & strengthen your diet & exercise plan. If you have never really established who & what your personal God is like, try thinking about that. Your God may have certain aspects and qualities, but I suggest that you don't add qualities such as being rich or powerful with a buch of nice cars. You are opening a whole new can of worms by doing that, and you can never be happy if you cannot be content with what you have. Hopefully your God does not weigh a fat 300lbs either!! lol that is definitely not the purpose of this page. Our bodies were not meant to carry a lot of extra weight (fat). There is a difference between being healthy and obese. Many people carry around a few extra pounds but are still very healthy. There are also many people that are skinny, but they are not very healthy. Being healthy means that you feel great about yourself mentally, and your body feel physically strong and capable of doing everything you need to do throughout the day. Being able to do 20 pullups does not mean that you are healthy. Eating salads all the time does not make you healthy, especially if you use fatty salad dressings!! Being healthy means that you feel like you are the best you that you can be!! ;)

On that note, good luck thinking about your own God and how He works in your personal wellness plan. Make sure that you use the tools God has given you to put together a great diet & exercise plan. Along with the rest of my Fitness & Nutriton Advice section, my Fitness Training section, & my Nutrition & Diet section, feel free to browse all of the other websites, books, & magazines out there to get as much knowledge as you can. There is no such thing as learning too much. Along with everything you learn, let your God help you as you live a healthy & fit lifestyle. Honor your God by taking care of your health & body. If you have questions or comments regarding any of the above information, please contact me!! I'm happy to help!! :)
 

 

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