A few years ago I was 245 pounds, didn’t sleep well, had high blood pressure, and couldn’t tie my shoes without getting out of breath. The lie that I told myself was that I was comfortable. I justified my body to myself as normal because I was getting older.

It was a trip to my eye doctor that opened my eyes. Pun totally intended. He took my blood pressure to test for blurriness. He almost gasped when he read the dial and demanded to get a second result. It read 195 over 120. For those of you that don’t know it, 120 over 80 is the norm. He mentioned to me that by law he was required to call an ambulance. WHAT!

So I went from a content, ex-college athlete to a freaked out, fat, and stressed out middle age man in about .05 seconds. How does this happen? Well, sitting by the TV watching football and eating whatever you wish is how it starts I believe.

The stresses of being a business owner, Father, and Husband are a few things that make it easy for us to justify some “comfort food” or reduced activity. For those of you out there that are not working out every day, how would you react if I asked you to get up at 5:30 am and run a mile? You would probably laugh at me and tell me to get bent.

A man who is physically fit performs better at any job. Fatigue makes cowards of us all. When we don’t take care of our bodies, we can’t play with our children like we want to. We can’t perform for our wife like we want to. We are not as confident as we used to be.

The good news is that you can start as soon as today to make a change. It is a mindset. I couldn’t run 1 mile when I started a year ago. Then I ran a 15-minute mile after a few months. Then a 13-minute mile. Then 10 minute. I ran my first 5k this summer, and I HATE RUNNING. It isn’t fun. It doesn’t excite me to think of it. But I do it. Because there was a mindset change. I know that I have to do it. Think of it as hitting singles instead of home runs. Start a little bit of activity every day and gain some small wins.

There are four main concepts that I learned in the great Authentic Manhood series of living like Jesus. I memorized them and live by them every day.

Reject Passivity

Stop sitting on the sideline and get in the game. Yes, all your friends are eating an extra hotdog and sleeping in on Monday morning. Dare to be different. Yes, they may even pick on you at first. Soon, they will be asking for lifting tips from you on how you lost those love handles.

Accept Responsibility

Don’t kid yourself. See yourself for what you are and tell yourself what you want to change. I lied to myself for over ten years! I didn’t accept responsibility that my diet was horrible, and I deserved to sit on the couch all day because I worked hard.

Live Courageously

Dare to be different. Yes, it stinks to get up early. Yes, it hurts getting that first milestone. You are a man, though. God made us to be tougher so that we could endure trials.

Invest Eternally

Change your mindset. Change your life. Dedicate the time to live healthy for yourself and your family. This will plant seeds in their lives and the lives of your peers.

UNCOMMEN Challenge: We all hit times when we lost track of our priorities in caring for our health. What changes do you need to make so that you are physically prepared to take on the challenges of your life? Write it down and share it with a friend who will keep you on track.

About the Author: Brian Mangum is the founder of BrightFlow Technologies. As a Father of 3 kids and Husband for over 12 years, he is a big fan of taking care of his health to spend as much time with them as possible.

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