Even though Douglas has been teaching a class on healthy living at our church and has been eating much healthier, he’s having a hard time losing more than five to ten pounds. As I prepare for my new reality, having my own personal defibrillator in my chest, I, too, need to lose some pounds, something difficult with my voracious sweet teeth (there has to be more than one!).
With time on my hands last week, I thought about how I could inspire both of us to lose weight, and when the answer came to me, I wondered why I had not thought of it before now. We are both competitive people, each liking to win. It has something to do with the fact that neither of us were thought to be capable of greatness as children. So, being the smart lady that I am, I proposed a scheme that he could not refuse: a contest to see who could lose ten percent of their body weight first.
His prize would mean my having to find him two or three colorful hats, ones that are as unique as the one I bought him for his birthday. The thought of shopping for hats is more than incentive for me to eat less and move more. My prize would be a dinner at an expensive restaurant, something Douglas hates, mainly because of the costs, so he also has motivation not to lose.
We are both thinkers, so rash actions are few and far between. As we get ready for two marvelous weeks in Italy (two weeks from today!), including a day learning to cook Italian, this contest seemed a good way to ensure that we are a few pounds lighter before we leave and stay mindful of what we eat and how much we eat while we are in a country known for great food and wine.
We do not worship our bodies, afraid to eat or enjoy life. Yet, we know that at our ages, both in our late 60s, that it is important to take care of ourselves, as we could live another twenty to twenty-five years, as persons age 85 and older are the fastest-growing age group in America and the world (a little Sociology for you!).
But also as Christians, we abide by the words of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
We both believe that God is still using us to inspire, encourage, and give hope to others through our preaching and writing, so we must take care of our “temples,” to be able to continue the work we have been blessed to do. So, we began this week, and my very scientific-minded husband is keeping records as we weight ourselves at intervals. I expect we will take one of the scales with us to Italy!
It’s devious, I know, and so far he sees it as only my way of trying to win a contest, particularly as he usually wins in every game we play. And, yes, I am trying everything short of eating just bread and water to win, even giving up sugar. I am sure I will go into withdrawal symptoms at any minute.
But the thought of Longhorn’s 10-ounce Flo’s filet steak, a loaded baked potato, grilled shrimp, their signature brown bread, and lots of unsweetened tea justifies the loss of sweetness and more hours on the treadmill. But when it comes to getting healthier and staying fit, may we both win!