Weighed Down by Injury
The connections between Pastor Rick Warren and me are thin as a reed. We have never met and—considering his schedule—aren’t likely to in the future.
Then, in his Daniel Plan book a year ago, Warren included a chapter about the grassroots health progress in Huntington, West Virginia. It mentioned Winning the Food Fight, the book I co-authored with Steve Willis, the pastor featured on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
That helped sell a few more books and generated several online reviews of our book. It also proved relevant for a recent story I wrote updating the situation at Steve’s church.
Setbacks on the Journey
As one who shed a fair amount of weight in 2008 after a three-decade-long trend of steady gains, I particularly related to Warren’s story about gradually gaining 90 pounds over the years.
The resulting healthy living program that he launched at his Southern California megachurch ultimately created the multi-faceted Daniel Plan.
That paralleled my experience.
When our oldest daughter had a sudden, unexpected fatal heart attack nearly 10 years ago, the careful regimen I had followed for more than two years collapsed. When I signed up for Weight Watchers three months later, I had regained 19 of the 23 pounds I had shed in a program at a research center.
My latest setback in these battles came after injuring my back last year after trying to do too much at the park with one of our grandsons. I soon stopped going to the YMCA for fear of worsening my back pain. Two months later, my doctor referred me to a physical therapist.
For nine long months, I couldn’t exercise. When the nasty winter weather finally broke and I made it to the spacious running track that circles our city park, I could only shuffle halfway around for 20 minutes.
Three weeks after resuming walking, I went to my cardiologist’s office for my annual check-up. The digital readout was higher than expected, prompting me to ask what it had been a year earlier: I had gained nine pounds.
Nine months with no exercise yielded an average gain of one pound per month. And not all because I hadn’t exercised. During my hiatus, I hadn’t paid enough attention to healthy eating principles.
A Common Battle
I know from talking to others who have lost significant amounts of weight (like the woman who lost 100 pounds) that this struggle is common. There is no Easy Street, no point of relaxation, no point where you have arrived and no longer have to be careful about what you eat.
So, as we head into the biggest danger season of the year with all its candy, fudge, cookies and Christmas party tables laden with other goodies, I try to draw encouragement from the fact that I recently renewed my Y membership. And, that 15 months after I stopped going, I could walk faster on the treadmill and resumed work on the weight machines.
Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to add an extra visit every week during December.