Most pastors are stressed, sit at their desk for long hours, eat out a lot, and don’t exercise nearly enough. (myself included)
I’m sure most of us are aware that obesity is a growing epidemic in America. According to the CDC, More than 1 out of every 3 adults in America (35.7%) are obese. Sadly, pastors are not breaking this trend.
For whatever reason, gluttony is a sin we like to ignore.
I know pastors who preach against drinking alcohol and smoking, but then go out and stuff their face with Big Macs and chicken wings. Somehow we are blind to the hypocrisy.
We are slowly killing ourselves with fat, just as much as people slowly kill themselves with cigarettes.
More Than Physical
We need to realize that obesity isn’t just a superficial issue. It’s a spiritual issue.
The Bible is clear:
- Gluttony makes you lazy. (Proverbs 23:20-21)
- Gluttony is idol worship. (Philippians 3:19)
- We are supposed to glorify God in how we eat. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- Our bodies belong to God, not us. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“The Father made your body, Jesus paid for your body, the Spirit lives in your body. You better take care of it.”
As preachers, if we are overweight, how can we preach about resisting temptation? How can we preach about self-control? We aren’t practicing what we preach.
This subject can be controversial, so please know that I am not writing this in a judgmental spirit. I am writing more out of conviction.
One thing I have always struggled with is my weight. I have never met a Krispy Kreme donut that I didn’t like.
I heard a comedian joke once about his weight saying, “I don’t eat until I’m full. I eat until I hate myself.” I laughed, and then cried. I do the same thing.
Many of us need to deal with our gluttony issue.
Preaching is more than just the words we say, it is the way we live. If we want to be healthy preachers, we must be healthy spiritually, mentally, and physically.
Living healthier will help you be more energetic, more confident, longer living, better feeling, and yes, better looking. There really isn’t a downside to living healthier, except that it requires work.
Tips For Living A Healthier Life:
Don’t Crash Diet
Crash diets don’t work. I have tried many. Sure, you will probably lose a lot of weight quick. The problem is, once the diet is over, 9 times out of 10 you will fall back into your previous habits.
This has been my story. I gain 40 pounds, do a crazy diet and lose 40 pounds. I get in the best shape of my life and then I slack off. Before I know it, I have gained back 50 pounds and I’m heavier than before.
This is no way to live. Being healthy is a lifestyle. It is not a a short term thing. You have to be in it for the long haul – every single day for the rest of your life. That means your diet must be sustainable.
Weigh Yourself Regularly
Weigh yourself every day or at least every week first thing in the morning. Keep it consistent. Weighing yourself first thing in the morning helps make sure you get your true weight without extra water weight or what you just ate. It also gets you started on a healthy mindset right away.
Track your progress so you can see how far you have come. Set a goal so you can measure how close you are to reaching it.
Count Your Calories
Could you tell me how many calories you ate yesterday? Most people’s biggest problem is that they don’t even know how much they are eating. Counting your calories makes you aware of what you are putting in your body.
Many people swear that simply tracking their calories has been the single biggest factor in losing weight and keeping it off.
Do Something Active Every Day
Most people gain weight because they sit too much. They don’t move enough to get their heart pumping.
If you want to be healthy, set a time in your schedule (30 minutes or more), and do something active during that time every day. Go for a long walk. Ride a bike. Run. Play basketball. Go to the gym. Whatever you do, do something to get off your rear and move every day. Not only will you burn more calories, but you will be healthier, feel better and have more energy.
You may be thinking, “But I don’t have time.” You may be right. Not if you keep your priorities the same.
You will make time for what is important to you. If your health is important, you better make time. Cut out 30 minutes of watching TV. Wake up 30 minutes earlier. Do what you need to do to make it happen.
Half of the battle is your diet. Stay away from junk. Throw away all bad food in your house so it isn’t even an option. Don’t drink calories. Drink water.
One of the best diets I have ever stuck to was extremely simple. It was called Lean, Green, Grain. You eat only Lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish, etc.), Greens (meaning vegetables, not just green ones), and whole Grain carbs (whole wheat bread, pasta, crackers, etc.). It works because it’s easy to remember and gives you a simple guideline.
Give yourself a cheat day every once in a while. I would go insane if I never ate a cheeseburger again for the rest of my life. That is no way to live! This is about balance and a healthy lifestyle. If you go too extreme, you will hate it and eventually fail.
Find a Buddy
Find someone who will do whatever activity you decide to do with you. The key here is accountability. You are more likely to exercise when you know someone is expecting you and will notice when you don’t show up. Who will notice if you slack off?
I worked for a pastor once who went to the gym every morning before work. He found a group of regular guys he worked out with. These guys not only held him accountable, but they were also his mission field. Over the years, he brought almost all of them to Christ. That is multi-tasking at its best!
What is holding you back?
Make the decision today to live a healthier life. Don’t let food become an idol in your life.
We have a problem with fat pastors in America. I am one of them. Maybe you are too. So, for the last few months I have been making the changes above. I am already noticing a huge difference.
Better living will only result in better preaching. Lose weight; preach better. Who is with me?
Question: How have you been successful in becoming healthier? Or, how have you tried and failed? (comment below)
Other Posts from the Best Year Yet Series
- Make This Year Your Best Year – Start Here
- 5 Characteristic of Goals that Work – Set Goals
- The Secret to Getting Ahead on Sermon Preparation – Get Ahead
- How to Eliminate Bad Speaking Habits. Umm… Like… You Know? – Speak Better
- Lose Wight; Preach Better – Healthy Body
- Why a Healthy Ministry Requires a Healthy Family – Healthy Family
- Out of the Overflow of the Heart the Preacher Speaks – Healthy Spiritual Life
- 41 Ways to Risky Preaching – Try Something New
- You Don’t Have Time Not to Read – Read More
- The Secret to Winning Time Management – Accomplish More of What Matters
- Do You Make This One Common Preaching Mistake? – Step Away From your Desk