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.
Steve began to think about his condition, and after a while he began to wonder if he could beat diabetes. I held my breath and waited. He decided he might as well give the doctor’s advice a try. He had nothing to lose but weight. What I didn’t know then was that his pursuit of health was going to become bigger than just caring for his body. His ideas about health were going to spread nationwide and impact many people. He would become known as the “Anti-fat Pastor.” I was thrilled with the changes he was making, and I determined to do everything I could to help him succeed.
Soon, Steve’s decision to change affected every member of our family—even his mother. A thorough cupboard cleaning helped us lose the unhealthy treats. Gone were the chips and dips. Gone were the cookies, cakes and other pastries. And, most of all, gone was the ice cream. Steve could eat astonishing amounts of ice cream. A nightly bowl of ice cream was not a dessert; it was a tradition—a necessary part of life—a fitting end to a day.
Steve has always done the grocery shopping at our house. Now, he began to buy healthy snacks of fruit, low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers. When someone wanted a snack, healthy food was all that was available. Where we had hardly ever thought to have a glass of water, we now made drinking it a big part of our life.
Steve soon began to lose weight, and the church members asked him how he was doing it. He told them about the small changes he was making and how they were helping him to drop the weight and feel better. Bod4God was born in Steve’s mind. The church began having 12-week “Losing to Live” competitions, which teach people how to eat, why exercise is important, why God wants us to live in healthy bodies, and how making small changes can have a huge impact on our health.
Life changed for our family, and I am so glad. We used to go on vacation and pretty much just sit around and eat. Last year, we took a vacation to the west coast of Costa Rica. It was the most active vacations we’ve ever had. We went zip-lining, rode four-wheelers on the beach, and went to a park where there is an active volcano. We hiked a steep hill and climbed up on some of the volcanic rock so we could look down into a lake fed by warm waters from the volcano. We managed the uphill hike just fine. We had such a wonderful time that every member of the family can’t wait to go back.
There is another part of healthy living that I want to talk about, and that is getting your man to the doctor for regular checkups. Men in their forties need to have screenings for diabetes, high-cholesterol, high blood pressure and prostate cancer, followed by yearly checkups. These are all silent killers that a man might not know he has until it is too late. A high percentage of men have prostate cancer by the time they are 80, and for some it starts much earlier. If the man in your life won’t make an appointment with the doctor, do it for him and tell him why: you don’t want anything to happen to him; you need him; you want to keep him around. For some men, setting an annual appointment near a birthday is a good reminder that a year has gone by. (In fact, one of the annual cancer-walk events has a slogan, “We’re all about birthdays.”) One of the best gifts any of us can have is another birthday. So get your man to the doctor, and do your part to keep him alive and healthy.
Life is much different now than it was that day when Steve looked at me and told me he was sick. The best part is that he now no longer has diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. He has so much energy that most people can’t keep up with him. He puts in long days at our church, and now he travels to tell others that they can also have a Bod4God. He has found a calling and a passion for helping people of all kinds and ages find health. God is using him to change people’s lives here on earth and for eternity. I am very proud of him. I am proud of his sticking to the plan and dropping well over a hundred pounds. I am proud of his concern for others, and I am his first and best cheerleader. And I am so grateful to God for giving us these precious years together. We are blessed people.
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