by Robert Earl Houston
And tonight, my wife Jessica and I observed the last supper. As of tomorrow evening, I will be undergoing a medically supervised diet. I will be sharing my journey here on The Wire to help encourage someone who has been struggling, as I have, with weight and weight-related complications.
I’ve seen preachers . . . no . . . GREAT preachers, OUTSTANDING preachers, PROLIFIC preachers, only to see their lives cut short by obesity. When I started in ministry in 1978, preaching my first sermon, I wore a size 28 suit. Today, I wear a size 48. It’s time for a change.
I’ve been a diabetic since I was 23 (I’m 54 now). I’ve had high blood pressure issues, physical issues, etc. especially in the last 3 years. I don’t have anyone to blame but myself – and that church pastor dining lifestyle that has claimed and shortened the life of many a pastor.
Late night eating.
Fast food eating.
Church dinners heavy in cooking oil.
Soda pop, soda pop, soda pop.
Sweet potato pies and cakes.
So, as of tomorrow, I am becoming proactive about my health – with the support of my wife, family, church family, and extended family and friends. With a combination of medical supervision and exercise (in stages). One of my best friends, Pastor Christopher Waters, pastor of the Thankful Baptist Church in Augusta, GA, has been on a journey of good health in the last year. He has lost 60 pounds and has a goal of losing another 40 pounds this year. He’s challenged many of his friends (me included) to begin a regimen of healthy living.
I’ve tried the diets, cut back on sweets, stopped the soda. So now I take the next step, a physician-supervised regimen based in Lexington, KY provided by Health Management Resources. It means I will be exclusively dining on their shakes, foods, health bars, and vitamins, for the next 15 weeks.
If all goes well, I will lose somewhere between 60-100 pounds.
I shared my plan with the wonderful people of First Baptist Church. After church they were so encouraging. One member in particular said: “Pastor, I am so proud of you. We want you around for many years.” That’s the goal.
The good news is that as this process starts, after meeting with the physician today, I’m already off of three medications and a serious reduction in my insulin medications (by at least half). Tomorrow I have my first extensive session and education – a four hour intensive.
So by the time I hit 55 on May 16, 2015, I will experiencing great health! Your prayers and support are appreciated! I encourage other pastors and preachers to join me in a journey toward good health – and church members, I encourage you to encourage your pastor on a journey as well.
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.
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