Though I grew up an active kid, I had always been someone who thoroughly enjoyed eating food. Never fully understanding how much food I was intaking, I overindulged frequently. As my food consumption continued to grow, my activity continued to diminish. It was about the age of 13 when I really started to realize that I was getting overtly unhealthy and unable to do certain things. At this point, I was playing baseball for my high school. I guess you could say I was an “alright” baseball player, but I could have been lightyears ahead of my other peers if I would have taken on a healthy lifestyle. When I tried to run a mile, I would run for five minutes and stop because of the shooting pain that went through my whole body. When I would try to lift weights I always thought I could lift more than I really could, and if lifting less, I became discouraged. I had tried to workout but always felt defeated in whatever I attempted. My brother-in-law had tried to help me get in better shape time and time again, but every time he tried, I would fall off the wagon. This was the pre-cursor to how I live the life I do today.
The seven year hike I took to arrive where I am now started on a Sunday morning while watching television. An infomercial came on about this workout program called “P90X with Tony Horton”. As I started to watch, I began to think, “There is absolutely no way I would ever be able to any of this.” I had reached 285lbs, which was my all-time high. Life as I knew it was being a fat, out of shape, scruffy-looking human being, with no motivation to do anything. As I finished watching the commercial I said, “Well I have tried a million other ways to do this, I could at least try and see if I get anything out of it”. As a present from my dad, a week and a half later, a white box marked “P90X with Tony Horton” showed up at the house. That is where it all began.
After the first night of working out I was dead tired. I could barely feel any of the bones in my body. Three consecutive days into P90X, I saw a smidgen of light at the end of the tunnel. Over the next 6 months of doing this day in and day out, I became extremely addicted to it. Every single day I trudged to my basement and attempted to perform all of the exercises in the DVDs. I blasted music just so that I didn’t have to hear myself breathe. Flash forward to two years of doing P90X devoutly, my results really showed. More than anything, I was feeling a lot better about myself overall. I went from not being able to do a pull up, push up or lift weights, to being able to do all with ease.
When I went away to college, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to keep doing P90X, as I would be living in a dorm room. I eventually found myself at the local YMCA because of remodeling in the campus gym at the university. I leaned out to 194lbs, which I hadn’t touched since the beginning of middle school. I found myself growing out of the specific activities from P90X, and beginning to lift like a true athlete. Day in and day out, I kept working. For the year I was at college, this became life; not only because of the high I got from lifting, but also the amount which I was able to expand my spiritual life, by praying throughout a workout or offering a lift for someone when I thought I wasn’t going to make it. That is what helped push me through it.
In Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul says “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.” I believe that most Christians pass through the day forgetting that God lives inside of them. I never used to think as such, but when I really recognized my body was bought at a price, I began to take huge strides when it came to taking care of it. It isn’t enough until you fully engulf yourself in what it takes to honor God with your physical body. In keeping it in the shape that it was given to me, I have the opportunity to glorify my Heavenly Father.
I further believe that with honoring the Lord, discipline is required. Disciplining yourself not only to go to the gym, but to also eat the foods that are healthy for your body. Every morning at 6:00 AM, I wake up and go to my local gym for about an hour and a half to lift. There you will find me dripping with sweat, focused beyond belief, and putting all I have into each lift. Every agonizing P90X workout, every lift, and all the miles I have run have paid off. Most importantly, I don’t live in fear of being 285lbs again, simply because I know that God has brought me way too far to ever return to the person I was before.
I, without God, could never have accomplished any of the things I have. The dedication to want to push myself as hard as I do isn’t human. The strength I have to lift as hard as I do isn’t human. All of what I have obtained over the past 7 years is not a work of myself, but of God. I don’t believe for a moment that what I have become is possible without God. To lose 100 pounds, to go from no dedication to extreme dedication, and to have the strength I do, is only a small glimpse of what God can do. We have a great privilege to be here on earth, to honor God with ourselves. Give it your all; pray, and do not stop until you get to where you want to be.