“This getting-healthy-thing is all about you.”

Every college student knows that you gain 15 pounds after freshman year, otherwise known as the “Freshman 15″. It wasn’t until I completed my first year of college two years ago that I realized the phenomenon was true (to a degree). I could barely into the shorts that I had once easily slipped into in August. So, being the peer pressured female teenager I was, I decided to go on a diet and daily exercise routine for the summer. I obtained a membership for a local gym for two months, invested in new sportswear, and stepped back into what seemed like the bittersweet rhythm of a healthy lifestyle (karate and soccer kept me off the couch back in high school).

One day, I took my first cycling class of Summer 2015. The first few minutes weren’t too bad, perhaps because I ignored every instruction to “pinch [the resistance] to the right” every 20 seconds. Halfway through the class, Angels by Jessica Simpson started blasting on the speakers, and the instructor stood up from her bicycle in preparation to pep talk us. “I want you all to completely forget about everything on your mind. All the stresses, all the worries, everything that is a pain in your life. Flush it all out with every push. This is all about you. You are doing this only for yourself. So forget about everyone and everything in this world, and focus on you!”

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31. This bible verse kept repeating itself in my head as she attempted to inspire everyone in the room. There is no way I’m doing this for myself, I thought, but for Him! This whole healthy diet and exercise idea had initially been for my own self gain. I wanted to lose the thunder thighs and the need to get rid of my clothes. But now, I had a real reason. I had a purpose. I would push myself beyond my comfort zone at every gym class and every meal in order to make Jesus proud. And I could inspire others to do the same! This thinking immediately sent energy through my whole body, and I sprinted like I never sprinted before on that bicycle. She then proceeded to say, “Close your eyes, so you can focus on yourself and your new toned body!” In response, I kept my eyes open, as if in Adoration, fixing my eyes on the Prize, the One who kept me going faster and faster. I felt myself grinning at the thought of this new perspective, my new motivation.

Maybe there are new things you want to try this spring. Whether it be a new sport, a first-time mission trip, or even a new health routine like mine, make sure to Fix Your Eyes on the Creator of those activities, the One who loves you with all His heart, and the One who made the struggles of trying new things so that you can come out of the experience as a stronger person. And so with this, let us pray,

Heavenly Father, you are an amazing God! Thank you for the rush that comes with trying something new and for the pain that comes with growing and learning. We promise to do everything for Your glory! You are motivation, You are our energy, You are our everything! We pray in Your most Holy Name, AMEN!

P.S. Don’t get me wrong! I love my instructor. She actually played Mandisa’s Overcomer and Kutless’s What Faith Can Do at class after I wrote this article, and I FREAAAKKEED OUT! I told her she made my day. She replied that she assumed younger people like me wouldn’t appreciate it. It goes to show we “youngsters” should be more outspoken about our love for Hillsong and Elevation Worship, AMEN?!

P.S.S. This was an article I wrote two years ago, and I certainly do not keep up with an exercise routine like I used to (guilty!). Regardless, whenever I do work out, I love listening to Christian Music! (Mandisa makes awesome zumba-worthy music too!) Here’s a great Spotify playlist to get you started! https://play.spotify.com/user/sozoofficial/playlist/2gnWYHMPsaTk8yZ8qN57qF

Written by Kipsy Quevada