Over the course of the last decade, the Biggest Loser has been a wildly successful television program as it helps those who are obese lose weight and make dramatic life changes. I usually don’t watch the show, but much of my extended family gets pretty wrapped up into it. The stories are powerful, engaging, and often times very emotional. God tells us that our bodies are a temple of His Holy Spirit. Yet too many of us treat our bodies like garbage! In the church we spend a lot of time talking about drugs, sex, alcohol, and not near enough time talking about overeating and/or laziness. Pastors are usually known for being out of shape and let’s just be honest, “Fat.”
- More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese.
- About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
- More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.
- Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.
- The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent).
- The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.
- Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.
It’s not getting any better either. Since the early 1960s, the prevalence of obesity among adults has almost tripled, increasing from 13.4 to 35.7 percent in U.S. adults age 20 and older.
There is a major problem, it is getting worse, and Christians don’t want to focus on it.
I had to look at myself in the mirror (literally) a couple of months ago and I wasn’t happy with what I saw. More than just the weight issue was what I knew was going on in my heart. I had a problem overeating and specifically going to food for comfort. I had a problem eating way too much junk food and fast food. I made the excuses that I’m always out meeting people for lunch and it’s too hard to eat healthy, but the reality was that I had a problem. And if I didn’t fix my problem, it was only going to escalate. My kids are still young and I want to be the dad who is out there playing sports with them when I’m 40 and 50 years old. So I decided I needed to work on it. In a little over two months, I’ve shed 20 pounds and got myself into a healthy BMI, and I’m still trying to lose another 10 to 15 pounds.
I’m far from an expert in the field of diet and exercise so I don’t have much of platform to be able to tell you exactly what you should do and how you should do it, but I will give you 7 things that have worked for me on my path to shed some pounds and get healthier.
- My Fitness Pal App: I downloaded the MyFitnessPal App on my iPhone and I track everything that I eat and every exercise that I do in that App. You can enter in foods and it gives you the nutritional information and it adds up the calories for each item that you enter. I am very competitive and so I set a goal on the App to eat a certain amount of calories per day and every day is like a new competition to try to stay under the calorie goal. If I go over the calories, then I try to run or walk an extra mile or two so that overall I can stay under my net calorie goal. You can also request friends and encourage them through the App as well and they can see your progress.
- Workout Partner: Don’t do it alone. It’s very helpful to have someone workout and diet with you. They will keep you motivated when you are down and likewise you can do the same for them.
- Supportive Spouse: Thankfully I have a wife who knows a lot about diet and exercise. She is extremely supportive of my goals to get healthy and lose weight and because of that she cooks extremely healthy meals. In addition, she has gone out of her way to cook a variety of things so I’m not eating the same boring salads every day. She has sacrificed some of her time to prepare these meals and also she has sacrificed some of the quality time that she would normally spend with me after the kids go to bed so that I could go exercise.
- Time: Eating right is a major part of getting healthy, but we all know that exercise is extremely important as well. I’m a very busy person and my excuse in the past is that I don’t have time to exercise. You have to make time. For me, many of the nights I can only work out at 830 or 9PM at night. It’s hard telling my body to do this, but getting there is more than half of the battle. Once I’m there, I can work hard. And what I’ve found is that as I’m working out I feel I have a lot more energy throughout the week to get more things done.
- Money: It costs money to get healthy. Eating healthier is definitely more expensive. I don’t want to see the amount of money we spent on groceries last month! Over time, you can learn effective ways to keep costs down and be a smart shopper.
- No Soda: I love soda. But they are such empty calories. When you only give yourself a set amount of calories per day and you are really competitive and try to stay under that threshold each day, you realize that the quickest way to go over the amount of net calories is by empty calories in soda and even alcohol as well. In the past two months, I’ve not had one can of soda. This has made a big impact.
- Momentum: Getting started is half the battle for me. Once I got into a routine, I was able to keep going strong. I also entered into a friendly weight loss competition with my family and they have helped motivate me as well.
Those are 7 things that have helped me. What could you add to the list? Let’s turn this year into the healthiest year that we’ve ever had at theCross!
Lastly, if you are a part of theCross and you’ve decided it’s time for you to join me as a fellow “loser” I would suggest you get over to Gold’s Gym (Have you heard they are giving the entire church a free month of February?) and start exercising and make a conscious decision to be healthy. Let’s fill our church up with a whole bunch of “losers!”