Brad Hall

I didn’t officially make a New Year’s resolution for 2021, but on New Year’s Day, I joined the millions of others who made it a goal to start the year by trying to eat healthier and exercising more in order to lose weight.

Near the end of 2018 through 2019, I lost a total of about 30 pounds as I went from weighing 185 down to 155. I struggled to stay in the 150s but maintained a weight of around 160 most of the year and into the first part of 2020. I was pretty satisfied with that as my vitals were much better and I could fit into my clothes much easier.

However, I got hit with a double whammy which led to me gaining all of that weight back.

In March of last year, I don’t have to remind you of what all happened. And then later in July, I became a dad with the birth of our baby boy Jaxson.

So because of the pandemic, I was stuck at home a lot. And because of the new dad life, the rest of my daily schedule was turned on its head. This led to me officially getting back to the 185-pound mark this past New Year’s Eve when I weighed in.

Of course I’m certainly not complaining about our baby. I’d put on many more pounds if that’s what it took to care for him. But I definitely could have squeezed in some time for exercise once I got the hang of feeding and changing the diapers of an infant. I could only use the new dad life as an excuse for so long before it eventually became just that -- an excuse.

So to start the new year, my wife and I made a trip to the grocery store to shop for healthy meals for the week. And I also found a 30-minute workout program on YouTube that is low-impact and geared toward beginners.

By the way, it’s not the easiest thing to do to find healthy recipes that aren’t ridiculously difficult to prepare. So if you have any personal favorites, please send them to bhall@thetimestribune.com.

At any rate, my wife has done an excellent job so far cooking us meals that are relatively low in carbs and fat. Thus, I needed to do my part in this weight loss journey by squeezing in time for exercise.

For five of the past seven days, I’ve made time to complete the 30-minute workout I found. It’s called “30 minute fat burning home workout for beginners” by Body Project if you want to look it up for yourself.

All of the exercises in the video are doable for me for the most part, and I really enjoy how motivating the trainer Daniel is throughout the 30 minutes.

He’s also joined by a couple of others who look more like you and me which is nice. Wade, on the left, does really low impact versions of the exercises which helps show what beginners can do. Angie on the right takes it up several notches and even uses weights for her workouts.

So it shows you a progression of what you can build up to, and how you can do the exercises at varying levels.

But there were a few different messages that the trainer delivers throughout that have already made an impact on me, and I really wanted to share them with you all this week.

One thing he said, and it’s even plastered on the wall in the background, is that it’s all about progress, not perfection. This means that beginners shouldn’t jump into this routine expecting perfection immediately. Instead, we should just focus on making progress no matter how fast or how much.

Daniel also pointed out that our bodies can be telling us to quit and to give up. But we need to be mentally stronger in order to keep going and persevere.

And the third message I found interesting was he told us to aim for our personal best. Not his best, or Wade’s best, or Angie’s best, but our own personal best.

All of these messages are so inspiring because they do a great job in motivating you to continue and to work harder with these exercises. But I personally found them inspiring because I think we can also apply them to our walk with Jesus.

No matter where you are, the message of “progress, not perfection” is something we all need to be reminded of. And how we need to work on our personal best, and not the personal best of others is something all of us should try to remember.

You could be a lost soul who may be thinking about finding a church or starting a relationship with God, but you just don’t think you’re good enough. You tell yourself there’s no way you could be on the same level as your neighbor or maybe even someone like the pastor of a church.

However, God isn’t expecting perfection right away. In fact, he isn’t even expecting perfection ever. All God wants is for you to just start working and building on your relationship with him, no matter what that entails for you personally.

And as far as the message goes about our bodies telling us to quit, I bet most of us have been guilty of that.

It is so easy to let the flesh tell you to stay in your warm, cozy bed on Sunday morning when you need to be going to church. In fact, there will be many situations when your body will try to tell you to just stay at home on the couch when you know you need to be getting out into the world.

Similar to how we need to be mentally strong when exercising, we need to be spiritually strong so we can ignore the flesh and do what God wants us to do.

Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

These words are what we need to keep in mind for this new year.

If your resolution is to lose weight, don’t give up if things aren’t perfect immediately. Just keep working and making progress little by little, and eventually you’ll reach your goal.

And if you’re working on your relationship with God, don’t get frustrated if it feels like you’re nowhere near where you need to be. As long as your heart is in the right place, the Lord will be there to push you forward.

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