When the credits to the movie, End of the Spear, roll, Steve Saint talks about the impressions Mincaye, an Ecuador Indian, has after his visit to the United States.

He says when Mincaye described the autowalks in the airport, he told his family that “the foreigners are really big and fat because even when they go walking they just get on the trail and the trail moves, they don’t move their feet.”

His estimation of American lifestyle though humorous is not far from true. Although more and more adult Americans are exercising up from 23.3 percent in 1990 to 25 percent in 2002, the prevalence of obesity, especially in children, is on the rise. Over one-third of Americans are obese.

Most of us would like to be thinner, more fit.  But if you’re like me I don’t like the work it takes.

I want to take the path of least resistance.

Exercise, though difficult, is the path I have to take if I want to be healthy. Right now, being healthy is at the top of the list of things I want.

To get it I have to do a some things I don’t like.  Back in April I re-evaluated what I was doing (not much in the way of exercise) and what I was not doing (quite a bit of sedentary work) and decided it needed to change. With encouragement from a friend, I put exercise in my icalendar and began to treat it like the important daily appointment it is.

Since then I have been exercising at least five days a week for 45 minutes to hour and half.  Some days I try to talk myself out of it and then I remember what I want.  It gives me more courage to do what I know I need to do to get what I want.

I’ve added some additional fitness training, physical therapy and healthy eating.  I’m looking for something like transformation. The name of one of the fitness centers I’ve been going to is even called Transformational Fitness.

Far from a someday transformation, though, I realize transformation is an everyday process.

The definition of transformation actually is “the act or process of changing or transforming”.  This is definitely true where my health is concerned.

I’ve already begun changing. I used to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I now cut out the sugar, watch the carbs, eat more protein, fruits and vegetables and track my calorie intake.

I used to never lift a finger to exercise. I am now in the gym for more than an hour a day with water jogging, walking, stretches, squats and lunges.

I would be remiss, though, if I told you I am not doing this alone.  The One who made my body helps me each day to eat the right things and encourages me to actually do the work.

Some days I try to talk myself out of it. As a matter of fact, I even tell myself that God would want me to eat that homemade bread or wouldn’t want me to go exercise today because… Lots of things go in the dot, dot, dot.

I change them every day, just to give myself a challenge.

There’s no easy way out of being a “big, fat foreigner” as Micayne so pointedly puts it.  Part of it takes me being willing to make the best choices for my health; to realize there is a greater call on my life than a piece of Texas sheet cake.

One of the reasons I am working so hard on my health is that I know in order to live and do what God put me here to do, I must be healthy. While I am here I have to know there is more to life than what my body screams that it wants. To be effective, I must be focused on what is true for me in the here and now.

Still, I keep in mind what will be true in the future.  I know my body will one day be totally transformed.

Then, what a day, glorious day that will be!

“Easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.  But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthly bodies into glorious bodies like his own.  He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.” Philippians 3:19-21, The Message.

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.