- October, 2008 – Started the blog, named it The Fat Pastor after being shocked at weighing 301 at the doctor.
- March 2011 – I answer the question, “Why do you call yourself The Fat Pastor?”
- February 13, 2012 – Weigh in at doctor is 329, and decide to begin using Lose It! I keep track of everything I eat, and it begins to pay off quickly, losing the first 10 pounds in a week.
- April 27, 2012 – Weigh in at gym at 298.5, under 300 for the first time in four years.
- June 7, 2012 – Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K – Finish in about 36:00, right at my goal of a 12 minute mile pace. I wrote this blog: “First in my weight class”
- June 14, 2012 – Weigh 288 at the gym. Making it 40 pounds lost. Also the beginning of four months of no weight loss.
- July, 2012 – I am inspired by a saying, and create this meme: “The workout begins when you want to quit.”
- July 4, 2012 – On the hottest fourth of July in Moline’s history, I run the Firecracker 5K in 35:15, slightly faster in much worse conditions then my first 5k.
- August 4, 2012 – I ran the Crimestoppers 5K in 33:47, beating my goal of an 11 minute mile pace.
- September 2012 – Daughter’s kindergarten starts, which means some weeks include 4 workouts, instead of topping at 3.
- October 16, 2012 – I weigh in at 292. Frustrated by four months of stagnant weight, I start doing using Lose It! again. Drop four pounds in a week.
- October 27, 2012 – Run the fourth 5K of the year. My unofficial time was 31:40. I walked a total of three steps while drinking water, and finished strong. This was the first time that at the end of 3.1 miles I thought I could keep going.
- November 14, 2012 – Agree to run the Soldier Field 10-Mile on May 25. It is six months and a week away, and I haven’t gone past 3.1 miles in years. The longest run I’ve ever done was a 5-mile St. Patrick’s Day run in St. Louis in 2004. I’m already wondering what I’ve gotten myself into.
- January 18, 2013 – Ran 5 miles in 51:00, making the thought of a 10 mile run more real. I’ve made it half way, and have four months to train. Weighed 265.
- January 29, 2013 – Ran a 5K on the treadmill in 29:40, breaking goal of under 30:00.
- February 8, 2013 – Weigh in after workout: 259, reaching goal that was set on February 24, 2012.
- March 16, 2013 – Ran in the Davenport Saint Patrick’s Day 5K. Goal was to complete first official 5K in under 30:00. Finished in 26:52. The second 2.5 K was faster than the first 2.5 K.
- April 24, 2013 – Ran a treadmill 5K in 26:00. Weighed in at 249 pounds. I do not think that I have weighed this much since college.
All my life, I’ve been on the hefty side. I was an offensive lineman in high school and college. I’ve never been a great athlete, or had an Abercrombie-like physique, but I grew up healthy and active. In college, I played a year of football, and a lot of basketball and lacrosse (but I always preferred to be on the ‘shirts’ team). Even through seminary, I took regular long walks, played on softball and basketball teams, went to a gym regularly and remained in decent shape. My first driver’s license listed me at 6’2″ 235 pounds, and when I graduated seminary I was about 260. After becoming a senior pastor in a small town, I promptly put on about 30 pounds. I stopped going to the gym. I no longer played on any teams. I sat a lot, and ate a lot. When I started my blog in 2008, I weighed Three Oh One.
For three years writing this blog, I would exercise in streaks. I would workout regularly for a few months, get stronger, and stop putting on weight (I seldom had any weight loss to speak of). Then I would get sick, or get really busy, and I’d find excuses to stop going to the gym for months at a time. In the meantime, my cholesterol remained high, my weight would creep up, and my health suffered.
In October 2011, I joined a gym here in Moline. When I started, I couldn’t jog on the treadmill for two minutes without terrible pain in my feet, ankles, and chest. For three months, I was in a great routine of going to the gym three times a week. Yet in February 2012, I went to the doctor and found myself staring at a scale that read 329.
Once again, I rededicated myself to getting healthy. This time I had a tool. With the Lose It! app on my nook and computer, I started tracking everything I ate. I realized that the last four years was simply a steady increase in weight and size. When I would exercise, the increase would stop, but I never did any significant weight loss because I never significantly changed the way I ate.
I made both qualitative and quantitative changes. I took seconds less often. I chose grilled chicken over hamburgers. I ate dinner salads at restaurants. I logged everything, and found myself craving salmon instead of burgers, and vegetables instead of french fries. When I stayed under my caloric allowance, I lost weight. In three months, I lost about 40 pounds. I went to the doctor again, and found that for the first time in my adult life, I was in the healthy range in cholesterol. My clothes fit again. I felt better and stronger. For the first time in my life, I had clothes that were too big on me. I have some jeans from last winter that look absolutely ridiculous.
Since dropping down to 288, I stopped paying such close attention. I stopped using Lose It! and kept working out. For the last four months, I stopped the weight loss. I realized that this wasn’t a problem I had conquered once and for all. I still have a lot of weight to lose, and I want to lose it. I’ve started using Lose It again. Since keeping track, I’ve been under my caloric budget for 13 of 14 days. It feels good again.
The remarkable thing is, I feel like when I am disciplined in my eating, I am more disciplined in other areas as well. When I control my appetite, and don’t succumb to every craving, there is a positive ripple effect that is far-reaching. I know a lot of this has been about weight, and a number on a scale. I know that the scale is only part of the story, but for me it is an important part. I feel good. I am still fat. I still make fat decisions all the time, but I’m working on it. God is working in me.
For four years I’ve been The Fat Pastor. At times that has been more true than others. Right now I believe I am closer to being The Fit Pastor then I have ever been. I appreciate the support of my friends on facebook, my twitter followers, the people of my congregation, my friends, my family, and my amazing wife. I don’t know if I’ll ever change the name of this blog. I’m sure there will always be fat in my life that I would like to trim. With the Holy Spirit strengthening me, I have trimmed a lot of fat already.
I will always be striving to live well and do good. Thanks for striving with me.