Well, this past Monday I hit the ground running on my new diet. My digital scales clocked me in at 201. That’s 20 to 25 pounds north of where I need to be. Since it’s been a few years since I really got into diet mode, I think I’m due for a reconfiguring.
Truth be told, in addition to my weight issues, my stomach has been bothering me quite a bit for the past several months. Too much fried food will do that. I was up to two tagaments a day because the heartburn had become such an issue.
I don’t worry that I won’t be able to lose weight. That’s not to brag, just to state the truth. I know I can drop pounds when I put my mind to it. I wasn’t always so confident, but several years ago I went from 225 to 175 in just a few months. That’s when I learned how to effectively shed weight.
My teacher was a Bariatric Clinic that Tonya and I attended for a while. They gave us a simple plan and guaranteed that we would lose weight if we followed it. For a male, it goes like this:
1. I’m allowed food and drinks totaling up to 30 fat grams and 2,000 calories per day.
2. I have to drink two quarts of water each day.
3. I have to put in 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Certainly there are all kinds of other diets out there (Atkins, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc.), and I’m sure these other plans will work too. For me, though, I know what’s done the trick in the past. I’ll dance with the one that brung me.
Back then, it took me a few weeks to get the hang of reading the sides of every box and learning to count fat grams and calories. Eventually, though, I became an expert at it. As for the 30 minutes of exercise, my weapon of choice is a treadmill. Yes, it’s old school, but it works. It’s been sitting there in my bedroom just waiting for the day when we’d get reaquainted. I can drink one of my two required quarts of water while walking on it and watching t.v.
The exercising is fine once you get in the habit of it. It really does give you more energy. Drinking all that water is a bit of a chore, but it’s not too terrible. The hardest thing is the difference in the tastes of foods. With a few notable exceptions, fattening food does taste better. Don’t believe the hype about not being able to tell the difference between regular food and low-fat food. But as the old saying goes, no pain no gain (or in this case, no loss).
If I needed any reassurance that my tried and true system still works, my digital bathroom scales have been giving it to me. By Tuesday morning I had gone from 201 to 199. This morning I was at 198. The slow process has begun. Oh, I’m well aware that losing the first handful of pounds is the easiest. Just drinking the water will accomplish that. If I’ll stay on course, though, the scales will continue to be friendly. Like so many things, the plan will work if I will work the plan.
I’m not one of these fitness fanatics who is going to lose my mind over my appearance. I’m not going to bow down before weight loss as an idol either. (I’ll admit that I experienced a touch of that when I lost all that weight years ago.) And, yes, I’ve read 1 Timothy 4:8, which says: “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things…” Every overweight preacher knows that verse. If you don’t mind, though, if I can get in on that “little” profit without sacrificing any godliness, I’ll take all the profit I can get.
I think the better scripture concerning weight loss is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, which says that God the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of the Christian’s body makes that body a temple. As such, the Christian is told to “glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Admittedly, those verses are found in the context of a warning about sexual immorality, not weight loss. Still, the basic idea can be applied in any number of ways, including that of excess weight.
I do know that too many Christians are far too flippant about this subject. Preachers, in particular, are notorious for making jokes about it. For example, one old joke says that a preacher’s belt is nothing more than a fence around a chicken graveyard. Yes, that’s funny. It loses some of its humor, though, when a guy has been preaching for fifteen minutes and is red in the face, out of breath, and in need of a chair. Getting drunk or having an affair isn’t the only way to defile a temple.
As the weeks move along, I’ll keep you posted here and there on how my diet is going. I’m also trying to make some other changes for this new year. I want to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. That’s hard for a born night-owl. I want to watch less television. I want to listen to more preaching and contemporary Christian music. I’ve already started writing a second book. This one deals with prayer. Hopefully, and prayfully, I’ll make great strides in all of these areas as 2010 unfolds. One thing’s for sure: I’ve got plenty of room in my life for improvement.