The Failure of Resolutions
First of two parts
By Ken Walker-
With many loosening their belts or other clothing after Christmas dinner, it is likely they will turn their attentions to a New Year’s resolution to “lose weight.” However, such vows have a high failure rate. In working on a story for the January issue of Mature Living I found research pegging it at around 90 percent.
So, if you ate too much turkey and all the trimmings the past week, far better than an empty resolution will be a decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle. A half-hearted resolution to “lose weight” will vanish faster than you can finish a piece of pecan pie. I know, because without continuing the vegetarian lifestyle I switched to more than five years ago, I never would have kept off the pounds I lost.
The message of physical stewardship was at the heart of Winning the Food Fight, the 2012 book I co-authored with Steve Willis. Now, an even brighter spotlight is falling on this message through the recent release of The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren.
Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life became one of the bestselling non-fiction titles ever with sales of 32-million-plus copies of the original and a revised version, What Am I Here For? The publisher released an expanded edition last year.
It isn’t hard to imagine Warren’s latest release sparking considerable interest, especially since The Daniel Plan topped the “advice” category of the New York Times’ bestseller list for the week of Dec. 22.
In addition, the book is part of a package that includes a small group study guide, DVD and forthcoming exercise videos.
Parallels to Huntington
A fascinating aspect of Warren’s story is its parallel to what Steve Willis lived through at his church. After losing a close friend to heart problems brought on by obesity, Steve emphasized to his congregation how obesity was literally killing too many members.
As recapped in our book, Steve found support for his observations when the Centers for Disease Control released a report citing the Huntington area as the nation’s unhealthiest. It wasn’t just obesity, but related diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Not too long after Jamie Oliver came to West Virginia to film his award-winning Food Revolution mini-series for ABC, Warren experienced an awakening of his own about weight problems.
Setting a Poor Example
As Warren says, the thought, “Wow! Everybody’s FAT!” came to him when he baptized hundreds of adults at his Southern California megachurch. Putting so many people under the water and lifting them back up wore him out.
However, another thought immediately surfaced, But I’m fat too! I’m as out of shape as everyone else is!
“In that moment of clarity, I realized the terrible example I was giving with my own health,” Warren writes. “How could I expect my congregation to take better care of their own bodies if I was such a poor model? I had ignored my own growing problem for thirty years.”
The Consequences of Overeating
Warren’s experience sounds familiar to anyone who has been involved in a church, fraternity, or other civic or social organization. Although he grew up in a family that never drank alcohol or smoked, all food—no matter how unhealthy—was considered okay. Food was the center of numerous occasions, whether happy or sad.
And although he remained skinny growing up, thanks to an active lifestyle and a high metabolism, once he got married and settled down the pounds started creeping on. Again, a story that I can relate to—and many reading these words.
However, lifestyle habits have consequences. As Warren notes, for the first time in history more people are suffering from too much food than malnutrition. Seventy percent of Americans are overweight, while lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart problems kill more people worldwide than infectious diseases.
Despite this alarming situation, millions refuse to face the truth. Hopefully, books like Warren’s (and ours) will help you start the journey towards a healthier you.
Next: The Huntington connection to The Daniel Plan.