What is the “vision” we have for our body? What do you want your “end” result to be? What size do you want to wear? How many pounds do you want “to BE.” (Sometimes it’s not good to always focus on “losing weight” or else you may find yourself in a perpetual state of “losing weight.”) Focus on your final goal.
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said the brain of the human being is infinite, so you are only limited by your lack of vision,” said Minister Farrakhan (FCN Vol. 29, No. 47). Once you know what your objective or goal is, you can now start mapping out the “steps” toward that goal. Ever notice that your GPS system or Google maps cannot give you any streets or “steps” until you type in a “final destination” which is equivalent to a “final product.” Don’t we all want to be “healthy human beings” or healthy “soldiers.”
We are children of God and soldiers for peace. Do you know of any army that doesn’t have its soldiers exercise? No. Exercise is the first thing they do in the morning. What does exercise do besides help you lose weight? Exercise strengthens the immune system. Our immune system is our first line of defense against illness and disease. Secondly, if we are not careful, the food we put in our mouth can send us to our grave. However, we were given a great gift in books I and II of How to Eat to Live on how to live a longer and healthier life with the best of foods.
Some of us have lost the young, strong, and lean body of our youth and desire it back. Well, there is a price that we have to pay. What is the cost? Hard work (exercise) and sacrifice (giving up certain foods and our time) will be part of the price to pay. Can we afford this? Yes! But are we willing to spend the “money”? Let’s review the instructions given to Believers in Study Guide No. 13. In Study Guide No.13, titled “The Price of Redemption” it states: “to ‘redeem’ means to ‘buy back.’ This suggests that the item being bought back was once owned by the buyer and for some reason he had temporarily lost possession of it. Thus, a price has to be paid for the object to be returned.”
(All quotes are from Study Guide No. 13 unless noted otherwise).
These instructions, if followed and also applied to health, will help us get fit to live.
The instructions are:
1.) Prayer. “It takes 21 days, according to scholars, to break old habits and make new ones. Let the Nation of Islam get into the habit of prayer, 5 times a day at the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner … Prayer is the re-affirmation of desire. We endure by re-affirming and re-identifying our desire until we reach the goal.” (Study Guide No. 13). (According to the Random House Dictionary, “exercise” is “bodily or mental exertion, esp. for the sake of training or improvement of health … forms of practice or exertion designed to train, develop, condition or the like.” Prayer is an action that takes mental effort. It is the first “exercise” we should do in the morning. Even some of the positions of prayer are similar to the positions in the yoga.)
2.) Fasting. Another “exercise” we are encouraged to practice is “fasting.”
“In Islam, fasting is an institution of the improvement of the moral and spiritual condition of human beings. Fasting, abstention from food in obedience to Allah (God), helps us build the will to resist the impediments to self-development.” (We should all try to participate in the monthly three-day fast. You should not fast if you are pregnant or nursing).
3.) One meal a day. “Eat one meal a day…it will prolong your life.” ( However, we need to make sure that the one meal is nutritious and balanced with protein, carbohydrates and fat. Make sure you make bean soup part of your meal).
4.) Charity and sacrifice. “Charity is a principle of action which is necessary for the spiritual advancement of man. The advancement we make through charity is towards Allah(God).” (We should “sacrifice” or give up that cake or soda pop. Giving up a can of soda alone will reduce 150-200 calories in a day. Give up the sweets and that is another reduction of about 300 calories. Only one slice of bean pie per person–[smile]. Cut out those 200 calorie candy bars we may have daily. Believe me, those calories will add up FAST and the next thing you know, you will weigh a couple extra pounds. By exercising and reducing our caloric intake by 300-500 calories a day, we can lose 1-2 pounds a week! Now that sacrifice is worth it!)
5.) Work. “What is ‘work’? It is Force x Distance; the exertion of energy on an object that is not moving on its own, resulting in the movement of that object.”
View exercise as a valuable “work” activity that will lead you to a “Valuable Final Product which is a healthier heart and body.
Unfortunately, exercise is a type of work we make excuses not to do. In this day and time, we can no longer afford to make excuses for work we should perform. Fat will not move unless we cause it to move. It takes “work” to get rid of fat. “Workouts” are good for the body and the mind. As I mentioned earlier, the above suggestions, if followed and applied to our health, will help us “get fit to live.” May Allah (God) bless us all with peace, health, wealth, love and happiness.
(Audrey Muhammad, a certified personal trainer and aerobic instructor, is the author of Get Fit to Live: Be your best You! available at Respect for Life Bookstore or www.getfit2live.org or write to Get Fit to Live, P.O. Box 61402, Raleigh, N.C. 27661-1402). Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary plan. Send questions and comments to [email protected].)