Lately people have been asking me how I am losing weight. I have lost about 20 pounds since the filming of that embarrassing Willow Creek video. So instead of trying to explain, I decided to write this post, so from now on I can just say, "Hey, if you really want to know, check out my blog"!
First of all, I have to confess that I fell off the wagon throughout most of 2006. I was feeling a lot of stress and I gained weight. I just couldn't get my eating under control. Finally in mid-February after spending some time with friends in Florida, I had a very frank conversation with God in which I acknowledged that I knew I needed to live a more healthy lifestyle but I didn't have the discipline or even the desire to exercise or lose weight.
As I have reflected upon that prayer, I am coming to see that anything that controls me that is not for my good and for the good of the kingdom is really evidence that I am not embracing the gospel. The gospel is the good news that it is not by my effort, but by the power of Christ that I am resurrected to right living. After I admitted my inability to change my behavior I felt God's love for me, just as I was, along with a gentle nudge to start recording everything I ate.
I resurrected an old software program that I had downloaded a few years ago called Fitday. A basic version is available for free online, but I recommend the $30 download Fitday PC version from fitday.com. I entered my desired weight as a goal and the software told me how many calories I needed to cut back in order to achieve my goal. When you enter most food items the software automatically tracks the nutritional value along with the calories, fat and carbs. This helps me decide what foods to eat.
You can also enter your physical exercise. I pulled out an old fitness program that I actually enjoy, the Quick Fit System by Gilad, which is available in VHS format for $40 and DVD for $70. It is a 12 week program that includes aerobics with some punching and kick boxing and body sculting workouts that work every muscle. I also downloaded a Weight Loss audio by Barrie Konicov. He uses subliminal persuasion as you drift off to sleep to help you think positive thoughts about weight loss.
I started fasting one day a week. I really don't like fasting, but I know it is biblical so I do it. Afterward, I am always glad I did and I find I am less controled by food when I do. So, the combination of prayer, fasting, caloric restriction, exercise and positive thinking has made this process actually enjoyable.
I have reached my goal so now I just pray that the Lord will give me the grace to maintain. My tendency is to begin to think I have done this and I don't need God anymore, instead of living and breathing the gospel of the power of Christ's death and resurrection everyday and living in humble gratitude for the gift of new life. For today, my energy is up. I'm feeling much better, and I'm grateful to God for setting this captive free!