One day I was out and saw a new electronic scale that takes a person’s weight, correlates it with his or her height, and plots a graph that shows whether that person is underweight, the correct weight, overweight, or obese.

The people selling the scale were eager for me to try it, so I did. To my horror, the heartless thing pronounced me obese. OBESE! What were those slim, trim salespeople snickering at? I had a clear mental picture of what “obese” looked like, and I didn’t fit it! Or did I?

When I got home, I considered the evidence. Yes, my trousers had become so tight that when I sat down, I had to loosen the belt. But at my age, I reasoned, it was normal to fill out a little. I went shopping for larger trousers, but when the first store didn’t carry my new size, I was forced to face reality. As I reflected on the matter, I was reminded that the Bible says our bodies are “the temple of God.”1 Clearly, my temple was due for remodeling.

I read on the subject, and the solution seemed pretty straightforward. If I wanted to lose weight, I needed to eat less and exercise more.

Easier said than done. I like food, and as everyone knows, it’s hard to give up something you like. The crux of my problem, I realized, was that even though I’d reached middle age, my servings were still the size of a teenager’s. I didn’t need to cut back on the enjoyment of eating, only the size of my meals.

My goal was to lose 25 kg (55 lb) in order to get back to the “normal zone.” I bought a scale and kept track of my weekly progress, which encouraged me as I began to shed weight. I also adopted a few slogans to keep me on track: “Eat to live; don’t live to eat” helped me eat smaller portions. “It’s okay to feel hungry” helped me break the habit of eating something the moment my stomach began to growl. “A day without panting is a day without progress” helped me fight the other giant—exercise. Getting in the daily exercise habit was hard at first, but eventually I began to look forward to it. “Healthy living means healthy lifestyle choices” reminded me that losing weight and then keeping the weight off would require a long-term commitment to eating better and exercising more.

A few months down the line, I’m still a work in progress (15 kg off—10 more to go), but I feel much better already.

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:16