I believe that God expects us to physically take care of our bodies.
I also believe God expects us to seek Him, first and foremost.
When I first met God I didn't understand a lot about theology, prayer, or the Great Commission. I just knew I was a sinner in need of forgiveness. As I grew and learned, I came to struggle with a lot of things in my life that were causing me (and my friends) to stumble. I gradually changed a lot of my habits, and learned how to walk closer to how Jesus walked- not that I'm an expert, mind you.
I didn't get interested in my health until about 5 or 6 years ago. Before that, I was overweight, out of shape, and a typical Cajun guy. I ate everything fried, double helpings, with tons of sugar and junk on the side. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, borderline diabetic. I felt like crap and my mental health began to suffer because of my self-inflicted physical hardships.
One of the things you're going to have to deal with if you're out of shape is slimming down and getting rid of unwanted fat. This is probably the least fun part of the ForgeFit process, but it's also one of the most important.
Almost everybody understands that obesity is directly tied to more diseases and health problems than you can count. Therefore, if you want to be healthy, you need to get rid of the excess fat. You will feel better, look better, and your body will be able to function correctly, without fighting itself just to stay alive.
I'm not here to convince you of the importance of weight loss. Everybody knows that.
I'm here to convince you that this is where the Forge mindset will change your life. You see, losing weight is a simple game of input versus output. If you burn more calories than you eat, then you lose weight. Pretty simple.
But when you factor in the hunger pains, cravings, nutrition, and all the other things going wrong in your body, it seems like an insurmountable task. "Who can lose that much weight?" you might say. "They're cheating, it can't be that simple!" People wave their bag of chips in the air and shout, "Being thin is hard!"
Most of you know, I've been losing weight for the last four months or so. Since I had Salmonella poisoning last November (which took six weeks to recover from) I hadn’t exercised much at all. Earlier this year, my weight was hovering above 205 pounds, probably closer to 210. At my heaviest, I weighed 225, which was several years ago, so I was proud that I had gotten down to 205. However, I knew my ideal weight was much less than that. I still had a paunch gut, and lacked energy to do anything.
Somewhere around this time, I started working with Mike. He got me turned on to healthy eating, and got me started reading up on food in general. Up until then, I never really thought about what I ate. I mean, I live in Cajun Country, we eat everything! Sadly, it had taken its toll on my body, and I wasn’t feeling too good about it. At Mike’s urging, I decided to eliminate all artificial ingredients from my diet. I switched to organic, whole foods as much as possible. At the same time, I decided I was going to start riding my bike again, at least 10 miles a day.
The key to my losing weight was controlling not just what I ate, but how much. I went from eating 3000+ calories a day to less than 2000. I felt better, I had more energy, and lost weight. I found out that if you eat healthier foods, you don’t need as much to nourish your body. That, combined with some moderate exercise was all it took. Trust me, I was not killing myself on the bike… about an hour of medium effort was all I needed. I lost a total of 35 pounds in 3 months, and have kept it off, even though I’ve increased my food intake and don’t ride as much. Even if I start to creep upward, I know how to take it off again. For the last month, I’ve been hovering between 170 and 175.
The main keys are: eat healthier (this doesn’t mean diet foods! Think “natural”) eat less, and exercise a little more. That’s it.