Control of Bodily Appetites

February 1, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts –

Summer is coming to an end and I’m depressed.

It’s hard to let the good times go. I love my boys being home with me, hiking, biking, swimming, just enjoying every minute with them. My only regret this summer is I’ve allowed my self-control to slip. It hasn’t just been an occasional ice cream cone on the front porch swing. Some days it’s been two ice cream cones and, to be quite honest, most of the time I’m the one instigating the treat.

I really have no problem with eating treats and I adore ice cream. My problem comes in feeling I am out of control. As a Christian, I am trying to emulate the Savior. To me that includes controlling my temper, being a moral, righteous person, and controlling all of my bodily appetites. I believe that we should enjoy delicious foods, but ice cream twice a day? Probably too much.

So how do I stay in control of my bodily appetites?

Jesus gives us the answer in John 15:5 (KJV), “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” He is telling us to stay close to him and we’ll experience His spiritual fruit—love, joy, peace…and self-control. And he warns us that without Him, we can do nothing! We can’t eat in a healthy way, exercise or do other important things to take care of our “temples” and stay in control of our appetites.

Another important thing that we need to do into order to control our bodily appetites is to take it a day at a time. Each day is a new day, another chance to be healthy. If I focus on one day at a time I don’t get so overwhelmed.

I also think it’s wise not to be too strict. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Healthy eating is important but we’re never going to be perfect. I love the 90/10 approach (or sometimes 80/20 when life is crazy). If I eat in a healthy way 90% of the time, I can enjoy a treat for the other 10%.

The best advice is to turn to the Lord. He really does care about every aspect of our lives. He’s there for us. Turn to Him when you’re struggling.

I pray we can all try to take a little better care of ourselves, when we feel good physically it makes it easier to get out and serve others and helps us stay strong spiritually.

What Should I Wear–to the Gym?

December 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts –

As a woman I’m always a bit concerned about what I’m going to wear. It may seem vain, but I find if I’m dressed appropriately I’m more confident and comfortable.  The older I get the more conscious I become about dressing modestly, covering my body in a manner that is appropriate for a Christian.

To be honest I didn’t always feel the same rules of modesty applied at the gym. When I exercise, I work hard and all I cared about was being comfortable. But then I started to notice that my fellow gym rats were watching me a bit too closely. I realized that I couldn’t use the excuse that I was a Mom and nobody should be looking, because they were looking.

While getting dressed for the gym one morning, Jesus’ words came to mind: “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28 KJV).

I’m not saying that these men were lusting after me, but I wasn’t being fair to them or myself by wearing a tank top that was a little too tight or shorts that were a little too short. If I’m not careful to cover my body appropriately, no matter what activity I’m participating in, I’m using my body as a walking billboard that definitely isn’t furthering the Savior’s work.

I know this is a tough subject. I have many relatives and friends whom I love and respect who disagree with me. They feel that the gym is a safe spot where you can wear what you want and nobody should be looking. The problem is that they do look, sometimes not intentionally, but they still get the view that can detract from their spirituality… and yours.

Please share your opinions on this subject. I would love to hear from you!

Hard Work—What’s the Secret Enjoying It?

November 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts –

Thomas Edison said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration,” and he’s right! Genius or any kind of success in life isn’t usually based on how smart or talented we are. I’m sure you know many talented or brilliant people who haven’t accomplished as much as those who have learned how to work.

My sons groan every time I tell them that I’m more proud of how hard they work and how nice they are than how smart they are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that they do well in school but my oldest has never been in more trouble than when he got a hundred percent on the test and eighty percent on his homework assignment.

As an adult, it’s easier to recognize that hard work, in and of itself, brings satisfaction. When I make the time, I actually enjoy cleaning. I love working hard to produce a new novel. You probably have interests and hobbies that you enjoy, even though they’re difficult.

Becoming physically fit is one of those areas that requires hard work. Most people exercise because they want a certain result such as weight loss, strength gain, or a more toned appearance. But is it really possible to enjoy exercising?

I believe that it is, even during a really hard workout. Here’s the secret: perception. If you can shift your perception and convince yourself that fitness is enjoyable, it can be. I can talk myself into or out of quite a few things. Fitness is one of those areas that I’ve learned to talk myself into a good attitude. It doesn’t work every time but as I’m pushing hard during my morning jog (and wishing I could lay down on the side of the road and call my husband to come get me) I say to myself, “I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful.” Most of the time my body buys into mind’s perception and I feel better.

No matter how hard your work is, you can turn to the Lord for help to have a positive attitude about it. He wants us to cheerfully do all things. Our attitude toward the work we perform (be it fitness, manual labor, or a mental challenge) can make the difference between misery and happiness.

 

Overcoming Selfishness

October 1, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts –

My baby is almost ten months old. I’ve worked hard since he was born to lose the “baby weight.” It hasn’t been easy but I’m finally back to my pre-pregnancy weight. But for some reason that hasn’t been good enough. I keep thinking, “Just five more pounds,” which is silly because I’m usually the first one to preach that the number on the scale is just one indicator of good health and you should really focus on how you’re feeling, how hard you’re working, and if you’re confident with how you look.

My younger sister finally called me out. Here’s the gist of what she said (or at least what I heard). “You’re so focused on your body being perfect. You have four children. Grow up.” I think she might have said it a little nicer than that, but then again maybe not. Here’s where her advice gets good: “It’s one of the devil’s tools to make us think that we’re not good enough. If he can convince Christian women to first of all have no self-confidence because they’re not ‘perfect’ and second make them selfish enough to spend all their time trying to be ‘perfect,’ look at what he’s accomplished.”

She is right. Instead of focusing on my family, my spirituality, serving others, and bettering my corner of the world, I was caught up with myself—how I was looking, when I was going to fit in more exercise, what I was eating.

As always, it comes down to balance. Of course we should take care of our physical bodies. We all know we can accomplish the Lord’s work much more effectively if we are healthy and strong. But if any of you have gone past the point of healthy—to obsession, it can be a real concern.

Turn to the Lord for help. He cares about you in every aspect of your life. And don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help keep you on track as well. My husband, boys, sister, and many others who love me keep me focused on the important things in life.

However, the most important thing for me to do is to ask each day what the Lord wants me to do, instead of what I want to do. If I listen to that answer, I’ll never go astray.

 

Make Today Count…No Matter What

September 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Cami Checketts-

At my local gym an older gentleman comes with his bottle of oxygen strapped to his back. When I watch him lift weights, I always think “That’s how I want to be when I’m in my 70s.”

I’m impressed by so many different people. A friend with breast cancer who not only keeps running, but is training for an ultra marathon. A 60-plus year-old lady who is in better shape than most 20 year olds. My husband who finds time to exercise even though his schedule is overflowing with work, church, and family responsibilities (not to mention that lengthy honey-do list). An expectant mom I see on the treadmill every day, walking through the pain (As the mom of an eight month old, I remember that pain all too well!).

In exercise and other areas of life it is extremely easy to make excuses: too busy, too tired, I’ll do it tomorrow. How often do we say these things? “Tomorrow I’ll visit my elderly neighbor.” “With my next paycheck I’ll donate more to charity.” “Tomorrow I’ll eat healthier.” “After things calm down I’ll be more fun with my children.” All great intentions, but today is the only day we have.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44 KJV). Today is the day to be the person we want to become. If we wait for tomorrow we may miss opportunities to serve, love, and grow.

As I relate this back to exercise, I think it’s easy to put off doing something that we know we should do, something that will not only improve our health but make us feel fabulous. Don’t put off the important things. Make time today to exercise. Make time today to serve. Make time today to show your family and friends your love. In our modern age it’s easy to waste time. Don’t do it! Get out and do something to better yourself or help someone else. No excuses. Make each day count, no matter what. I promise you won’t regret it.

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