Last week, we at the Catholic Sentinel started our annual fitness challenge.

Each one of us sets individual goals, and support one another toward achieving those goals.

Working together adds a higher level of accountability: That mid-afternoon bag of Cheetos gets much harder to swallow when you’re being watched by not only yourself and God, but also a half-dozen co-workers.  

Most of the Sentinel staff members’ goals are related to better food choices, exercising more, and breaking unhealthy habits.

It’s not that we are lazy people, nor are we gluttons. It’s just that our days are busy and we often make family, job and service our highest priorities. We help our children with their homework, put in long shifts at the office, volunteer with parish ministries, and educate ourselves to better serve Christ and community.

They are noble tasks, but we are often guilty of sacrificing our own physical health. We skip workouts or grab less-than-healthy food choices on the go instead of preparing a wholesome meal and eating with mindfulness.

Ironically, the longer we go without taking care of ourselves, the more our bodies deteriorate. We’re more likely to get sick or injured, which decreases the time and energy we have for our family and Church.

The body is a “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19), and we are called to respect and care for ourselves as well as others. This physical discipline is an oft-overlooked aspect of gospel living.

We invite you to join us. Set your own goals and we’ll work together toward becoming healthier and, in turn, better prepared to serve in all areas of our lives.