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A few years ago, I wrote the following:

In other news, your One and Only Favorite Friendly Neighborhood MonT-SteR™ is, well, fat. Portly. Obese. Rotund. Corpulent. Some of you who actually see me on a regular basis will doubtless be completely UNsurprised at this revelation. But it’s true. Call me Moby Dick (Ishmael was thin, I’ll wager).

And so, The MonT-SteR must reduce. Lots. Like, the “over 100 lbs.” kind of “lots.” To be specific, I need to lose at least 140 lbs.

This seems kind of daunting, but I’ve done this before. I lost nearly 100 lbs. years ago, and over time (especially after the birth of my first son) I gained the weight back, and then some (and how!). And corresponding medical complications are forcing my hand. I’ll not be done in by hypertension and declining cholesterol.

I’ve been meaning to get back on track for awhile now, and it just hasn’t happened. After the birth of my daughter in 2009, I lost about 50 lbs., but I’m sad to say that I’ve gained some of that back. So, I got the idea to use teh interwebz not just to journal about losing weight, but as a means of motivation and accountability.

I try to hide. It sounds absurd, I know (especially when your size makes you hard to miss), but I hide from myself by being in denial. And somehow I trick myself into thinking that as long as I don’t notice how yucky I look and feel, nobody else does. But it’s a sham. Honestly, beneath the “extra insulation” I’m rather disgusted with myself, and that’s not a healthy inner posture.

I also know that as long as I carry all this extra weight, I’m not going to be as effective as I’m supposed to be — not as a father, not as a husband, not as a businessman, not as a minister, not as a servant of God. And the latter is really the most important issue.

I’m prooftexting a bit here, but 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that “…whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” And Paul also states in 1 Corinthians 6:20 that Christians “…have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” The price, of course, is the willing sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There are dozens of scriptures along these lines.

Being as fit and trim as I can be is a question of whether or not I am bringing glory and honor to God. I do those things by treating the body He gave me with respect and care, which in turn allows me to bring further glory and honor to God by living more fully as a continual sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1ff). It stands to reason that obesity, its attendant vices, and its deleterious effects all stand in the way of me giving my absolute all to God and the things He has entrusted to my care.

God has planted a lot of things in my heart to be, to do, to accomplish — I want everything He’s purposed for me before I exit this world. And then there are the pet hopes and dreams of my own. For example, I’ve never been much of an athlete, but I’d love to train for and compete in a triathlon. You can’t really do that as a sedentary blob. Plus, this June will mark my 40th year. I really don’t want to hit the big 4-0 in Jabba-the-Hutt style, know what I mean?

So why am I sharing all this with the entire stinkin’ internet? First and foremost, as an act of obedience to God. I need to make changes. Edwin Louis Cole used to say, “Change isn’t change until it’s change.” I find that I don’t readily change without certain incentives, and blabbing about where I am and where I want to be is an act of “putting myself out there.” It’s a little scary, honestly. But I’m hoping that the friends I have and interact with online will help me by holding me accountable, giving me tips, and — when necessary — lending a little friendly encouragement (or a virtual kick in the butt).

So, I give you The MonT-SteR’s very own 40×40 Project: I’m shooting for a 40″ waist by my 40th birthday. As part of that process, I’m going to be starting a beginner triathlete training program with a view toward entering a race. And as a demonstration that I’m serious about this, I actually bought some new athletic shoes today and walked a couple of miles.