One of my big goals this year is to lose weight and be healthier.
After having a new baby, moving to a new state, and transitioning to a new job, I looked in the mirror one morning and realized I was about 40 pounds overweight.
If you are overweight or have ever been there, it’s not a fun realization to say the least. How did this happen?
I was so focused on church and family last year, that my own physical health suffered. Can you relate?
So I made a commitment, got my family onboard with me (because I know I don’t have the strength to do this alone), and I’m happy to say I have lost 15 pounds in a little over a month.
3 Ways Losing Weight Made Me A Better Pastor
I have noticed 3 major benefits of losing weight so far.
1. More energy.
When I get home from a long day of work, I no longer just want to crash on the couch in front of the TV. I have the energy now to get on the floor and play with my kids! I am not as lazy at home and work.
2. Better focus.
I feel more focused and productive at work. I have more energy throughout the day. My mind feels less foggy after sitting in meetings or at my desk too long. In fact, did you know that exercise increases creativity?
3. Improved self-confidence.
I generally feel better about who I am. I feel better about how I look on stage or video. I smile more. I feel happier. I am less embarrassed to get tagged in pictures people post on Facebook.
In general, I feel like a better pastor, husband, and father.
The best thing, though, is that I am doing it without killing myself for hours every day in the gym or following a crazy diet. I have done the intense hour-long workouts and crash diets before. They work, but I always rebounded later.
My schedule is busy. I have little kids. My time is limited.
I don’t need another popular diet or exercise plan. I need a healthier life.
How I am doing it?
I am not a health expert, so I cannot guarantee what I am doing will work for you. But I needed something that works for me.
There are two keys to losing weight – diet and exercise.I know, revolutionary stuff!
Here is my simple plan for each.
Diet: Lean. Green. Grain.
I heard this phrase somewhere once and decided I would follow it. I eat only lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish…), greens (vegetables and things that grow in the ground like fruit and nuts), and whole grains (bread, pasta, rice…)
I have found that I can find food that fits this healthier diet almost anywhere. Even if I have to eat out, there are many fast food restaurants that have a healthy option that fits this criteria (thank you Wendy’s salads).
In addition to eating lean-green-grain, I also try to keep my portions small and not drink calories.
The first week was the hardest. I got withdrawal headaches from my addiction to sugar and fatty foods. But soon my appetite shrank and my desire for bad foods decreased.
Exercise: 10 minutes a day.
My goal is at least 10 minutes of exercise a day. I know this sounds small. Shouldn’t I be doing more?
Well, I find that once I get started I often go longer than 10 minutes. Plus, when I am struggling, I can often convince myself to suck it up for only 10 minutes. I mean, who can’t find 10 minutes to exercise?
The hardest part of exercising is often just getting started. The goal is simply to get my heart rate up and break a sweat. I’m shooting for consistency over intensity.
More intense workouts will come as I get in better shape. I won’t get in better shape if I don’t continue to exercise.
That’s it. It’s simple, but it works!
As much as we focus on our spiritual health, we ought to also be good stewards of the physical body that God has entrusted to us.
It isn’t always easy. I have had good days and bad days. But I have stuck with it, and it’s been worth it.
I plan to continue this journey until I lose the extra weight that has built up over years of neglect. I hope to continue these habits as part of a new, healthier lifestyle.
Maybe this will inspire some of you to do the same.
Editor’s Note: Get all kinds of help with your health using The Daniel Plan!