Twelve Fitness Tips Every Pastor Needs To Hear From a Pastor
1. Repent. For years I tried to lose weight. My motives were all over the place. Fear of dying prematurely, guilt, shame, vanity, even glimpses of spiritual conviction. None of those motives sustained real life-change. It wasn't until 148 days ago that I truly began to walk in repentance regarding addiction to food, laziness, lack of self-control, and my lack of discipline. I didn't struggle with dark hidden sins, my sin was visible for all to see. Spiritual brokenness was the difference. When I saw my lifestyle as sin, I repented. My success is obedience to the Lord and running to Him and not food. It's time to repent, not try harder. 2. Involve your church. I confessed my sin to my church. I let them know what God said to me. I acknowledged that I had previously been asking them to repent from sin, but I was still walking in mine. I let them know that I was broken and that things were changing now. I shared my plan and shared how they could help me as a church. I asked them to pray for me, not feed me cheesecake (even if I begged), encourage me, and to check on me. Our tendency, as pastors, is to put up a front that shows that we "have it all together". We have been taught to keep our congregation at arms length. The reality is that our church can be our greatest asset in living a healthy lifestyle. I am blessed by those who pray daily for me, fix me healthy snacks, keep me accountable, and those who cheer me on like crazy!
3. Don't fall for fads. I've been on almost every diet on the planet: Nutri-System, Slim-Fast, Herbalife, Atkins... you name it, I was on it. They all brought quick and temporary weight loss. It was exciting to see the quick results, but nothing about me changed. At the end of the day weight loss and health is about consistency and math. Consistency in eating a healthy and balanced diet while staying underneath a calorie goal. Over time, the weight will come off. As a pastor, our discipline and self-control are the key. Submitting both to The Holy Spirit is where victory and life change is found.
4. Get a coach. I'm not talking about a professional trainer, although that is a good investment. I'm talking about recruiting someone that has the authority to challenge you, speak truth into your life, and encourage you. This person is given full access to you and your life. This needs to be someone that is willing to say the hard things and who isn't overly impressed with you. It should also be someone that loves you and cares about your well being. Your coach should be in contact with you almost every day and constantly keeping you accountable for your diet and exercise. At times you will want to punch them in the face, so make sure they aren't tougher than you.
5. Get started right now. I always started on Monday after pigging out on Sunday. The problem was that every Monday was postponed until the next Monday. Translation: Monday never came. If you are reading this you are likely already on the journey or thinking about it. Now is the time. Go to www.codybobay.com and pick out a healthy eating and exercise plan (Cody even provides a shopping list for his eating plans!) and start this evening, morning, or afternoon. Don't put it off or make excuses.
6. Don't quit. I always think about Rocky IV when Apollo Creed enters the ring against Ivan Drago ( https://youtu.be/QeoHcB9_wss?t=1m15s. ). Apollo comes out like a beast, but immediately gets a dose of reality when Ivan Drago punches him in the mouth. When you start, it will be exciting. You will be fired up and ready for battle. Undoubtedly there will come a moment where the life-change decision you made will feel like a mistake. The reality of the power of your flesh will punch you in the mouth. This is where everybody quits. I know this because this is where I would quit every time. Even if you mess up, don't quit. Every day is a new day and a fresh start. We've all preached on "...forgetting what is behind...", we need to remember that those powerful words are for us too.
7. Learn and practice The 4 Fundamentals:
- What we eat
- What we drink
For a full explanation you can go to YouTube and search for "The Keahbone Project". I completely explain each fundamental in detail. The bottom line is that these four fundamentals are essential for health and fitness. Eating a balanced/healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, getting regular exercise, and getting proper rest are a lethal combination against obesity.
8. Make exercise a priority. Join a gym, find a place to walk/jog, take up a hobby that requires consistent physical movement. A pastor's schedule is ridiculous! There's never a good time to add exercise to our day, but we have to make time. The best time is early in the morning. You get your exercise out of the way and don't have to dread it the rest of the day. The best part is that regardless of how our schedule changes during the day, our exercise is not affected because it is done. If you just can't exercise in the morning, just make sure you get it in. If you can't make it to the gym or do what you have scheduled from the plan you got from Cody's website... walk around the block, clean out the garage, do some wall push-ups... JUST DO SOMETHING! I have learned that it is really hard to get to the gym or start that walk around the neighborhood, but when I do start... it feels great! Endorphins are released, my conscience is clear... feels good. I promise.
9. Have a rest day! I believe that I have been successful in my weight-loss journey because I have faithfully enjoyed my rest day. For six days I eat what I am supposed to. I exercise like I am supposed to. I work hard. On the seventh day I enjoy the delicious foods that are not on my plan, take a break from exercise, and relax. Over a year I will have rested 52 times, but will have been on my plan for 313. Math wins! There's no way I can say no to ice cream, cake, and deep fried food forever, but I KNOW I can do without them for six days. Throughout the week I make a mental list of the things I crave and then I enjoy them on my rest day. Trust me on this one!
10. Don't base your success on the scale. Weight-loss is a funny thing. At times the weight peels off, other times the loss is hard to find! There are even gains along this journey. Our bodies will adjust in several ways to our new lifestyle. Because this is primarily a spiritual battle, we have to take our eyes off of the scale and judge our success based on our obedience, self-control, and discipline. If we know we have followed the plan (the 4 fundamentals, the food plan, the exercise plan), we have succeeded. Remember, it's math... the scale will eventually show our progress.
11. Remember your "Why". Cody says this a lot. While on this journey I ran my first ever 5k. It was an amazing accomplishment and I still can't believe that I did it. My son, Mikah, ran with me the whole time. At times he would be running in front of me. Every time the thought of quitting crossed my mind... I would see Mikah. He was a reminder that my "Why" is my family. I want to be here on this planet with my wife and my children for as long as I possibly can. My wife needs me. My daughters need me. My son needs me. It is completely selfish to quit on my health and allow fleshly desires to rob my time with those who mean the most to me. I don't want somebody else providing for my wife and kids. I don't want somebody else giving my children advice or being there for them when they struggle. It needs to be me. It should be me. I'm fighting like crazy for it to be me. Your family needs you. Find your "Why" and constantly keep it in front of you.
12. Make goals and chase after them. Over the last 148 days I have treadmilled, ellipticalled, and biked 100 miles in 30 days, did 82 consecutive minutes on the elliptical, ran my first 5k, and did four weeks of doing a 5k on the elliptical five days a week. I thought every single challenge was impossible. But I worked, trained, and didn't give up. It is amazing to set a goal and crush it!!!
Don't forget to check out The Keahbone Project on YouTube (please subscribe!)! Also, don't forget to check out www.codybobay.com! Everything you need to get started is right there! Please send me a message to let me know how you are doing!
Much Jesus Love!