Throughout my entire life, one of the biggest struggles that I have consistently faced has been maintaining a healthy weight. I have always had a passion for sports, but I would have to admit that I have never had an ‘athletic’ build or even a healthy BMI. What I’ve realized recently is that I have been using my body type as an excuse not to eat healthy and not to excercise. This, along with many other excuses, needed to be thrown to the wayside – I needed to get serious.
Before I start with this blog, I want to give you all a little bit of my story in regards to my weight as well as why i am choosing to start this blog… feel free to read on if you want! In the future, I will want my posts to be much less about myself, but I want each of you who may be following to understand where I am coming from.
A Lifelong Struggle
From when I was really young, I can always remember being larger than the other kids in my grade. This lent itself to a very poor image of myself and, frankly, quite a low self esteem. I always compensated for this, though, by pouring myself into athletics. My size gave me an advantage in some sports while in others I felt that I needed to work much harder to excel, but this is something I could always push myself to do.
In the summer of 2003, I fell off a 50-70 foot cliff (I will be sharing more on this story in the future, but for now, I want to simply mention it in order to tie it into my weight struggle). To make a long story very short, I was miraculously healed. Not only did God save my life, He rapidly healed my 14 broken bones! I was in the hospital, in total, for only about 7 weeks and my recovery time only lasted a few months. God is so good! Anyways, I don’t know if any of you have experienced broken bones before, but one of the things that occurs during this time is muscle atrophy. Because of the nature of my injuries, muscles all over my body were atrophied and I lost a lot of weight in a very unhealthy manner. My doctors told me I needed to start gaining weight back, but I did so in such an unhealthy way – through eating.
I gained back all of my weight and more.. In fact, until I graduated high school in 2005, I did not really stop gaining weight. It was a daily struggle for me and I can honestly say that it was something I hated about myself and had no control over. Miraculously, after my graduation, I found some sort of motivation and was able to lose a bunch of weight. In fact, between January 2005 (grad) and Januray 2006 (1/2 way through my first year of Bible College), I lost a ton of weight. I went from being a size 40 XL to a size 34 M, I felt good, I was running a lot… it was a great feeling… But it came crashing to an end. I started experiencing knee pain at this time and this became an excuse to stop exercising. I would learn later that I have arthritis in my left knee as a result of my accident. At the time, this revelation crushed me. I turned to food for comfort and stopped exercising.
Needless to say, ever since then, I have been putting on weight. I have gone through a few seasons (weeks or months) of intentional good choices and shedding a few pounds… but overall I have not made healthy choices in regards to my eating or exercise. The consequences showed in numerous ways – I outgrew many outfits, I would eat to the point of embarrassment at social gatherings, and I was generally not comfortable in my own skin. All of this while serving as a pastor.
A New Season
One of the intentional steps that I chose to take in terms of getting serious about my weight loss was seeing a counselor. This was one of the best decisions that Kirsten and I have ever made! I will be sharing a lot of the things that I have learned from my sessions in the blogs that follow. Please know that a lot of what is going on has happened as God has done some emotional healing in me through counseling.
On Valentines Day, 2015, I was hanging out with my family in Onoway, Alberta. I was talking to one of my cousins there about what I was feeling in regards to my weight and the two of us decided that we wanted to get serious about change. Directly prior to this I had a very embarrassing experience. I was dropping Kirsten off at No Frills and, because I was dropping her off at the door, I was blocking traffic slightly. This infuriated a man and he followed me in his car to where I went to park while waiting for her. He yelled expletives at me about how selfish I was for blocking traffic… when I responded by simply saying “I was just dropping my wife off at the door,” he yelled at me – “well that’s how fat people get fat, because they are lazy, you lazy fat… (you get the picture).” I do not know what was going through this guy’s head that he would lash out at me like this (I’ve forgiven him and chosen to think that there was something else going on that he was simply taking out on me)… but I do know that something shifted in me on that day. The reality of the situation dawned on me – I am overweight and it is obviously noticable… my weight is something that I cannot hide.
Following that encounter and my decision to become accountable with my cousin’s husband, things have changed drastically. I would say that on this Valentine’s Day I was weighing over 300 lbs. (I do not know exactly how much because I was too ashamed to step on a scale, all I know is that after losing weight already I weighed in in the high 290’s). This morning I stood on the scale just under 260. I have lost 40 lbs. so far and have a picture below to show about 1/2 of the weight loss thus far.
The Purpose of this Blog
I have found that, in the past, when I’ve lost weight, I have done so with a motivation of seeking the approval of others. My friends and family would comment on how I am looking and they would say ‘you look good’ and this would motivate me to continue. The motivation and approval of others, though, is not a sustainable enough motivation for me to lose weight. This is why, up to this point, I have not posted much publicly about my weight loss besides a few ‘dietbet updates’ on any forum other than ‘Myfitnesspal.’ I did not want my weight loss at this time to be about looking good in the eyes of others. What I have found, though, is even with a very limited public forum, many people have shared with me that my journey has inspired them and they have asked what I’m doing or what’s going on for me.
This blog is for those people (and anyone else looking for Biblical encouragement in regards to healthy weight loss or a healthy life in general). God has taken me through quite the journey in regards to my weight loss. He has had to dismantle negative beliefs that I have about Him and about myself, He has had to show me that food is not a god even though I was treating it as such. He has had to show me that gratitude for my body and love my body are absoluetly essential in becoming like Him and, most of all, He has had to show me that every time I say no to an unhealthy food and yes to an exercise, that is an act of worship to God.
I am going to use this blog to share with you all what has kept me going, how I have overcome some of the difficulties, and, ultimately, how I have seen God at work through my own weight loss process in hopes to inspire you all in your own journies. Please follow, share with friends, and feel free to comment. I look forward to sharing my life with some of you because I believe that God has allowed me to go through some of the things that I have gone through so that I can be a blessing to others. Thanks for reading, and hopefully I can ‘fill in some of the blanks’ in the posts that follow.