Steve Reynolds is described as the "anti-fat pastor" and Get Off The Couch is his latest book. This is the preface, written by Debbie Reynolds, Steve's wife.
When Steve Reynolds, my 340-pound husband, came through the door after visiting his doctor, I knew something was up.
“What did the doctor say, Steve?” I asked while holding my breath.
“He said I have diabetes.”
I stared at him a long moment. “Diabetes?” I whispered.
“That’s what he said. ‘Type 2 diabetes.’”
“What are you going to do? What did the doctor say would help?”
“Well, he said I’m too heavy—‘obese,’ he called me. He said if I lose weight and begin exercising, I have a chance to beat this.”
I exhaled. “Then that’s what you have to do.”
“Nah. I told him to just give me some pills.”
“And did he?”
“I wish you’d try exercise and eat better. I know I feel better when I do, and you will too.”
“I’m just going to take the pills.”
I can tell you, I was scared. We were only in our forties, and our children were still young and in our home. I did not want to be a widow with three kids to care for. A little research confirmed my worst fears. Steve’s condition was life-threatening. Becoming a widow was a real possibility.
It was hard to believe how far we had come from our wedding day, when the two of us had stood at the altar in the best shape of our lives. We were so young and in love and full of life. We said those words in our wedding vows, “In sickness and in health”—but who really imagines the “in sickness” part when you are looking and feeling your best on one of the happiest days of your life? I even remember us saying whenever we saw an older, overweight couple, “We will never look like that.” We went so far as to promise each other that we would never let ourselves go and gain a lot of weight. But here we were, living the “in sickness” part of our wedding vows, and it terrified me. The problem was that, like so many people, we had a goal to be healthy but no action plan to make it happen.
If Steve was scared, he didn’t let on. He was determined to just take the pills and avoid eating right and exercising. Nothing I said or did changed his mind. What could I do?
I didn’t know if Steve would ever change. I knew that while I might want to nag him about the issue, it wouldn’t work. So I decided I would be loving and supportive of him. I would pray that God would put a desire in his heart to get serious about his condition. In the meantime, I could provide an environment that would help promote change. I could cook more healthy foods. I could become more active in order to set a good example. I could invite Steve to go for a walk with me. I could plan activities that were fun and that would keep not only Steve and I active but the kids as well. I thought back to the kinds of things Steve enjoyed doing when he was younger, and we did some of those activities together—like playing golf.
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