Posted by Alex Shipman

This time it going to be different! This year I am going to keep my new year resolution. I’m going to lose this weight and get healthy this time around. I spoke those “self-motivating” words to myself back in January 2010. I needed motivation because I began that year at 300 lbs and gaining, the heaviest I’ve been since high school. My weight and over eating were quickly spinning out of control. I was clearly not honoring the Lord with body nor taking care of myself. As a result, I was starting to suffer from the consequences of my unhealthy life style. At my yearly medical check up, I found out my cholesterol was high and my blood pressure on the rise. To make things worst, my doctor told me if I did not make a change I was going to eventually develop diabetes. I was walking down a dangerous path. I desperately needed a lifestyle change, not another quick fix solution to weight loss.

I’ve always struggled with my weight.It’s been a never ending cycle of losing the weight and regaining the weight. I lost weight in college but put it back on; I lost weight for my wedding but put it all back on after the wedding. And so, the thought of trying to lose weight again was just depressing because I did not think I could keep it off. I had a decision to make, either continue with my unhealthy lifestyle or make a change. I decided to make a change. So, I joined a gym and committed to exercising and eating better. I lost 25lbs during that time, lowering my weight to 275 lbs. But old habits die hard, life started to kick in. Family and church life started to get busier and more stressful. As a result, my commitment to going to the gym and eating better were quickly phasing out of view. I was to the point where I was just wanted to give up all together. Now, I could not afford to give up because of my health issues. However, something had to give.

And it did! In November 2010, I started hearing about something that would greatly impact my journey to a healthier life style. It was an exercise program called “P90X.” I saw the commercials on T.V. and at first I thought this was just another quick fix. Then, I started hearing more and more people talk about it. So, I eventually decided to take the 90 day challenge. I was excited and I told my wife it was time for me to get serious about taking care of myself. I started P90X in November 2010 and those first four weeks were HARD. I thought about quitting but these words brought me back everyday: DO YOUR BEST AND FORGET THE REST. I did my best! Some nights I would be up at midnight getting my workout in. I followed the diet plan and got my over eating under control. My cholesterol is down, blood pressure is down and I’m no longer in any danger of developing diabetes. As a pastor, I’m growing in my understanding of just how important health and fitness is to my physical and spiritual life. A pastor friend said, “Obesity will destroy you, incapacitating you, zapping you of energy.” This was true in my life until I started to fight against my obesity. I had to take personal responsibility for how I treated the body the Lord had given to me. I now believe being healthy is being a “good steward” of the body I’ve been given. All ministers need to be good stewards of their bodies. We don’t just need the spiritual disciplines but also physical disciplines, regular exercise and healthy eating. I’m embracing exercise and healthy eating as means of God’s grace for the well-being of my life and my longevity in ministry.

This has been a long year and a half journey to changing my lifestyle. I did four rounds of P90X and one round of P90X 2. I currently weigh 191lbs, just six pounds away from my goal weight. I’m in the best shape of my life! I’m starting to run now. I’m planning on doing a half marathon next year. I feel awesome! People actually call me FIT, which is funny to hear me and fit in the same phrase. It’s been a long journey but i decided, I committed and I succeeded.