“Flat abs fast.”

“Your 20-minute plan to get sexy, slim and summer-ready!”

“Blast 300 calories in 20 minutes.”

These were the headlines screaming at me as I waited in line to pay for my groceries today. I like to read fitness magazines to get access to new exercise moves or recipes, but it kills me that they draw people in with headlines that promise better health with a quick fix.

We are drawn to the easy way. We want to avoid pain and aggravation. We look for the latest advances in medicine, diet and exercise that can turn back the clock and make us happy, thin, well balanced individuals. The truth is that balance in body, mind or spirit often requires challenge, heartache and disappointment.

Ever had a less-than-favorable opinion of someone when your first get to know them? Many of us have. We’ve also had the benefit of experiencing conflict with that same person. The reason I use the word “benefit” is because after coming out on the other side of that conflict we learn a lot—about ourselves and the other person. We have a greater appreciation for their behavior, why it is and we might even find that the reason for the conflict is because you and the other person are a lot alike! “To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink…” Romans 12:20

Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight and kept it off for two years or more will tell you that the healthy lifestyle they’ve finally found did not come without a lot of struggle. They will also tell you that they tried the “latest things” and got only short-term results.

This week’s blog doesn’t provide quick tips or happy news. I’m shooting straight from the hip this week to tell you that lifelong change is hard. Lasting, meaningful relationships with others take work.  Strong faith is often tested.

Let’s take better health. So many people don’t realize how fast time flies by. They wake up one morning, look in the mirror and wonder where that overweight, unhealthy, tired person came from. In most cases that bad health has been building for 10 years or more. You just can’t expect it to come off in a few weeks or even 90 days doing P90X. Lasting health takes daily disciplines, it takes challenging, hard workouts and it requires giving up certain foods that not only put weight on your body but endanger your health. Workouts need to be tough and craving for foods that you yearn should be strong. But you must do the work and have the discipline to move beyond the craving. “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23

I wish I had the magic pill. I wish I could tell you that just doing 10 minutes of working out or walking would get you in peak health. Even Tony Horton’s 10-Minute trainer is designed for three 10-minute intervals throughout the day. Walking and doing just 10 minutes per day are great starting points, but if your body isn’t changing the way you want after changing your habits for three months take a long look at yourself in the mirror and ask: Am I doing the work? Am I giving up the foods and beverages that I know are not good for me? Know that If you do all this the rewards are huge. You not only get the body you want but you feel good ALL THE TIME. You have more energy; you are more focused…you are happy.

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