”Take courage” is one of my favorite phrases from the Bible (Joshua 1:9, Mathew 14:27) and I believe it can change a person’s life.
It takes courage for us to function in our daily lives. Some of us need more courage than others sometimes, and that’s okay. Some of us are so courageous that we believe we can conquer the world single-handedly. Others, such as the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, ask somebody else to give them courage, not knowing that it comes from within.
What exactly does courage mean anyway? According to the dictionary, it is ”the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc.,
Those are some rather powerful words, if you ask me!
As I think about COURAGE, many thoughts come to my mind: brave men and women defending our country and our police and fire protection who serve us daily in our homeland. What about the moment a person takes the first step to reclaim their health and start a new lifestyle?
Have you ever really thought about what it takes to make a lifestyle change? You will change the patterns of life that you’ve had possibly for years. Changing the way you eat, the way you exercise, the amount of water you drink. Learning how to deal with the obstacles in life in a whole new way will take courage.
When you make the decision to live a healthy life and are beginning your journey, you will face some obstacles along the road. Let me address a few that I have faced.
Your family and friends may not be on the same page with your lifestyle change. Be prepared to have courage when they attempt to derail your progress. This is an act that is hopefully completely unintentional, but may very well happen at some point. This situation could be nothing more than a planned family dinner at a restaurant. Maybe they want to go to a restaurant that you know has nothing remotely healthy on the menu. You will need courage. By the way, you will also need understanding as your family works to find the balance of a new healthy lifestyle for themselves.
Or maybe it’s Thursday afternoon at 4pm in the office, and the staff decides they want to do happy hour after work. Peer pressure is coming from several friends who want you to attend with them. However, you have fitness scheduled tonight and you know where you need to be. Your former self would have jumped at the opportunity to go have a drink and fried bar food with your friends. However, since you are now working on a healthy lifestyle, you know you need to skip this event. It will take courage for you to tell them you can’t make it this time.
Peer pressure to go have a drink after work or to go out to lunch with co-workers is tough to turn down. I know, because I’ve been there. Initially, my friends would give me a hard time about my journey. I would get questioned about the food choices I was making and, yes, even about counting calories. I had made the decision that my life was worth it to deal with a little jab now and then. Because I had the courage to tell them ”no, thanks” over and over again, I earned their respect and eventually had several of them follow me on my journey.
Do you know what it takes to tell the world that this vessel that you have been given, your body, the only one you are ever going to have, has value? It takes courage!
What courageous steps are you going to take to embrace the life you were meant to have?