By Dr. Audrey Muhammad
Are we grateful for our body or do we mistreat it by feeding it poor mental and physical food? Do we overfeed it or deprive it of fresh air, sun, and physical exercise?
Every year I use the Anniversary of the Million Man March (1995), which is the Holy Day of Atonement, to make positive changes in my lifestyle and atone with my body. Let us look at the eight steps atonement and see how we can incorporate them into our fitness lifestyle. (Quotes are from The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March Atonement Message on October 16, 1995.)
1. Point out the wrong- Minister Farrakhan said that this first step is often times the most difficult of all because “when we are wrong and we are not aware of it, someone has to point out the wrong. The most difficult thing is when somebody points it out. Do we accept it?” How do we respond when someone points out that we are gaining too much weight or eating something we shouldn’t? Most important, can we point out the wrong in our diets? Have we committed a “wrong” to our bodies because we don’t exercise? We must know what is need of correction? Therefore, we must each perform a self-examination and self-analysis in order to perform a correction. (It would also be a good idea to get a physical so that you may have an up-to-date reading of your body).
2. Acknowledge- “To acknowledge means to admit the existence…” All we have to do is look around and we see the health problems of our community and ourselves.
3. Confess – Our first confession should be to Allah (God) to help relieve your soul of the burden it bears. “The Holy Qur’an says it like this: ‘I have been greatly unjust to myself and confess my faults. So, grant me protection against all my fault for none grants protection against faults but thee.’ It is only through confession that we be granted protection from the consequences of our faults, for every deed has a consequence and we can never be granted protection against the faults that we refuse to acknowledge or that we are unwilling to confess.” If we know we eat too much junk and fried foods, confess and move on to the next step.
4. Repentance – When we repent, we feel such remorse or shame, that we are determined to never conduct ourselves in such a way again. Minister Farrakhan states that “Until we repent and feel sick and sorry over what we have done, we can never, never change our mind toward that thing; and if you don’t repent, you’ll do it over and over again.” We should feel bad about eating an entire bag of chips or pint of ice cream. If we don’t feel shame, then we are on our way to silencing the voice of Allah (God) within. That is something we definitely don’t want to do.
Atonement – Atone means to make amends. What are we going to do to start the process of fitness atonement? Are we going to fast for 3 days and then promise ourselves to eat a healthier diet? Are we going to start walking 5 times a week? We have to make amends to our body before it is too late.
Forgiveness – We have to grant ourselves pardon for what we have done, or else we may spend too much time “beating ourselves up” and unable to make a change.
Reconciliation/Restoration – “After forgiveness we are going to be restored. To what? To our original position…So restoration means the act of returning something to an original or unimpaired condition.” Wouldn’t you like to have a healthy 20 year-old body and you are 40 years-old? Because of our poor lifestyles or “death styles,” we age a lot quicker than what we should.
8. Perfect Union - When we are in perfect union, we are using our body and treating our body the way Allah (God) intended. We also will have the beautiful feeling of peace. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to lay your head down tonight knowing that you have prayed, eaten a healthy meal, exercised and was kind to self and others? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to say, “I have not wronged my body today?”
May Allah (God) bless us all with peace, love, health, wealth, and happiness.
To join our Get Fit To Live Atonement MasterClass and get support to jumpstart a 5-10 pounds weight loss journey, sign-up at https://GetFitToLiveMasterClass.eventbrite.com
Join and get:
1. New habits that will speed up weight loss
2. Get support from your sisters
3. Learn about ways to exercise at your desk and lose weight
4. Weekly check-ins for YOU to share your wins for the week!
(Dr. Audrey Muhammad, a certified aerobics instructor, is the author of Get Fit to Live: Be your best You! For a copy of the Get Fit book, go to virtuetodaymag.com or send $10 to Get Fit to Live, P.O. Box 61402, Raleigh, NC 27661). Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout or dietary plan. Send questions and comments to Audrey.firstname.lastname@example.org)