Last night I received a phone call out of the blue from a buddy who I knew in college. I had messaged him on Facebook because I had read that he had lost almost 100 lbs! He weighed 260 lbs and dropped to a stunning 169 lbs at his lowest! I could not believe it, especially because this dude is only 5 foot 7 inches on a good day! I knew him as short and round.
Last night’s phone call from him was so encouraging. Many of us can identify with the agony of carrying an extra few pounds or more on our bodies. Sometimes I think my metabolism runs in reverse. I swear I can gain weight just by looking at food! Can any of you relate?
Joe shared some tips with me- many of them I knew from when I was working out a couple of years ago using the Body for Life program. I was reminded again about how undisciplined I had become in both my eating and exercise. It makes a huge difference. I had dropped down to 206 lbs with 15% body fat two years ago (after weighing 235lbs and 30% body fat). I was becoming a rock! Since then, in such a short time I have bloomed to my all time high of 245lbs!
With that said, I want to recognize a couple things. First, I have known about my weight problem and I have made several attempts to do something about it. It seems that every time I have tried something to initiate change, I have gotten injured. Most recently, I started training for a half-marathon. At 5 weeks into the workout regimen, I was doing great when all of a sudden I started experiencing lower back pain. After 6 weeks of physical therapy I am finally recovering. It just shows how weak my core has become!
The second thing I want to recognize is, yes, I have a food addiction. I love good food! I love to eat! That’s not necessarily the problem; the problem is when I continually overeat or when I snag too many sweets. I love sweets like never before. I think it all started when I made a regular diet of eating dark chocolate because research shows that eating a small amount regularly is good for you. But it developed a sweet tooth that I have not really had until then (at least not like this!).
So here’s the deal. After I spoke with Joe last night, I realized that I need to do something now! There are several reasons. Being fat costs more: from food, to clothing, to insurance, to loss of work, to lack of respect, and personal self esteem. It is hard to believe you are beautiful if you cannot see it on the outside. Second, the way I take care of my body has spiritual implications for sure. It is directly connected. Christ should satisfy, not food. Not only that but, spirituality is connected to discipline. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit, it is evidence of a life submitted to Christ. Third, the testimony of prominent people have jarred me. Recently there have been several deaths of young Hollywood stars (i.e. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays). This is a reminder of the frailty of life.
So last night, my phone call ended at 8:00pm. It was time for bed (my wife and I go to bed early because our little son John at 8 mos. likes to get up at 4:30 AM). But I thought to myself that if I am going to change, it has to start now. So I threw my gym clothes on and headed out the door. I had a gentle 45 minute workout before bed. Lets just say it sparked my wife’s curiosity. While I won’t always work out at that time exactly, but I felt great knowing that I am starting to do what my body needs.
This morning, I went back to the gym and got a good sweat. In the process I remembered what John Cox, the Executive Pastor at our Church encouraged us to do last week: set a 100 day challenge for yourself. So I have decided that this will be my 100 day challenge. I am challenging myself to exercise 100 days in a row! Last night was the start of day number 1. Based on my calculations the end of 100 days will be October 7th, 2009.
During this challenge I will implement diet changes to reflect self control. I may consider cutting sweets for 100 days too or disciplining myself to indulge a bit on a specific day like Sunday or something. I’ll do my best to update my blog regularly to keep anyone interested informed on my progress. If anyone has any tips on exercises or great meals, I am game to hear! I appreciate any encouragement and prayers that I won’t injure myself this time.