When my sister called me asking for some suggestions for a health presentation she needed to conduct outside of the wellness center where she works, the above title is one of the first things I said to her.
Fitness trainers are not always allowed the comfort of only training a person in the gym. We have to be flexible enough with the message of fitness that the truth stands alone.
A gym doesn’t make a person healthy, nor does delivering a message in a church or mosque make something true. Truth is truth, no matter where it is delivered. Look at the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan; he created the largest “outdoor mosque” in America on October 16, 1995 at the Million Man March. Minister Farrakhan is a dynamic example of a person who is guided by Allah (God) and carries the teachings everywhere he goes. He is a man that is not confined by four walls or the limited thinking of other people.
How much do we allow others or ourselves to limit our thinking and actions? Do we carry our way of healthy eating wherever we go, or do we simply take what is available? I remember fasting not only during the monthly national fast, but every Saviours’ Day when I traveled with the local mosque in Ohio to Chicago because I knew most of the available food would be fried food at popular fast food restaurants on the road and I also did not like eating so late. Instead of eating, I used that day as an opportunity to pray and prepare for the upcoming weekend and made sure I had room for a meal at the Salaam Restaurant and some Supreme Bean Pie (smile).
What emotions can hinder us from moving forward and being productive? Fear and guilt. In a letter to the Believers dated April 24, 1987 prefacing Self-Improvement Study Guide No. 9, Minister Farrakhan wrote, “Fear restricts. Guilt restricts. Fear presupposes the absence of knowledge of what we fear. Guilt comes as a result of our knowledge of our violations of a standard of behavior.”
If we have fear, we must confront it. If we have guilt, we must offer forgiveness. Have we forgiven ourselves for the days, weeks or years of unhealthy eating, or are we so burdened by guilt that we are restricted and can’t move forward?
We should look at each day that we wake up as another opportunity to develop ourselves and be pleasing to God. Each day that we are given is another blessing and opportunity to manifest God’s purpose for ourselves. Do we fear our greatness, beauty and intellect? Was Marianne Williamson stating a truth when she wrote in her book, “A Return to Love,” that, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.” (The full text of this poem was used in the inspirational movie, Akeelah and the Bee and a portion of it was also recited in the equally touching film, Coach Carter.)
As we prepare to “get fit to live” by adopting a daily exercise program and incorporating eating to live, we must examine what best fits into our lifestyle. Moreover, how can we “make” it fit into our daily lives because the “truth” is we can no longer afford to not exercise or eat to live.
In his concluding words in the above noted letter, Minister Farrakhan wrote: “It is time for us to do the Works of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that they may be examined by the world. For our work of doing his Work bears witness that every Word He spoke was true; that He was indeed Who He said He was and more.
“You, as an individual, are part of His Work. The more you and I manifest the results of self-examination, self-analysis and self-correction, the more we demonstrate that we have been touched by Allah (God). Through our works, we will prove to the world that Allah (God) has intervened in our lives and is at the very root of this resurrection process that we are now a part of. Best wishes for your continued success. Thank you for reading these few words.”
(Audrey Muhammad is a certified personal trainer and aerobic instructor. Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary plan. Questions and comments may be sent to Aud[email protected]. Visit her website at www.getfittolive.)