From Fat to Fit! Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit, Healthy Body!Guest blog post by Mark Griffin
I struggled with writing this article because I did not want it to come across as a “look at me” reading, but I kept feeling as if I had a message of encouragement that somebody somewhere might benefit from. So I humbly share my experience in changing my eating and exercise lifestyle.
During the 2009 Thanksgiving season, my son Adam and I were talking about the fun we had when he was younger, especially backpacking. He mentioned he would love to take a weeklong trip, but without hesitation he said I would never be able to make it, that I was too heavy and probably would have a heart attack! That hit me pretty hard. I also felt an obligation to lead a healthy lifestyle as a Vice President of Human Resources. It is somewhat hypocritical to promote health and wellness to reduce medical expenses, and at the same time be obese! Realizing I was embarrassingly out of shape for a 42 year old, I made a commitment to change my lifestyle.
I started exercising, changed my diet based on Eating for Life by Bill Phillips, and spent time reflecting on my relationship with Christ.
Looking back it was pretty easy to understand what needed to change. I weighed in at 260 lbs with a 42 inch waist and really no arm or shoulder definition. My goal was to drop to 220 lbs within a year by changing my diet and maintaining a cardio routine 3 times a week. My goal was then to join a fitness club after the weight loss to tone my muscle and firm up. I was too embarrassed to join a club earlier in the process, I was concerned I would be discouraged and quit the club.
It took a lot of dedication but I was and still to this day never really hungry. After eating the wrong things for years I now feel better eating the right things! My highs and lows are gone!
What worked for me is I embraced “Eating for Life” by Brian Phillips. The book was incredibly informative and easy to understand. He promotes one eating day off a week, which lets you look forward to some guilty food pleasures. I also exercised religiously three times a week by walking, then jogging then running. The exercise aspect I took slow because I was so out of shape. It took some serous time to get back into physical shape, but I have stayed dedicated to reinventing myself. I am now up to 90 minutes of cardio every 2 days coupled with 60 minutes circuit strength training and 40 minutes of cardio every 2 days.
I have also been encouraged by knowing I have become a better steward of the body that God has graciously leant to me! I have found myself being able to spend much more time in the Word. Being stuck on an elliptical or treadmill makes you a captive audience to Podcast’s from Pastors from all over the world as well as the opportunity to read the Bible without interruption. Last year I read through the Old and New Testament by devoting my time during fitness to reading the scriptures.
If you set out to change your fitness and your eating patterns do so for the long haul, don’t do it quickly, it will actually be harder in the long run to lose your excess skin. It does and should take time. I coach people that they should plan on averaging their loss to about 2-3 pounds a month. I now weigh in at 195! And my waist has shrunk to an amazing 34 inches! Most importantly I took that hike with Adam! We hiked 40 miles with all our food and gear over 4 days. My cardio and strength were ready, my feet were not!
I have since hiked the Presidential range of mountains in New Hampshire, which requires a great deal of preparation and fitness. I carry myself with greater confidence and dignity when presenting or meeting with new people. Having since left the position of Vice President of Human Resources, and have done something that I would have never dreamed of doing as an unfit person, I started an HR consulting firm. My firm In HIS Name HR LLC Specifically focuses on helping Christian owned companies and nonprofits develop their HR departments to their potential.
I have learned, especially in the past several year, there are many people that just hate their jobs.
I have also launched a successful Christian Career Coaching practice as a complement to our HR firm. I have learned especially in the past several years there are many people that just hate their jobs. I believe God does not want us to hate our work, but he wants us to be happy and prosperous. I have coached hundreds of people throughout my career and have developed a 12 step process to getting unhappy people on the right path to freedom and prosperity. Part of this coaching involves looking inward at personal fitness and its effect on our careers and overall quality of life. If you or a friend needs some help navigating thorough these tumultuous business times and seek some good Christian Career Coaching please contact me here.
Mark Griffin, of In His Name HR. In His Name HR provides human resource consulting for small- and medium-sized organizations. Mark has served in the US Air Force, has extensive educational credentials, including a BA in HR, an MBA, and several Executive Education certifications from the University of Michigan. In addition to serving as VP of Human Resources for an international agricultural equipment manufacturer, Mark has also worked in a variety of HR leadership roles for Fortune companies, such as Merck, Kodak and Quaker Oats, as well as privately held and employee-owned companies, such as Woolrich and Townsends.