Losing is Gaining!

We Americans live in a culture where bigger is better. Want a bigger portion of fries? Super size it!  Want a bottomless soft drink with unlimited refills? Get the ‘Big Gulp.”  Want the best deal? Get the “Big Meal Deal” for $5 with a quarter pound burger, fries, and refillable soft drink. 

We Americans like BIG! And, we are paying for it. Estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year. In addition, obesity is associated with job absenteeism, costing approximately $4.3 billion annually and obesity causes lower productivity while at work, costing employers $506 per obese worker per year.  

Just this week, the Olive Garden restaurant chain unveiled its latest ‘Never Ending’ deal with even more food. Starting this week, Diners can yum it up with unlimited servings of five of their most popular Classics like spaghetti with meat sauce, fettucine alfredo (the chain’s most popular dish), lasagna classic (a whopping 930 calories and 2070 milligrams of salt which is 570 milligrams above the daily salt recommendation), and chicken alfredo. Unlike previous deals which only included pasta the Never Ending Classics includes offerings of chicken parmigiana and allows guests to choose a different dish with each refill. Plus, all you can eat homemade soup, salad, and those delicious bread sticks are included with every meal. 

America’s biggest Italian chain has found viral success in the past few years with its oversized portions– and highly publicized promotions. Success will only grow with their new “all you can eat” menu. 

Yes, we Americans like it big. The bigger the better!

But the Scriptures give us a different perspective. We gain by losing. How odd!  Jesus said, “Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself?” (Matthew 16:25-26 MSG). 

This is especially true in regards to food as I have painfully discovered. I ate pretty much whatever I wanted with little thought of the quantity or content that I was eating. As a result, I found myself super sized at 240 pounds in a 5’10” frame before the light came on. 

Since I finally became aware of my obese body instead of denying to myself that I had a weight problem that, I’ve been on a healthy eating journey that started about four weeks ago. 

I have greatly modified my food intake. Smaller portions of protein, small portions of low glycemic starches for carbs that fuel my metabolism, plenty of non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, celery, and onions in a salad with a dab of low fat dressing. Plus, I add a serving of fruit each meal like fresh strawberries, blueberries, or half of a banana. 

As a result, I am happy and proud to report that at my weekly weigh-in this morning, I am at 238 down from last week’s weigh-in of 239.6. That’s 1.6 pounds lost!

My waist measurement around my belly button is 49.5 inches down from 51 inches on December 28. My clothes fit better, and I’m looking forward to shopping in a few more weeks for new clothes in the regular men’s section instead of the big (fat) man’s department. 

I take an anti-cholesterol and blood pressure pill each day. I sleep with a CPAP machine because of my snoring caused by sleep apnea which is caused by my obesity. 

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs because my breathing is interrupted during sleep. It causes my breathing to stop repeatedly when I am asleep – sometimes stopping hundreds of times. I would even wake myself up grasping for breath because my brain and the rest of my body was oxygen deprived. The CPAP breathing machine and mask forces air into my lungs and prevents snoring and prevents interrupted breathing. Without it, I could die. Kinda scary. I carry it wherever I go for a weekend or vacation.  It’s been to Canada, Wyoming, Montana, and a host of other places. I wouldn’t leave home without it! In fact, I couldn’t leave home without it. 

Not only am I eating healthy now, but I walk. Last week, my wife, our Shelties, and I walked 7.7 miles. Only the weekend rains prevented us from reaching our 10 mile weekly goal. Yesterday, we did 1.3 miles. 

I feel energized, motivated, and proud of these accomplishments. It is a start to newhealthy living for me. 

So, every pound and even every ounce I lose is gain for me. Losing is gaining just like Jesus said!  


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