31 Days of Motivation,  Mantras,  PFOCUS

31 Days of Motivation: The 1st Step to Fitness Success (PART 2)

VICTORYBefore you can start on your fitness goals, you need to have a grasp on what your journey will require. Yesterday we talked about surrender vs deliverance. Today we are talking about making sacrifices. While you ABSOLUTELY can enjoy life, eat fun treats, etc. while moving toward your goal, it would be irresponsible for me to not warn you about the sacrifices you must be willing to make. Of course you may already know this to some degree, but if you are like 99% of the rest of America, you probably hope that you are one of the exceptions who will be able to have your cake, and eat a little too. It’s this mindset that gets you in trouble. You must be willing to do WHATEVER it takes to reach your goal – no matter the sacrifice. Before you can change your actions to get the weight off your thighs, you need to change your mind. Success always starts in the mind. So let’s talk….

Worth the Sacrifice

sweaty girlNowadays people try to do anything possible to avoid cutting back. We work harder so we don’t have to cut back expenses. We exercise more so we don’t have to change our eating. We try to change rules so we don’t have to change anything about us. The fact of the matter is there are certain things in life that REQUIRE sacrifice.

You can’t expect to be an Olympic Champion without making certain sacrifices. Many kids sacrifice parties, sleeping in, vacations, afternoon cartoons and other things regular kids enjoy. However, the reward is worth the sacrifice. The same goes with fitness. Most people can’t have the body they want and eat (and do) what they want. I don’t even mean a ripped physique – I mean a fit, healthy physique requires taking care of your body.

deny yourselfIf you want your body to last long, you need it treat it well. You need to drink less, eat healthier, rest more, get regular check ups and exercise often.  Living healthy requires sacrifice – and one of the BIGGEST sacrifices is denying yourself the things your flesh craves.

deny oneself
a. to refrain from satisfying one’s desires.
b. to refuse to indulge oneself in; abstain from.

Deny Yourself to Save Yourself

Scripture is full of truths. You don’t have to be a Christian to learn from what it says. Look at this statement, explaining what it takes to experience freedom and life. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself…For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-34)

deny yourselfWhat does it mean by “lose your life”? It means a lot of things, but one thing it means is to let go – to be willing to sacrifice for a greater purpose. We often are obsessed with what our body and mind wants NOW, without thinking about what it will affect LATER. You must be willing to lose your life (to not feed these cravings) in order to become the man or woman God desires you to be. You don’t have to be a church-goer to relate to this. Seriously, this applies to everything in life. Great things require sacrifice – in your job, marriage, health and dreams.

What does it mean when it says “if you try to save your life, you will lose it”? Many people eat, drink, spend, love and party their way through life in a pursuit of happiness. They want to live life to the fullest and so they live for the moment. How many times have you heard someone say “if I just had _________, I’d be happy”. We often even treat money, food, power, climbing the corporate ladder, etc as our salvation – like if we get those things, it will save us. However, it’s the pursuit of these things that often destroy us. Our own selfishness is truly is the root of all our issues including food and our health. The taste of food, laziness, self-indulgences, comforts, not wanting to give up your time, and doing things that make you feel good for a moment are all things that can get in the way of your New Year’s goals.

“You Can’t Compete with What You Eat.”

Food-AddictionYou may think you can just workout more to make up for what you aren’t willing to cut back, but you can’t compete with what you eat. True success requires more than that. It’s funny that scripture doesn’t say, “If anyone would come after me, he must work harder“. No, that’s something we don’t mind doing. We don’t mind working hard (like exercising more, or doing more good deeds), but don’t dare tell me I have to deny myself chocolate, wine, time or money. “However, it is in the act of denying our flesh (the desires of our mind and body) that we become free and can really start to live. Otherwise, we live are just living in bondage of the things we refuse to give up. That is why it is in denying ourself, and truly surrendering those things, that we become free.

If you struggle with food, if you are unable to deny yourself or control yourself, you are allowing food to rule you. Food is your god. Food is your boss. Food owns you. The same goes with any other struggle. It could be alcohol, drugs, work or any other out-of-control area of your life that is out of balance or unhealthy. Just like you can’t compete with what you eat by trying to erase all frivolous your calories with exercise, you can’t always erase the damage by doing more good stuff. Some unhealthy habits must die. Look at Joyce Meyer says we can fix it…

“Everytime you feed the flesh, you strengthen it. This is good if you are trying to build a good habit, but detrimental if you are trying to stop a bad habit. The way to “kill the flesh” is to starve it; to stop feeding it.” Joyce Meyer.

You decide what is getting stronger or weaker in your life by what you are feeding. Are you feeding your bad habits? Are you investing time and energy in things that destroy you or lift you up and make you stronger? Are you ready to surrender the things in your life that have been keeping you from your goals. Are you ready to surrender WHO YOU ARE and tell the world that is no longer you, in order to BECOME who you WANT TO BE?

REMINDER (A little encouragement):

You may need to drink water and skip the fried hors d’oeuvres while everyone else stuffs their face at a party – but they won’t enjoy your healthy life. It’s a tradeoff. You can easily feel sorry for yourself, but I guarantee people would trade a healthy fit body for fried macaroni if they were honest. So while you may be jealous they are eating what they want, and feel sorry for yourself while you are dieting and denying yourself of your favorite pleasures, your friends are probably jealous of your discipline – and envy you for being on the path to looking and feeling how YOU want! 🙂


  1. OBSTACLES: Make a list of the things you must sacrifice to reach your goals.
  2. DESTINATION/GOAL: Make a list of all the benefits of reaching your goals.
  3. THE BIG PICTURE: Compare the two and keep the lists visible to help keep you on track (and keep things into perspective) daily.

Did you miss Part 1? Read Surrender vs Deliverance 

Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: