For those who know me well, you know that I have struggled for many years now to be healthy and develop better habits in life. I say struggled because I have failed miserably for the most part. Sure, I've had times that went better than others, but overall I continued to grow larger and continued in my unhealthy habits.
Let me begin this by stating a few things up front. My desire to be healthy is first rooted in my desire to honor Christ with my body. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit because He fills every believer. Therefore, I have the responsibility to care for my body for the sake of Christ.
A second reason for my desire is to be an example to my flock. I was blessed to spend two years learning and growing under the mentoring of Dr. Pete Schemm. We had many talks about the place for pastors to be an example in all areas. I have a long ways to go, but I hope to make progress by the grace of God. With that being said, about 6 weeks ago my chairman of deacons had a heart attack. He was only 58 years old! I am very close to my deacon chairman. He was the one who contacted me before I moved to Fort Myers. He and I have had many talks and times together already. By God's grace, he has been spared and we have decided to hold one another accountable for weight loss and, more importantly, to be healthy. I have found that it's possible to look like you're in great shape without actually being in great shape. I had already started trying to lose some weight before this happened to him, but I was extremely motivated afterwards.
A third reason, which goes with the last, is that I love my church. What I mean by this is that it wouldn't be fair to my faith family for me to not be able to last in the ministry because of something that I could avoid. Of course, simply eating better and exercising doesn't guarantee anything, but at least I can do my part.
A fourth reason, which is extremely important to me, is for the sake of my family. We have been blessed for my to stay home with our two children. Our daughter is homeschooling, and my wife is doing an excellent job. If something happened to me because of health, these things would quite possibly change. However, I aslo need to lead my family well. It isn't fair for me to not be able to do what is needed to lead them well.
A fifth reason is related to several that I've already mentioned, but after my friend had a heart attack I remembered that my father had bypass surgery in his early-mid 50's. Again, this was another eye opening reality.
With all that being said, back in late January/early February I stepped on the scales at the house. To my absolute shock it said 238 pounds. That's right, 238! How did it get here? What in the world happened? How can this be? (all these questions, and many more, flooded my head)
It was time to do something about it. I started working out again, and tried to eat better. The key word there is tried! Over the next 6 weeks or so I slowly lost 7-8 pounds. I had some friends visit in March and I was absolutely embarrassed when we all went to the beach for the day. So again, I tried to get better. Then in April my mother and father-in-law visited. He had lost 25 pounds since Christmas (which we didn't even know he needed to lose!). He told me that he had seen a doctor and started a program that was not only for weight loss, but also for health. I knew immediately I need the accountability.
Since this post is getting ridiculously long now, let me speed ahead. I went to the Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Fort Myers and started immediately. I am very thankful I did! At this point, since the 238 pound shock, I have lost 26 pounds. Of course, I still have a ways to go, but I feel about a thousand percent better! And, now I love running. I've never loved running. In fact, I've always hated running. Now it's becoming a joy. My distance is growing (slowly), as well as my time. All and all this has been great. I still have a long ways to go, but by God's grace I am on my way.
I have been hesitant to post anything about this on my blog, Facebook, or twitter because I have so many times in the past talked a good talk and failed. I still could. I know my weaknesses. I know my sinful nature and the inclinations I have to go back into old habits. But I decided to post this because it may help others. If it does, awesome! And also, please pray for me that a healthy lifestyle will be developed and I will honor Christ with my life and my body.
I decided to post two pictures on here. The first picture was taken a while back, but I'm not really sure when. The second was taken today. I tried to make them as close as possible. Though you can't see much, I think you can see the difference in my face.