Christians are the most overweight people group in the United States. Baptists are the worst.

Pastors-OverweightNow that I have your attention…. This was a true statistic I learned yesterday in a coaching network with Steve Reynolds. He co-authored the book, The Healthy Renegade Pastor and started a nation-wide weight loss program called, Losing to Live

Let me share with you some other statistics:

  • By 2030, 51% of the population will be obese.
  • Obesity results in an additional $66 billion in health care expenses.
  • 76% of clergy are overweight or obese.
  • Clergy has one of the highest death rates from heart disease of any occupation. 

So here are 3 things you can do to lose weight and get healthier.

drink water1- Drink Water

This was the biggest surprise and easiest to implement. Water helps flush out toxins and aids in weight loss. I always thought that I should drink less water so it doesn’t weigh me down. But drinking water actually aids in weight loss. An additional benefit is it will help control dry skin and reduce wrinkles.

If you go to a restaurant or eat a meal at home, drink water instead. It will be better for you and actually save you money.

Steve told us that a goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces. That means if you weigh 200 pounds, you drink 100 ounces of water. It may sound like a lot, but after you start doing it, it will be easier.

walk2 – Walk

I like to run, but walking has about the same benefit. Our bodies were not made to sit for long periods of time. Sitting behind a desk or in a car is not good for our bodies. My chiropractor has told me that this is most of my back problem.

So get up and walk around. Many people today are wearing fitbits or other devices. I use my iWatch & iPhone. These count the steps you take in a day. A good goal is 10,000 steps every day. It may seem like a lot (about 5 miles), but with minor adjustments in your day, you can do it.

Walking 10,000 steps every day leads to:

  • 90% reduction in heart attacks
  • up to 70% reduction in cancer rates
  • 50% reduction in Type II diabetes
  • 70% rate of stroke reduction

So get out there and walk. Even if it’s a rainy day, just walk around your room. 

kids eat vegetables3 – Eat Right

This has been my problem. I have never been extremely overweight. So I could just about eat whatever I wanted. For years my breakfast was a 32 ounce Pepsi & Snickers. Then I got ‘healthy’ and got diet Pepsi and 2 Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies for breakfast. Not much better.

But a few years ago I started topping over 200 pounds. I actually did this while training for a marathon. How could this be? I was exercising enough. But I was eating too much and too much of the bad stuff. I wasn’t treating food as fuel. I ate what I wanted, not what I needed.

So I changed and started eating salads instead of Whoppers. I replaced red meat with chicken. But the best thing I did was buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. My eating problem was in evening and I would get a little hungry. So a box of Cheez-its or bowl of ice cream was my favorite before bedtime snack.

Now, Judy & I have carrot sticks, apples, or nuts at night. It does take awhile to get the cravings under control. But it has helped keep the weight off. And for breakfast I have oatmeal or a veggie shake. I heard someone say, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” 

Also, be careful of any sugar substitutes or processed food. It’s always better to eat things the way God made them. We are what we eat and most of us are killing ourself.

2 Motivations for Living Healthy

If statistics are true, most people in America want to lose some weight. We all have our reasons, but let me tell you want motivated me.

1- God

My body belongs to God. He wants me to be healthy. It is a poor testimony for a pastor to tell others to live for God when it is very evident on the outside that we cannot control our own appetite. Gluttony is the hidden sin. However, what you eat in private always shows up in public.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2)

2- My Family

I really got serious about my health just a few years ago. My dad died at 54 years old. So on June 14, 2014 I was as old as my dad ever was. Every day for me is a day my dad never got because of some health choices he made. I want to make good choices.

I have enjoyed these last few years. Right now as I am writing this my granddaughter, Esther, is asleep at my side. My dad never got to see any of his grandchildren graduate from high school or get married. I want to do all I can to live as long as I can to enjoy my family. So I need to take care of this body God has given me.

I don’t know what your motivation is. Maybe you just need to do it for yourself. But I hope that you will take some steps (maybe literal steps) to lead a healthier life. Quit procrastinating. Invest in yourself. Focus on a healthy lifestyle.

If you have some keys to good health, please share them. What have you done to live a healthier life? 

If you would like to read Steve’s books, please find them here: Bod4 God, Get Off The Couch, The Healthy Renegade Pastor.

You can also read some of my similar posts: Today I am as old as my dad ever was, FAT Christians, The Bible and Health Care.