The health of ourselves, our loved ones, and our friends, next to salvation, is probably the most important thing to each of us. Check out the prayer chain at any church; many of the prayer requests will be for health-related issues. And certainly, in the news, we are bombarded every day with the importance of exercising to lose weight.
But what if you don’t need to lose weight? What if you are otherwise healthy? I didn’t need to lose weight, have diabetes, or have high cholesterol. Last year, feeling guilty exercising when I had so many other things to do that seemed more important, I told myself I would get back to swimming regularly in a few months when I didn’t feel so overwhelmed.
Of course, the time went by quickly. While I got out of the positive addiction psychologically, my body was still conditioned for those daily workouts. I knew that, but felt conflicted—should I really indulge myself with those laps in the pool or turn in the latest assignment for my Masters’s class?
A few months later, I was overly anxious and over-committed to a long list of to-do’s. Faster and faster I worked, but I still could never accomplish everything I wanted. Anyone who is a work-a-holic can relate; and even if you aren’t, feelings of anxiousness are likely to creep in because you aren’t “burning” off those pent-up emotions in a constructive and healthy way.
A few months into my “no exercise” solution for getting more done, after a particularly stressful week, I woke up with female bleeding. In someone who is past that time, it can signal very serious medical issues, including uterine cancer.
I made an appointment with my doctor when I got back into town, but finding the ultimate cause took several months. Following an expensive medical procedure and too much worry, it was determined the root cause was the result of high blood pressure.
I won’t say how high it was because it’s too depressing—but it shook me up. I started doing all the things I should have been doing all along—no salt, less caffeine, getting enough sleep, and most importantly, exercising.
It’s never easy to make time to exercise, but Kimberley Payne has written a book, Fit for Faith, 7 Weeks to Improved Spiritual and Physical Health, which integrates our spiritual and physical needs, focusing on helping us to become the man or woman God created us to be. The book is simple and instructive—and short. I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with how to incorporate daily workouts into a healthy routine that isn’t overwhelming.
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Here is an interview of Kimberly Payne
Lorilyn: How was the idea for Fit for Faith born?
Kimberley: Although I was born and raised within the church, it wasn’t until I attended a Christian women’s retreat that I realized how much I had compartmentalized my life: family in one corner, work in another, finances here, health there, faith over there. I began to see that my faith shouldn’t be kept partitioned off from the rest of my life. Instead, it needed to be intertwined with all the parts of my life. If I was going to follow Him as my Lord, God wanted me to include Him in everything and that included my health and fitness.
Lorilyn: What authority do you have to write this book? Kimberley: I certified as a Weight Instructor through the YMCA, then went on to certify as an Aerobics Instructor through A.C.E., then went on to certify as a Personal Fitness through Can-Fit-Pro.
Lorilyn: There are many fitness books on the market. How is Fit for Faith any different?
Kimberley: Fit for Faith makes no assumptions about the reader’s spiritual walk. All levels, whether a new Christian or a mature Christian, can benefit from this program. It is a program for a new Christian who wants to learn about prayer, journal writing, and Bible study in the comfort of their own home, but a mature Christian can still be refreshed in their faith and recommit to a daily relationship with God.
It is motivating with inspiring reflections included each day and Christian truths set forth in a non-threatening manner. Fit for Faith also makes no assumptions about the activity level of the reader.
All levels, whether a sedentary individual or a seasoned athlete, can benefit from this program. It emphasizes overall health, not just weight loss. Expertise and professionalism are provided throughout the program in easy-to-read “fit tips” and goal-planning assistance. The program includes strategies that empower people to make small changes in their daily routines to improve the quality of their life.Fit for Faith is a well-rounded balanced program that follows the stages of change and so inspires confidence and builds esteem.
Lorilyn: What is your purpose in writing this book?
Kimberley: The purpose of writing is to share knowledge from the health/fitness field and to demonstrate that partnership with God always leads to success, in every area of life. It is designed with the message of the gospel at its heart.
Lorilyn: What is involved in the 7-week program?
Kimberley: The Fit for Faith program starts with developing an action plan that includes exploring the benefits and success strategies of exercising, healthy eating, and stretching the body and the spirit. Then, the reader moves into implementing the plan through a daily program of prayer, Bible study, and tracking of healthy habits. Each week is capped with a review that is a natural lead into the next week.
Lorilyn: Can the book be used in a group setting?
Kimberley: Fit for Faith is a simple workbook to support a person through their day. It is designed for individuals to participate at any hour anywhere. However, the workbook is extremely versatile and has proven successful as a group program. Leader’s Notes are available to work within a group setting that can also be used as an outreach program within a church or workplace.
Lorilyn: What are the benefits of the program?
Kimberley: It’s like having your own personal trainer without the cost. There is a ton of useful information that helps the reader wade through the myths and misconceptions that are out there. It’s an awareness program. The reader is accountable to record their activities, and this helps to recognize where their strengths are and what areas they need to improve. It’s a lifestyle change. Over the seven weeks, the reader will gain habits that last a lifetime.
Lorilyn: Do you offer workshops/presentations based on the book? Kimberley: Yes, my main three presentations are: Fit for Prayer Learn how to fit prayer and physical activity into your daily routine.
This workshop unites physical health and spiritual health to lose weight and develop a deeper relationship with God. In this highly interactive session, you will gain insight into how to incorporate prayer and fitness into your daily round.
Food for Thought Find out how to nourish your body and spirit through healthy eating and Bible study.
Just as eating healthy foods nourishes your body, Bible study nourishes your spirit. You will learn practical suggestions and scriptural guidance to achieve your goals. Feel the joy of a healthier and more spiritually fit life.
Flex your Spirit Discover a new way to express yourself with God through journal writing and stretching,
Taking care of yourself physically is one way to honor God with your body. Your thoughts and emotions directly influence your physical health. Learn how to recharge your physical and emotional health through stretching activities for your body and spirit.
Here is an excerpt from Fit for Faith
“God’s Word, the Bible, tells us that He created you. He loves you and He wants you to love yourself. You are beautiful. He has made everything beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) I developed this program to help you feel good about yourself, no matter what your size. God wants you to be the most beautiful and useful person you can be. Your value is not found in physical appearance but in being a child of God.”
Don’t just endure life, enjoy it! You can enjoy healthy living – physically and spiritually. Taking care of your body and tending to your spirit adds joy to your life. One cannot be separated from the other. You have learned that the body, mind, and spirit are connected and reflected in your overall health.
There is much that demands your time. Where do you want to spend it? Whichever healthy activities you choose to continue with, make it a daily commitment. May God bless your journey towards improved spiritual and physical health.”
To learn more about Kimberly Payne and her launch of Fit for Faith on Amazon, you can visit her on the following websites:
You may be wondering, what do I do now to get my daily exercise? During the summer, I returned to swimming, which is what I love to do most. Now that it’s gotten cooler and I have to go to the Health and Fitness Center to swim, I have accepted that I can’t swim every day.
On the days I can’t swim, if I am at home, I jump on a small trampoline that I use with my Wii Fit. I listen to John Piper on my iPad as I jump, so I am also feeding my soul. The days I stay in Ocala for my daughter’s gymnastics, I walk on the treadmill, which allows me to watch her as I exercise.
The key is finding what works best for you. Fit for Faith will help you to discover your niche, whatever that might be. Do something rather than nothing. Get started today. CHOOSE to live a healthy lifestyle; you won’t regret it.