3 Years since our finale…

Remembering…

It was three years ago tomorrow, May 24th, that Austin and I gathered with our family and extended family to celebrate our Biggest Loser Finale. It was one of the most celebratory days of my life.

I wasn’t celebrating weight loss even though I had lost 158 lbs. while on the show. I wasn’t celebrating my physical health even though I had gone from 9 prescription medications and a slew of over the counter medications to one prescription drug.

I was celebrating life. I had begun to live again.

I actually can’t tell you when I had stopped living. I do know it wasn’t a major event that pushed that direction but rather a whole lot of small choices. As I look back on the last 30 years since I got married, I just don’t know how it happened. But I had stopped living and become some sort of pastoral hermit caring the best I could for my church family as their pastor, but not living much else. Once a year I would take my family on a vacation to southern Utah where I mostly sat and fished and watched movies.

What were some of things I had stopped? I had stopped fishing and hiking to a remote fishing locations. I had stopped playing softball, coaching baseball, and even walking on the beach. I had stopped attending baseball games and chose instead to watch them from my recliner. I stopped traveling. Life was sedentary, and uneventful. Even a trip to Disneyland with the family had become me walking around while the family road most rides.

I wasn’t really living. Instead I was watching other people live. Instead of even going fishing, I would instead watch other people fish on TV or play a fishing game with my kids on the Wi.

On that day 3 years ago, I was celebrating life, and most specifically, my new life.

I had begun to live again. I was alive.

Now three years later, and not everything has happened the way I would have wanted it to. I’m no longer the pastor of Pasadena Christian Center. Instead of pastoring a particular church, I started RetroFit Ministries with my son, Austin. We have developed a faith-based program to help people become healthy; spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I walk between 3-5 miles 6 days a week; spin almost daily (stationary bike riding); lift weights with a trainer 3 times a week, and am active in many other ways.

Starting a health ministry in the Christian community often feels like I’m starting an Alcoholics Anonymous group in a bar. Unhealthy eating is the norm within the church and obesity runs rampant. It isn’t so much that I want to confront people with their sin as much as I want to help them find life. Condemnation never helped me find freedom from my own struggle, but it was the relationships I found with my trainers, the cast and crew of the show, and a much deeper relationship with God.

God healed me from the inside out.

As we begin our fourth year post Biggest Loser, I am still determined to do what I know God has called me to do. I am still fighting those who think that we are simply trying to cash in on our Biggest Loser experience. We are not. We simply believe that there is a great need within the church for guidance and ministry in this area of healthy living.

I celebrate life, and hope I can celebrate life with new people each month as we help them move forward in freedom.