Until I turned 64, I’d never exercised in a serious way. I had walked and done a few things to stay in decent shape, but I was not dedicated to exercise. I had reached into my excuse bag many times over the years and come up with all kinds of “reasons” I could not exercise. But, the Lord spoke to me and encouraged me to begin a serious workout program so I could be strong for the last third of my journey through life.
I already had good eating habits, but when it came to going to the gym several times a week, I used the excuse that I simply could not do that because of my travel obligations. I truly couldn’t figure out how I could manage to put serious workout time into my already busy schedule. I finally decided to do what I could do instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do.
The thought of getting started with a serious workout routine was overwhelming to my mind, so I had to put Philippians 4:13 to work in a very practical way and discipline myself to say: “I can do this. I can do whatever I need to do in life, and God says I need to be on a serious workout program.”
I had to take the challenge one day at a time because if I looked at my calendar for the year, it appeared as if I was attempting something that was truly impossible. I strongly urge you to face your challenges one day at a time. Looking too far down the road only tends to overwhelm us. Trusting God requires that we believe He gives us our “daily bread”; that is, we receive what we need as we need it and usually not before.
As I started seeing the benefits of working out regularly I felt it was important enough to me that I needed to eliminate a few other things I was doing that cluttered my schedule to make room for the exercise. I quickly discovered that if we want to do something strongly enough, then we find a way to do it.
I still continue to this day to have challenging times with the workout program. I still get sore, and some days I have to go to the gym by sheer determination, but I refuse to give up. At one point after I had been working out for three or four months, my coach put me on circuit training. I didn’t even know what circuit training was, but I quickly found out that circuit training is doing five exercises in a row, as quickly as you can. It took me 35 minutes to do 75 lunges on each leg, 100 bench presses, 75 dumbbell dead lifts, 75 abdominal crunches and 75 exercises with a pulley. After that, I was so sore I thought I might not survive.
When my coach had originally told me what he wanted me to do that week I quickly said, “That is going to be too much for me.” I reminded him of my age and that working out was fairly new to me. He said: “Don’t let your mind get in your way; you can do whatever you decide to do. Our motto here is: ‘No excuses, only results.’”
With that encouragement, I thought: OK, I’m going to get a good mindset about this. I can do this. I had to tell myself over and over again, “I can do this.” I got started and did OK, but by the fourth set, I began to get dizzy. I told my coach, “I’m getting dizzy,” and he responded: “Then you don’t have to do all five sets. You can stop with four.” Something rose up in me when he said that, and I answered: “I am not quitting with four sets. I’m going to do the fifth one.” And when I did, I was so proud of myself!
The same principle that applied to me as I began working out also applies to many other areas of life—getting out of debt, cleaning and organizing your house, solving marriage problems, disciplining your children, being on time for work or completing a project. Whatever you need to do in life, you can do it. Remember, Philippians 4:13 says you are ready for anything and equal to anything because God gives you strength. Nothing is too much for you when He is on your side.
Joyce Meyer is the author of more than 80 books, including Battlefield of the Mind. She is also host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce, visit charismamag.com/meyer. Adapted from Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind by Joyce Meyer, © 2010. Published by FaithWords, a division of Hachette Book Group; used with permission.
To read more from Joyce Meyer on your mobile phone, download our free app at·app.charismamag.com·