Chapter 1 - Motivation


“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.”

–Zig Ziglar

The Oxford Dictionary defines motivation as: “A reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.”

The goal of Healthy Weight 2020 is to change your behavior; to help you implement a healthy diet and lifestyle that will gradually bring your body into a healthy state, including a healthy weight.

And you can do it! You will establish new, healthy habits that will become your new “normal.” Establishing a new habit requires motivation – constant motivation. You must have a good enough reason to keep going, even when you are tempted to slip back into an old, harmful habit.

So, the first thing you need to do is figure out what will motivate you to adopt a healthy lifestyle and stay with it. What, or who, is your reason for changing your behavior?

It may be that you’re just “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” In subsequent chapters I’m going to be sharing information that I’ve gleaned from a number of books, including:

·        The Enzyme Factor, by Dr. Hiromi Shinya. On some editions the tagline reads, “Diet for the future that will prevent heart disease, cure cancer, stop type 2 diabetes,” and on other editions it reads, “How to live long and never be sick.” I don’t know about you, but either one of those sounds good to me! They both motivate me!

·        Sugar Blues, by William Dufty, a brilliant, well-researched, landmark work published in 1975. A quote from the back cover says, “…the bestselling exposé that unmasks our generation’s greatest medical killer.” Let’s Live magazine said, “One of the most revealing, instructive, and helpful books ever written.” The San Francisco Review of Books said, “If you are at all interested in your health, read this book!” I will be sharing information from this book that will immediately improve your health!

·        Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis. Dr. Davis is a cardiologist who believes that health should be in the hands of the public. On his website,, he says, “The food you eat is making you sick and the agencies that are providing you with guidelines on what to eat are giving dangerous advice with devastating health consequences. You can change that today.”

·        Self Heal by Design, by Barbara O’Neill. “The body can self heal by its very design, and you can design a program that will enable the body to do the very thing it was made to do – heal itself.” Get motivated!

·        The Ministry of Healing, by Ellen G. White. In 1905, she said, “People need to be taught that drugs do not cure disease.

“…in most cases the drug only changes the form and location of the disease.”

You will learn about the Eight Principles of Health that Mrs. White taught over 100 years ago, which Barbara O’Neill is bringing back to our attention because they are just as true today:

1.   Pure Air

2.   Sunlight

3.   Temperance

4.   Rest

5.   Exercise

6.   Proper Diet

7.   The Use of Water

8.   Trust in Divine Power

·        Mindless Eating, by Brian Wansink, Ph.D. Dr. Wansink is a food psychologist. He says, “The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.” Even I can stick with a diet like that, and you can, too. I’ll be sharing some basic information from this book that I guarantee will improve your health.

·        Dr. Mehmet Oz says about The Daniel Plan, by Rick Warren and Drs. Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman, “I witnessed firsthand The Daniel Plan’s impact on personal health. Grab a friend and begin your journey to an all-around healthy lifestyle that’s attainable and sustainable.”

·        The tagline from The Blue Zones, by Dan Buettner, reads, “Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest.” Dr. Oz says, “A must-read if you want to stay young!” And here’s a quote from the back cover, “A long, healthy life is no accident. The secrets to longevity are widely debated and sometimes misunderstood—yet remarkable groups of people manage to achieve it naturally, enjoying longer life spans while remaining active and vital well into their 80s, 90s, and 100s.”

Are you motivated yet? I hope so! I am!

I am motivated; psyched; fired up; stoked!

I am sick and tired of seeing my family and friends constantly sick and tired – frequent trips to doctors and pharmacies that keep them physically, emotionally, and financially drained; continuous aches and pains, a lack of energy and vitality that rob them of many of the simple pleasures of life. I do not believe that is the abundant life that God intends for His children!

So, Reason #1 – Do it for Your Self


If you’re married, then your motivation could be your spouse. How do you demonstrate your love to your spouse? It’s easy to say, “I love you,” but how do you show it?

I believe a very practical way that I can express my love to my wife is by living a healthy lifestyle – physically, mentally and spiritually. On our wedding day, Marshia and I promised to love, honor, and cherish each other, 'til death do us part; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health. I know that she’ll love me for better or worse, but because I love her I want to give her better, not worse; I want to give her my best. I know that she’ll love me for richer or poorer, but I want to make her richer, not poorer. And I have no doubt that she’ll love me in sickness and in health, but because I love her I want to do everything within my power to keep myself and my family in health, not sickness.

We are made in the image of God – three parts – body, soul, and spirit. Commit to developing all three areas of your life: your spiritual life above all; your soul, which is your mind, will and emotions; and your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Do it out of love for your spouse.

Another reason why your spouse could be your motivation is that God may want you to be your spouse’s motivation! The Daniel Plan emphasizes the importance of having others who encourage us on our journey toward a healthy lifestyle. Maybe your spouse needs encouragement. In The World’s Best-Kept Diet Secrets, Diane Irons says, “Studies have found that friends push each other in a way that causes them to lose weight 20 percent faster than if they tried to do it alone.”

So, Reason #2 – Do it for Your Spouse


If you have children then they definitely could be your motivation – your reason. I lost my dad way too young; he was only fifty-five. I know first-hand the void it leaves in the life of a son or daughter when a parent dies young.

As parents, I believe we should do everything within our power to remain healthy and active throughout all the years that God has planned for us – not let the devil rob us of even one single day – that we might be a blessing to our children and our children’s children.

And while we’re on the subject of the devil robbing us of years of life, and certainly years of vibrant health, let me share a truth that God revealed to me recently. One of my many favorite verses from the Bible is John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Jesus came that we may have abundant life, and that includes our health.

·        Isaiah 53:5 says that, “…by His stripes we are healed.”

·        Jesus Himself said in Matthew chapter 15 that “healing is the children’s bread.”

·        Psalm 103:2-3 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,”

·        Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent His word and healed them...”

·        Matthew 9:35, “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

·        Matthew 10:1 says, “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”

·        And, in Matthew 10:8 Jesus commanded His disciples, “Heal the sick...”

The abundant life! That is God’s perfect will for you and me. And God has provided for that abundant life; Jesus Christ has paid the price. God has done His part.

So why are so many of His children today not living the abundant life? I believe the abundant life that Jesus intended for us includes abundant health; vibrant health. But, if that’s the case, then why do the vast majority of our prayer requests at church Sunday after Sunday have to do with sickness and disease?

Exodus 15:26 says, “…If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”

So why are so many of God’s people today suffering from the same diseases as His enemies?

I believe the reason is that we are not doing our part. The truth that God revealed to me is that in order to enjoy the abundant life each of us has to live what I call “The Abundant Lifestyle.”

The Oxford Dictionary defines lifestyle as, “The way in which a person lives.”

Now, I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers. I don’t understand why my late wife suffered and died from cancer at the age of fifty, or why Marshia’s sister, Anna, suffered and died from cancer at fifty-five, or why so many other good, God-fearing people that I have known have been stricken with terminal diseases that, in my humble opinion, don’t belong to God’s children!

All I do know is that, as a child of God we are responsible to do everything possible within our means and understanding to remain healthy and active throughout all the years that God has planned for us – not let the devil rob us of even one single day – that we might serve God and others, reach our full potential, and fulfill the purpose for which God created us.

So, Reason #3 – Do it for Your Children


Now, if none of these reasons motivate you to commit to the Healthy Weight 2020 Challenge, allow me to repeat the passage that I shared at the end of my Introduction, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

I want to encourage you to seriously consider the condition of your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and ask God to show you what changes you need to make in your lifestyle that would honor Him.

Now you may be wondering what my motivation is for putting this project together.

Proverbs 12:18 says, “…the tongue of the wise promotes health.”

I want to promote health among God’s people. I want to see God’s people flourish in every way. As the apostle John said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

That is my prayer for you, but you have to do your part. Your soul will not prosper without prayer and Bible study, and neither will you be in health without a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Imagine a man coming forward at church and asking for prayer for God to restore his marriage, and yet he continues to openly practice adultery. Would that not be an affront to God? That man needs counseling and teaching! He needs to repent and change his life.

So what about the person who asks for prayer for a health condition that could be avoided or reversed by living a healthy lifestyle? Does that person not also need counseling and teaching about health and nutrition? Does that person not also need to change their life?

That is precisely the goal of Healthy Weight 2020: To offer information about how to live The Abundant Lifestyle – the full, healthy life that God wants for His children.

I want to end this chapter with a few quotes from Hippocrates, “The Father of Western Medicine:”

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”

And finally…

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”

I hope you’ll take this opportunity to change your lifestyle and become all that God created you to be in spirit, soul and body.

In our next chapter, which is entitled “Assessment,” you will take an honest look at where you are right now, and I will show you exactly where you need to be. Then in subsequent chapters I’ll tell you how to get there.

Let’s get it done!



Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Shinya, Hiromi. The Enzyme Factor. Millichap Books, 2010.

Dufty, William. Sugar Blues. Grand Central Life & Style, 1986.

Davis, William. Wheat Belly. Rodale Books, 2014.

O’Neill, Barbara. Self Heal by Design. Bang Printing, 2014.

White, Ellen G. The Ministry of Healing. Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1942.

Wansink, Brian. Mindless Eating. Hay House, 2001.

Warren, Rick, Amen, Daniel, Hyman, Mark. The Daniel Plan. Zondervan, 2013.

Buettner, Dan. The Blue Zones. National Geographic Society, 2008.

Irons, Diane. The World’s Best-Kept Diet Secrets. Sourcebooks, 1998.


Copyright © 2019 by Robert May


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