Sunday, August 21, 2011

Importance of Weight Management Comes Home

Monday, August 15, 2011

Importance of Weight Management Comes Home

Around our house we have been celebrating the success of our weight loss--over 150 pounds between the two of us. For the first time in years my wife, who is disabled by a variety of contributing factors to chronic, debilitating pain, had a semblance of life where she could function more than just sitting in a chair all day long, waiting for me to come home from work to fix her meals and run errands. While riding that crest of this renewed joy, we were hit with a new diagnosis of probable early stage Parkinson's. For a moment that took the wind out of our sails. Then my wife called our children and told them that no matter what happens with this news, "It is well with her soul," and she would be all right. The loss of almost 75 pounds had put her in a better position to fight this new battle and continue to be sensitive to what God has for her to do with her years that lie ahead.

That's why I am excited about paying forward what we have expereinced in getting our optimal health back. Let me know if you are interested in leading this program at your chruch, offering free health coaching to those who are ready to get their health back. And if you are ready to shed those pounds that are wreaking havoc on your health, contact me for the details that will put you back on track to return to a fullness of your health:


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Not by power, not by might"

These words from Zechariah used to be how I thought a person lost weight--by will power.  I have learned from my own health coach that will power does not work.  Well, I could have told her that from my own experience.  I remember dropping 40 pounds several years ago on a liquid only, doctor-supervised diet.  The anger was fueling a determination I was carrying at the time that sustained the weight loss for two months.  No one can stay angry indefinitely.  The anger gets displaced and misplaced in the body.  I not only regained the weight, but also more to spare.

Sounds a lot like that parable Jesus told about the evil spirit that was cast out and later determined to come back not only with a few fellow demons, but also with a vengeance.
That lesson has taught me that when you empty someone of something, you had better have something to fill up that spot or it will get filled up any way, often by something worse.

The program that has saved my life and helped me return to a healthy lifestyle, gives me something to fill up the loss of unhealthy fat.  --Back to the willpower!

If will power does not work, what does?  A goal, a plan, and healthy choices.  that creates hope and moves the person toward that goal.

I set a goal to have optimal health.  Then with the help of my health coach, I created a plan and a program to get there.  Now I make choices that take me to my goal. 

Let me tell you that is easier than trying to be the little engine that could and thin I can, think I can, think I can.  I just make choice and follow the plan.  Then the goal of optimal health shows up on the horizon and gets closer every day.

If sheer will power hasn't worked for you to reach your weight and health goals, contact me and I'll introduce you to the plan that gave me my health back.

If you are interested in helping others in your congregation or mission field to gain their health back through weight management, give me a holler, too.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

What do you say to an obese person?

My wife and I, energized by our significant weight loss and re-discovered energy, have found ourselves making regular trips to the mall to buy clothes for our incredibly shrinking bodies.  I used to be known for the suspenders I wore—no more. I have lost over 10 inches in the waist and can wear a belt again.  But that is not today’s story.

At the entrance to one store is a male greeter, welcoming us to our latest redecorating expedition.  He probably has a BMI like mine used to be—off the chart!  Anne and I had talked about how do we approach someone like that and share our concern for his health and that there are some real answers and tools to manage weight and regain health.  Sort of like witnessing—how do you break the ice or take the initiative. 

Finally I had a window of opportunity to practice my listening skills when I greeted him upon our entry to the store.  His response to my “How are you?” was “Well, my feet hurt.”  He shifted his weight from one side to the other as he looked down at his tired feet.

That was my cue!  “Would you like to do something about that?”  He returned my question with his own:  “Do you think you could do something about it?”

In a flash all I could think of was Dr. “Moonlight” Graham in Field of Dreams asking Ray Kinsella, aka Kevin Costner, “Are you the type of fella that could make that dream come true?”  That was after Ray invited him to a ball field where he could fulfill a lifelong dream to get a hit in the majors.

Well, I stepped up to the plate and said, “Yes, Sir, I can.”  And I shared with his a brief snapshot of our journey from morbid obesity back toward healthier living and normal numbers on our blood work.  The living proof was right in front of him in person.

I wish I could tell you a storybook ending—that the man asked me to become his health coach and he now has a BMI less than 25.  That didn’t happen that day—not yet.  I planted the seed.  And I will need some smaller clothes in a week or so.  I’ll be sure to greet him again on my return and trust God’s Spirit will go ahead of me and speak to his heart or his doctor or someone who has his ear.

What do you say to a person who needs to lose weight?  I know I chafed at the times others told me I had to do the same, especially those gatekeepers in the denomination who said I would never go anywhere in the church overweight.  And in our culture, you could risk your life saying anything.  Yet can we ignore the perishing--those whose bodies are perishing too soon?

The answer is to listen to that person’s story.  Through listening, a window of opportunity will open to share good health news, too.

There are 200,000,000 Americans who are either overweight or morbidly obese.  That means that 2/3 of the people in our churches, in our neighborhoods, at work, or with us at play are affected by the ravaging health effects of too much weight on the bodies they were given.  Hard to miss!  Yet what do we say to say “Hello”?

Years back there was a song with a line that asked:  “How do you tell a hungry man about the bread of life?” The Rev. Barry Manilow in me re-writes the songs other people sing:  “How do you tell an overweight person about the health of life?”

Share with me your attempts to hear the cries for help that are coming from the very first thing an overweight person says to you when you greet them.  Meet them where they are at.  That is what listening is all about.

Interested in losing that excess baggage you have been carrying around, damaging your health?  Email me at  I will offer you free coaching on a plan that worked for me and many others.

Interested in coaching a person back to health?  I’d love to train you to do that for the ones you love and care about.  Same email.

And, yes, I’ll be listening for your message.

Drink and Give a Cup of Cool Water

When I was completing my doctoral requirements at the University of Iowa's teaching hospital, I attended a church in town whose bulletin invited guests to join members on the front lawn after the morning service to enjoy some Koo-Aid and cookies.  I cringed that any church would make that offer because this happened in the shadow of Jim Jones fruit drink mass suicide in Guyana. 

Over the years the church has been known for its drinks like the little song said: "Cookies and punch.  I don't want a lesson just cookies and punch!"

I, too enjoyed the snow-cones, fruit drinks during Bible school and iced tea at dinner on the ground.

On my journey back to health I have discovered that anything but pure water is polluted water--some more so than others.  God created our bodies to work on pure water.  That's what our brain needs for optimum performance and the rest of our body which is mostly water in its composition.  Anything else, like additives, caffeine, those chemical artificial sweeteners, are like putting old motor oil back into your car or worn out antifreeze in the cooling system of your car's engine.  Polluted water damages the Temple of God you live in.

So if you want to drink to good health, use water, pure unadulterated hydrogen dioxide.  And if you want to help a fellow pilgrim who is struggling to regain his or her health, give that fellow sojourner a cup of cold water.  Their bodies will thank you and they will thank you for helping them move toward optimal health. 

Join me in helping pay forward the gift of a return to health.  Email me at and let's talk about what we can do through the church to make a difference in the health of those about us.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

These words from the Psalmist always fascinated me as I thought of the miracle of conception and child birth, the brain and memory. Now I am learning as a healthier pilgrim that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and we can experience that awe when we eat in a healthy fashion.

Our bodies are made to eat within an hour of awakening or the metabolism will shut down to protect us. We are created to eat small meals two and a half to three hours apart so that our insulin pumps don't get turned on and we don’t store unnecessary body fat.  It’s that excess body fat that contributes to the inflammation that causes all sorts of health issues.

Fearfully and wonderfully made also includes “our daily bread.”  I used to associate the manna in the wilderness with punishment and getting just enough to get by on—not on being sufficient to care for all our nutritional needs.  I guess my sin was not trusting God.  Eating six small meals a day trusts God’s design for my body to be fueled for just what I need and no more.

My daily bread does not come from a food pyramid but from calories that come from 50% vegetables and fruits, 25% lean protein, and 25% carbohydrates.  Sounds a little like Daniel’s eating program that brought him grace from all directions, doesn’t it?

Know someone who might benefit from experiencing a return to health and a renewed sense of having been fearfully and wonderfully made?  Contact me at and I’ll share the details on how to fuel your body the way God intended from creation and how to have a free health coach to guide you or that person you know.

If you are a pastor or church leader interested in making a difference in the battle of the bulge from obesity to those suffering in your congregation or your mission field, let me know and I’ll send you information on how to be that free health coach to a person I need of compassionate care and guidance.
Coming soon, more on my journey from morbid obesity toward optimal health.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nothing Like a Recovering Food Addict

I remember people talking about how a recovering drunk can get on a bandwagon about his or her sobriety.  Well, I guess I am falling into that pattern as a recovering food addict.  In the past 9 months I have regained my health by dropping 75 pounds through a safe and effective weight management program that is guiding me to have optimal health the rest of my life.  As a Type 2 diabetic my blood sugar levels have lowered.  Cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure all have improved.

So I sense the call to pay it forward to help one more person regain his or her health.  I am especially challenging churches and ministries to look at what we have done to contribute to the obesity of America.  This is especially in light of the recent research suggesting that attending church might be adding pounds and potential disease and sickness to those in the pews.

At the risk of invoking the ire of all those wonderful cooks in our congregations, I believe it is time to look at what we promote in our fellowship meals, homecoming, and youth events.

We dare our young people to be a Daniel, but we don't feed them like he ate in Babylon.

We provide donuts at our Visitor Welcome Centers in the lobbies of our sanctuaries.  Do we realizing what we are doing to our guests?  The first 30 minutes their blood sugar is raised, maybe enhancing the appearance of joy in the praise service, yet when it's time to hear the Word, they are glazed over (pun intended!) by the accompanied drop in blood sugar.  How well can their brains, their total being be totally available to the Spirit to receive that Word?

If we are serious about our belief that we are created as a psychosomatic unity in the image of God, then we need to address the wholeness of our people's health--not just their souls.  If we are serious about joining the prophetic call of Jesus to proclaim the release of captives unto freedom, then we need to include freeing people from the bondage of obesity, captured in an overweight body, susceptible to a host of illness caused by the inflammation that contributes to metabolic syndrome.

The trap the church often falls into is to rush out a create our own stuff to deal with this epidemic or to proof text Scripture, trying to put new square pegs into our old round holes.  there are already in place safe, effective programs of lifelong weight management that a church can use in the course of its ministry to the whole person that will set captives free to reclaim their health, thereby being available for a more energetic ministry and testimony to the lost world.

If you are interested in joining me in this campaign to help one more person be set free from the bondage of obesity, e-mail me at and I'll share with you the program that coached me back to health.

For those of you just meeting me, you need to know I don't buy into gimmicks and pie (gee!  our language is infected with obesigenic words) in the sky promises.  Rather, the proof is in the pudding (there it goes again!), hard to argue with a changed life:  I once was obese.  Now I am more fully alive, again.  To God be the glory!

I'll be listening for you.