As this fall has come and is quickly passing, so too came my birthday, yet again. This year I turned 27 and many things have changed over the past six years. I have graduated from college and seminary. I got married. I greeted my first child into the world. I became a Pastor of a ministry I have been involved in for about 8 years now. And finally, I have gained about 25 pounds.
Some would call this unwelcomed addition “contentment” after marriage. But I wouldn’t place any of the blame on my wife. Instead, it was just poor eating, drinking much too much soda, and rapidly decreasing opportunities for exercise. Recently I discovered that I was hurting my life and ministry by continuing this pattern. I knew that if I stopped having junk come in and concentrated on eating well and exercising that I would have more energy. I would sleep better at night. I would be giving myself a better shot at being around for Micah when he gets older. I would be doing a better job at putting myself in a good situation to live for Christ.
This fall, I have begun biking to work a few times a week, and I have seen a huge change in this alone. When I rode the bike home from the bike shop, I was dying. Now I can make the same ride without barely breathing harder. The next step was concentrating on eating better. Leah has been a great help in this area. She is trying to make things that are healthier and trying to get me to eat my daily dose of vitamins and nutrients.
But all of this would be for naught if I continued to drink soda at the same alarming rate I had. I knew I was addicted to it, and that troubled me. I would try to cut back, but I would find myself still drinking 3-4 cans of soda a day. So I decided that the few days I spent on Catalina Island would be detox days. That became more difficult when I realized they had a soda machine and snack bar, but thankfully I was able to survive. I kept busy and with the exercise I got, it gave me the energy that I lacked before.
So now it has been two weeks and I still haven’t had a Mt. Dew, which is pretty big for me. I have had a Diet Coke a couple times, but that’s it. I decided that I didn’t want to make it about never drinking soda, but about forming better habits to replace the addiction with. At first some other flavor drinks were helpful, but it has been necessary to get addicted to water instead.
So to date, I have lost about 6 pounds, bringing me under 190. I really didn’t want to reach 200, and will keep going in my best attempt to get rid of the ponch that has taken residence over my belt.
To go along with this, there is this interesting story about the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland having to close for a period of time in order to fix the ride. When it was built in 1964, Americans weighed 25 lbs less, on average. Apparently, more obese riders have caused the boats to get stuck on the bottom of the flume, so now they have to shut it down for 10 months so they can make the canal deeper and bring in better, more buoyant boats.