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 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 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 didn’t make any drastic qualitative changes. I simply made better quantitative choices. 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. The 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.