1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV)
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
My life is full of moments where God has said no, that’s not for you.
In May 2014, I contacted a trainer from my current gym (who had participated in bodybuilding competitions) for some advice. He gave me a meal plan and workout regimen similar to his, where my day-to-day diet was restricted to a banana, three 4oz. pieces of chicken, three ½ cups of vegetables, 100-350g of carbs depending on the day, and a protein shake.
I battled constantly with this diet, because I just couldn’t keep with it. The problem was this meal plan restricted me from eating other healthy nutritious meals, and it just wasn’t realistic. I began basing my worth off my body fat percentage, and I just never felt like I was good enough.
I started going to the gym two times a day and lost sight of why I began working out in the first place. I didn’t want to go to certain family or church functions because I didn’t want to be tempted by other foods. I began sitting through church services thinking, “When is this going to be over? I need to go to the gym.” This is when I knew things were getting out of hand.
Part of being healthy is allowing yourself to eat that cookie or skip a workout because you are just too tired, and I couldn’t do that without beating myself up.
I knew the problem was not with the gym or eating healthy, but it was how I prioritized it. It was controlling my life. I began to feel an emptiness inside while I was at the gym, and I knew I was never going to be happy living this lifestyle. I even began thinking maybe I shouldn’t get married or have children because then I wouldn’t be able to spend all my free time at the gym. This thought process was not healthy, at least not for me.
I was more concerned with how much I could bench and how I looked, than having a relationship with God.
The emptiness I felt inside didn’t leave me, as I was still putting all of my time and effort into the gym. I knew what God was telling me, but he let me make the choice. I could’ve ignored his warning and kept my fitness aspirations before him, but I knew what I had to do.
I decided I couldn’t live a life where I was confined to eating only chicken and rice or being at the gym several hours a day, seven days a week. I knew there was so much more to life, and God had so much more for me to do.
Did this revelation mean I had to stop eating healthy and working out? No, it didn’t. It just means that my health and fitness goals need to have their place behind God, and they are no longer my sole focus.
I didn’t want to look back at my life and regret not getting married or having children because I was consumed in vanity. I want my life to be full of God’s blessings and for that to happen I had to put things back in order, and listen to what God was telling me.
Deuteronomy 28:2 (KJV)
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.