As promised, I had said in an earlier article I would take the reader through some of my own thoughts about BFL (Body for Life Challenge). I started the BFL Challenge on 12/31/2012. I am currently on Week 8, Day 52 (Starts tommorrow morning around 6:00 with a vigorous upper body workout).
Note: You are going to need to get in on BFL right now just to be able to understand what it is and what the Challenge is really all about. For now, let me point you to this link, www.bodyforlife.com and tell you it will be well worth your time to research.
One of the first questions Bill Phillips asks of the reader in prepping ourselves for the Challenge is, “Have I made the decision to change? My simple answer is, “Yes!!” My desision to change comes after a life of failure physically speaking. Ah, no those plump days as an defensive and later offensive lineman were the good days as the weight had a reason for being – to drive the defender off the ball and out of the route of the running back. Those were indeed fun days, especially on those nights when I was able to overpower some unexpecting dweeb on the other team. Ah, the joy of hitting a guy so hard he saw stars is the most glorious emotion for the men in the trenches. But, I digress.
My senior year of high school, I continued to eat like I was on the team. But, actually the team was done at the last game of that 1982-83 year. I continued to eat like a beast but the workouts stopped. The bloating began and wouldnt stop for years down the road until living life as a College Sophomore. A mentor and good friend challenged me to lose some serious weight. He truly was a friend and his concern made sense and it motivated me to go for it. The next week I joined Weight Watchers and over the course of a year and a half lost 95 lbs in the process. It was a rather simple plan…eat right, record the meals, stop eating when I had correct protein, carbs, water intake, fat portions. And I started jogging for exercise. This would be the time I began training for 5K road races. I never intended to race to win (no way), but just to run to finish. And at least three different races I did just that.
And then came college graduation. I start my new job as a Juvenile Intensive Probation Officer. I looked good, felt fit. Proud of myself. But, as a young, immature, 25 year old Juvenile Probation Officer I found out that life didn’t allow for workouts and meal plans. I basically worked, and worked some more, and worked even more. And in a year’s time, most of the weight I had lost was back. Then, around the fall of 1990 I changed course in my life and attended the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for training for church ministry, specifically youth and college students. New Orleans is a tremendous city. One I still hold great fondness and love for in my hearrt. But, the city that care forgot did not forget how to eat! Man, could they eat. And man the food, the traditions, the Mardi Gras King Cakes, the life of a busy Master’s student became a toll on my life.
The only weight saver I had going for me at the time was that I worked as a Campus Police Officer at the time. Being a police officer in any place is high stress. Try being one in the city that care forgot. Do you know how people who think care has forgotten them act? Let’s put it this way, heathens might describe them. Wild, racous, animalistic. Seriously. And to prepare to be ready, I began working out again. Weights and running/jogging. It helped.
Then I graduated seminary. Woohoo! Do you want to know what it is like to leave police work and move into church work? More of the same, really. Sorry attitiudes, people who think its their way or the highway, people who laugh if they can make you sad. Mean, rude, obnoxious people. Some of them. There were those who were blessings. But, all in all, I felt like a prisoner of war. I ate to relieve myself. I’d stay up late watching late shows and eating as much as I could in the fridge. And I swelled to a lard.
Fast forward some 15 years…I find myself serving a ministry within a 30 minute drive of my parent’s home in Tennessee. This time I am married and have a young child. I am still working for a church. The struggle I described earlier is still continuing. Ups and downs of living as a minister in a conservative Southern Baptist Church. I’ve had it up to here (Go ahead and hold your hand up to your head and you’ll get the idea). These darn Baptists are doing what they do best – belittling their staff pastors. Make them look like fools while all along they were actually serving the Lord and serving the people of that church. And one sunny November morning, I up and left it all behind! I’m serious. I quit my job at the church with zero notice and moved on with my life.
Now, one year later I’ve come to the cross in the road of which future direction I am to choose; to the left a road of comfort and bliss; to the right a road of getting back what I’ve lost over the past 25 years of my life. It was the road less travelled throughout my life. This time I took the path to the right. The hard road. Part of the hard road is to become a new me. New physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. I am in the midst of some of these changes as I type these words.
This morning I completed Day 51, Week 8, Day 2 of the Challenge. I decided to make the change and I am right dab in the middle of the sucker today. My legs ache after a mind-blowing lower body workout and a 20 minute interval cardio workout on the machine born in hell (the Elliptical). Yes, I am ready for the change. I have made the decision. Aint nothing stopping me now. I am becoming a new man and loving every minute of it.