Picture on the left, over 500 lbs.!
I have always had a misinterpreted relationship with obesity, being overweight, and the connection to food and mood. Of course, that led to depleted self-esteem and positivity issues throughout life.
Fast forward to 2012. I call this my “newbie year.” My youngest was born, and this is the year that my maximum weight was reached. In time for a physical at doctor’s office, I had consciously worked on losing; losing 40 pounds of well over 500 pounds, feeling accomplished. The doctor walks in the room and acknowledges the loss, but delivers the impact blow, “If you want to see your kids all graduate, you need to step on the accelerator!” Accepting the challenge. I started home exercise programs, bought the shakes, joined the various groups, even bought what claimed to be the “magic pill” for success in weight loss and transformation. Some of you may have experienced that temporary success, great at the beginning, but lacking the consistency that eventually led to depleted motivation and lack of buy-in.
Looking for something different (Christian weight loss program) in the bookstore, I found Bod4God by Steve Reynolds. Finally the challenge I was looking physical and spiritually trying. That challenge empowered and turned me into an active participant in church teaching, and studying, and working to disciple others. Then came the next powerful discovery in the back of the book, First Place 4 Health! During a workout, I truly believe that the Holy Spirit was stirring in me, leading me to expand my existing territory and that I was ready for more.
After collaborating and praying with my wife Devon about the challenge that was set inside me, we ordered the FP4H Group Starters Kit. We started the study, Seek God First, and I was hooked. The more engaged we became, the greater the sense of accomplishment and buy-in we were creating. First Place 4 Health has enabled me to find consistency and challenge of engagement in all aspects of my life. For over two years now, I’ve found a creatively powerful and uplifting way to honor and talk to “dad” daily. Continued coverage of the First Place 4 Health devotionals and Bible studies work to gain that wisdom from His word. I’ve lost the worry of doing this alone. Devon has honestly become my greatest support and accountability partner. She’s behind me when I need a push. In front of me when I need to be led or carried. Beside me when I need the encouragement of a best friend. She’s gained the insight into the daily struggles I’ve dealt with for years. Now she is the “Healthy Happy Cook.” Every day is a day we give reverence to the Lord by what we do at our kitchen table, not just the table on Sunday morning. Results from my First Place 4 Health journey are the continued loss of body fat, losing over 270 pounds, eliminating over 100 inches of body mass, gained over 30 pounds of muscle growth, improved wisdom in His work and the mission work set forth for the community that we are to disciple to further His kingdom.
What’s my end goal? Not being satisfied or finding my finish line. Increasing the intensity or resistance until my savior and Lord says “well done!” My encouragement and challenge to others is:
- Stay true to self (Seek God First).
- Continued understanding and wisdom (Biblical study).
- Believe you can. (Phil. 4: 13)
- Eliminate doubt and worry.
- Start where you are and get moving. (Work as if for the Lord).
- Discomfort and pain are necessary and part of growth in life.
- Have the attitude and determination to run the race daily.
- Be content, not satisfied.
- Max out! Give Him your all.
- Break the chains! We aren’t to be average, normal, shift the focus from things of this world to things of heaven.
- Failure is growth. My weakness is His strength.
- Life is a balance of either intensity or resistance, so use them to win for Him.