My Journey of Losing Weight

Over the last week, I blogged about my journey of losing weight and keeping it off. It has been awesome getting messages from people about how this series has challenged and encouraged them. I hope it spurs you to being healthy.

You can read the posts here:

  1. How I got to where I am 
  2. The idol of food (the spiritual side of weight loss)
  3. Have a plan
  4. It’s for the rest of your life
  5. The effects
  6. Do your homework
  7. The idol of exercise & staying in shape

Losing Weight Part 3: Have a Plan

I’ve been chronicling my journey of losing weight this week. It is by far the thing I get questions about the most. You can read part 1 and part 2 here to get some background on this post.

One of the problems many people run into when they want to lose weight or be healthy is that they don’t have a goal or a plan. If you say you want to lose weight, how much? How will you know if you are healthier? How do you plan to get there?

I remember when I went to the doctor when I was 27 and telling him I wanted to be skinnier. He told me that wasn’t the goal. He said, “The goal is to be healthy.” So, I set out to be healthy.

We started small. Before going on I need to say this, if you want to lose 30 pounds in a month, what I am about to describe will not help. It is not sexy what I did. But here is the prize, what I did I can do til the day I die. Which means, I accomplished my goal of losing weight and my doctor’s goal of being healthy. So, start small. We started by changing to wheat bread, which was a bigger battle than you might think. We stopped drinking soda, sweet tea (this was a battle for me).

To get an idea of what I would eat. When Katie and I would go out to eat, we’d share an appetizer, I’d eat my meal and finish hers. No leftovers was my motto. It wasn’t uncommon for me to eat a footlong sub, drink a gallon of sweet tea, eat a whole can of pringles (not the snack size) and sometimes eat a can of chunky new england clam chowder. That was a meal. Recently we were back in Maryland and ate at our favorite sub shop where I would drink 60 oz. of their sweet tea, eat a footlong sub, a huge bowl of cream of crab soup and eat a side of fries. That would be a lunch. It was not a secret for me why I was fat. This trip, I could barely finish an order of the soup. My stomach and appetite has truly shrunk.

But again, this has taken since 2005. I started working at it at the end of 2007. In 4 years this change has happened. You will never see that on a magazine, but if you want to be healthy for the rest of your life, you must take the long range view of it.

So, what is your plan?

I read books and magazines on food, understanding calories, and I began to see food as fuel for my body, not just something I enjoy or turn to. The secret to losing weight is exercise and portion control. Regardless of what fad or plan you use, if you boil it down you will get to these two things.

So I started controlling my portions, eating less. I still grill out meat, eat dessert, enjoy good drinks, coffee. I basically eat just about anything I want, just less of it. Now when I grill out meat, instead of a large portion of potatoes and a small veggies, we will have meat with 2 veggies. I often get asked about alcohol and weight. According to Men’s Health, you should limit it to 2 drinks a day. The calories in alcohol is pretty high, especially mixed drinks, so if you drink, be smart about what you drink. You can go to Starbucks, but again, be wise. You can get a drink at Starbucks and knock out a third of the calories for the day.

Exercise is the next part of the puzzle. When I was my heaviest, I couldn’t run as it hurt too much. So I bought a bike. We spent more than we normally would have, but it needed to hurt for me to ride. I started riding and slowly started to see the weight come off. When I was able, I started running. And running.

Now, I use the workout plan found in Men’s Health Huge in a Hurry. I eat 5 smaller meals a day (lots of protein and veggies). I workout 3 days a week and then watch what I eat. The great thing is that I have essentially been this size and weight for almost a year. Since using this workout plan I have seen a difference in my weight and physique.

Again, these are all changes that I can do for a long time. I can eat well and exercise regularly.

More tomorrow.

Links of the Week

  1. 5 reasons men cheat and how to stay faithful. This is based on a Gallup study and put out by Men’s Health. Interesting how biblical there 5 ways to stay faithful are and some good stuff to think about. The best thing Katie and I have done besides a weekly date night is setting up boundaries.
  2. Andy Crouch on the Ten most significant cultural trends of the last decade. Huge implications to ministry in the church as we try to reach the culture.
  3. Living gospel centered. You need to read this post.
  4. Watch this great video with Scott Thomas and Jeff Vanderstelt talking about what living on mission looks like.
  5. Trevin Wax on Reframing the discussion on homosexuality and the Bible. This is one of the best things I’ve read on this topic. Wow.
  6. Rest and the pastor’s soul.
  7. C.J. Mahaney on What the bible says about productivity. This was a really helpful thing for me, lots of great things in this short e-book.
  8. Luke Simmons on Leadership development. Luke is a good friend and has been to Revolution several times to preach and he has some great insights.
  9. Perry Noble on 6 steps to overcoming obesity Part 1 and Part 2. I’ve shared my journey and struggle with my weight before and Perry is right on when he says being overweight is a spiritual issue first.
  10. 17 signs of a fast growing church.
  11. John Starke on Teaching children the gospel in everyday prayers.
  12. Church trends with Jim Tomberlin. This has been a great series by Tony Morgan on what leaders see as the coming trends in church, this one in particular caught my eye.

Links of the Week

  1. Scot McKnight shared about his time at LCBC. This is a church in the town I grew up in that is doing some pretty amazing things. And I have a friend on staff there, Jason Mitchell.
  2. Is your church healthy? Church health is one of the most important things a leader keeps his pulse on.
  3. How the new Chris Tomlin CD came about.
  4. Matt Keller on 6 tools to remember someone’s name.
  5. Michael Hyatt on The best way to read blogs. He suggest google reader, which is what I use. Saves a ton of time.
  6. A scary, but interesting article on sleep apnea.
  7. How churches are using twitter, blogs and Facebook. If you aren’t using these as a pastor, you are missing a great opportunity. Speaking of which, you can follow Revolution on twitter here and join our Facebook page here.
  8. Since yesterday was Thanksgiving, I shared some things I am thankful for.
  9. A pastor in Florida has banned his church from Facebook. Any thoughts?
  10. If you are a new Christian, here is a good place to start.
  11. Jani Ortlund on The 6 second kiss. This is a great concept for couples.

Top Posts for October 2010

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month:

  1. Links of the Week (vision casting, sexual detox, cross centered thinking, being anti-Christian, Christianity and yoga, and Men’s health best weight loss tips).
  2. The Role of Men in the Family
  3. Why Did Jesus’ Mom Need to be a Virgin?
  4. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  5. What Attracts People to Church?
  6. Planning a Preaching Calendar
  7. Church Greeters and Hand Sanitizers
  8. My Weight Loss “Secret”
  9. How to Plant a Church in 3 Minutes
  10. Being a Pastor’s Wife

Links of the Week

  1. Scott Williams on why Leadership is simple.
  2. The benefits of being a church planting church. I’m praying that in the next 3 – 5 years we plant our first church out of Revolution.
  3. Silence is still an answer. This is a great article on why churches and pastors need to take certain stands on issues and mission. Silence communicates something.
  4. So, why are pastors so fat? This article is right on and it is a big problem for pastors. We need more self control in this area of our lives. You can see my journey here.
  5. How to disciple your wife. Great, easy steps.
  6. Jamie Munson on 4 reasons to expand your church (even when you shouldn’t). I always want Revolution to balance risk/faith with wisdom. This is hard but I believe healthy, effective, growing churches do this well.
  7. 11 signs you are addicted to twitter. Only 5 of these were true for me, I guess that means I’m only halfway addicted.
  8. Teaching church history to kids. Here is a great resource to teach your kids church history, looks great.
  9. J.D. Greear on The goal of preaching. This is a great short video.
  10. Perry Noble on 7 reasons leaders flame out. Great list.
  11. 25 nutritional secrets from Men’s Health. This has been one of the most helpful things in my weight loss journey.
  12. Jani Ortlund on Missional mothering.

Links of the Week

  1. The Role of Vision Casting in Preaching. I was talking with D.J. about this the other day. Very few pastors understand the power they have when they preach in terms of leadership and vision casting. Their preaching sets the tone for the church.
  2. “Sexual Detox” is now available. This is a great little book on porn, sexuality from a man’s perspective. If you are struggling with porn, this is definitely worth picking up.
  3. Collide Magazine on Who do you create for. This is a great question that many worship leaders and pastors never ask, let alone answer. If you don’t know who will be in your audience this weekend, how do you know who you are speaking to, what their needs are and what and how you will need to communicate.
  4. Justin Holcomb on 12 ways to make your teaching and writing anti-Christian. Sadly many pastors and churches these.
  5. C.J. Mahaney on The humbling power of cross-centered thinking.
  6. Al Mohler on Christianity and Yoga. This was a really helpful and thorough article. I practice yoga, but don’t meditate or pray or look for energy when I do it, for me it is about stretching and staying limber as I grow older. According to Mohler, “I don’t do yoga, I do stretching.” It is a helpful distinction and I think Christians need to be aware of where yoga came from and what it is really all about and be careful, but I also don’t think that it is wrong for a Christian to practice yoga.
  7. Steven Furticks book Sun Stand Still is only $6.99 on amazon. This was one of the best books I read all year and easily one of the best on the topics of faith and prayer. If you want a book to challenge to have big faith, pray big prayers and believe in a big God, this is the book.
  8. I’m hoping that Apple will block the new iPhone “pimp” app. Read more about it here and how to tell Apple to block it. This would be disastrous for the fight against sex trafficking if they allowed this app to be put on the iPhone.
  9. Ben Roethlisberger is back at practice. This makes me so happy.
  10. Men’s Health 20 Best Weight loss tips. Many of these have helped me over the last 2 years lose over 100 pounds.

Links of the Week

  1. 6 keys to efficient running. Many people who run, run in correctly. Which not only causes injury and pain, but makes running less fun than it already is.
  2. When preaching, don’t assume your audience cares about what you are saying. Great advice for preachers, you can’t be lazy. Pay the price.
  3. Tim Stevens on What your boss needs you to be. Everybody who is not the boss at their job should read this.
  4. Nick Bogardus on What I didn’t learn about manhood from Esquire magazine.