Staying Healthy While Ministering Online

by Paul on September 2, 2009

I don’t know what happened, but when I hit 30 my metabolism screeched to a halt faster than ice melts on the sun!  Ministering on a computer all day and traveling frequently doesn’t help.  I’ve struggled to maintain my current weight and losing the love handles seems like a lost cause.

Most of my co-workers are older than I am.  I watch many of them struggle to stay healthy.  I watch them struggle with the health problems that come with losing ground one pound at a time, over decades.  These guys are giants of faith.  They serve God passionately.  They sacrifice everything to serve Him.  They never complain, but I know what they go through because I travel with them.  I know what they have to face, in terms of struggling with health issues, every day.

And because I’m a pansy, I don’t want to have to go through what they do just to get out of bed in the morning and serve God one more day.

Some problems are just part of getting older.  We are jars of clay, after all.  But I can make choices now, while I’m still very young, that affect my quality of life now and 30 years from now.

I started working out three weeks ago.  I take an hour break around lunch to do step aerobics in the living room. (Sounds silly, but I will laugh at you when I can sprint up a flight of stairs when I’m 50!) My goal is 45 minutes, five days a week.  I’m averaging about 35 minutes, 3-4 days a week.  I’m ok with that.  It’s more than I’ve done in a long time.

I cut down my soft drink intake by about 95%.  I rarely purchase sodas if I’m out and about.  I try to drink water.

I cut down snacking between meals and reduced meal portions.

I text my wife when I finish a workout, let her know my progress, and I tell her that I love her.  My wife and kids are my motivation.

I’m traveling almost all of September.  I’m taking along some workout DVDs to use in my hotel rooms in the morning or evening.  If the rooms are too small – I’m going to Europe – then I’ll see if I can find a workout room.  I don’t like working out in public, but I think the long term goal is a little more important than my embarrassment over someone watching me jiggle my way to good health.

I don’t know if you struggle with your health, but I challenge you to take charge of that part of your life.  The fight doesn’t ever get any easier.  You will never have more time than you do now.  Your schedule isn’t going to open up in a day, week, or month.  You are going to have to fight for every workout.

Three weeks in and I’m noticing a difference.  I figure it will be three months before anyone else does.

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Weekly Roundup – 8/30/2009
September 8, 2009 at 5:23 am

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NicCharalambous September 3, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Awesome, paul. I think physical health is a massive part of endurance in the faith, since, as you say, we are physical creatures that are carrying the treasure of God. You want to physically have the ability to do so for as long as it is humanly possible and divinely ordained.

Two things:

First: As someone who recently lost 26 pounds (and will hopefully continue to lose weight) most every fitness expert would likely recommend that you eat MORE between meals, not less. Training your body to be consuming and burning calories instead of storing them is huge. I would incorporate strength training into your routines also, since the metabolic work of maintaining and building muscles helps "flatten" calorie processing.

Second, i think the apostle paul's use of physical training metaphors in the life of faith is also about providing a concrete method of spiritual discipline, of "self-control." That's what i was hoping to re-confirm for myself when I decided to recommit to physical fitness after a two-year "break," and the Lord has very graciously showed me (yet again) that spiritual discipline flows out of and into physical discipline. The two just can't be separated.

John Kenneth King September 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Debra and I start our day off (M-F) with a 45 minute walk. We do some jogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We took bikes along on our vacation last week and road each day. The time together is so valuable and getting the exercise multiplies the benefit! We have to get up at 6:00 to make it work, but it is worth it!

JennyO September 4, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Wow! Fantastic Paul! It's so true… There's so much more that you can do if you're healthy. Those extra 30-45 minutes per day will so be worth it! Keep up the good work!

Simon September 12, 2009 at 7:03 am

Oh boy… I so identify with this. Hv been tryin' hard to get rid of those 'love handles'… I just don't get enough exercise. There's no excuse really cos' we don't try to be fit, we train to be fit! =)

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