In late 2007 I topped the scales at over 200lbs (14st. 4lb or 91kg). I’m 5’7 (on a sunny day, in the morning). There was no way I could apply the usual “I played rugby”, “I’ve got a big frame”, “BMI doesn’t work for me” escape clauses.
I was overweight, out of shape, unfit and no matter which camera angle you tried, it always looked like a lazy porpoise snuck in the frame. Hiding under some ugly sweater didn’t work in the Hawaiian heat either …
The doctor was blunt. “Lose weight. Run.” (Actual words on medical report).
I got a kick start the next year when I became ill after an operation (no, not lypo) through a resulting infection (not a recommended weight-loss strategy). After a 3-month recovery period I decided to do something about my fitness.
Being the man that I am I pondered this fitness thing for a while, flirting with 3-mile jogs every so often. It wasn’t until 2010 when I joined a gym, changed my diet and became serious about things.
Today I’m 20lb lighter, dropped 7 points on body-fat and packed on quite a bit of lean muscle and my personal end goal is in sight.
What’s the Point?
Apart from living longer, sleeping better, coping with stress easier and not using boardshorts as a man-girdle?
The benefits of good health are well documented. The discipline it requires is good for the soul (see Proverbs).
Also, as a Christian I believe we should be honouring God with our bodies. If I believe that I have important things to do in life that make a real difference, and then neglect my body, slowing me down and dulling my effectiveness, what does that say about my commitment to the cause? We are to bring our bodies under control (1 Cor. 9:27) – it’s quite clear.
And here is an example of the fruit physical neglect can produce:
I was watching a YouTube video of influential Christian men sharing thoughts on an important topic, in a panel on the stage. Great video, great thoughts, really useful.
One comment immediately underneath the video said something along the lines of, “These guys can’t even practice self control – why would I listen?” All of the men on the stage were overweight, two of them seriously so.
This isn’t an issue of “TV’s ruined culture; to succeed you need to look good”. The commenter had a point …
Physical disabilities aside, it’s not going to kill us to get in shape and keep healthy. If we’re on a mission let’s take it seriously and stop making feeble excuses. What we have to do is too important to mess around.
There’s loads of good stuff online these days. Here are some great resources (two geared specifically for men – ladies, feel free to add recommended resources too!).
codelife: CVM launched codelife last year as a new way of living for men. Actually, it’s not really that new … It’s basically a new form of discipline, a code of living which is deeply rooted in Biblical principles.
There are 12 codes that you agree to stand by. Don’t worry, it’s not overly religious (see code XII) The whole set is geared towards personal discipleship and accountability. Code VI is specific to fitness – “I’ll keep my body fit and free from addictions.”
Great to sign up to with mates or on your own. There are new resources being released (downloads, podcasts, videos, books) every month and conferences all over the UK.
Keeping fit comes easier when you change your mindset about how to live life. Codelife can help here.
The Optimise Clinic: Dr. Ben Sinclair realised the men don’t get into doctor’s clinics very often. So he created this service where the doctor comes to you.
Specific to men and with loads of helpful advice online, the goal is to get men fit and healthy to get the most out of life. www.optimiseclinic.co.uk
The Resurgence: A really useful repository of Biblical resources – articles, videos, podcasts etc. with a well-stocked Health section.
Tips on how to keep healthy alongside resources on why we should be healthy.
Such topics as: how to combat stress, lead productive and fruitful lives, what to do when you’re sick etc.