I believe chaplains should have a high standard. We should exceed the Army’s minimum standards for our height and weight, as well as our physical fitness, if only to earn the right to minister to Soldiers and their families. Sadly, I was below the standards and ashamed that I had to be tape-tested every weigh in. I only just passed the APFT. To me, that is failure. Chaplains who skate by on the standards make it difficult for the corps as a whole to do ministry. We are the weak links in many respects. I was determined to change this.
And so I embarked on a dieting and exercise plan that promised to turn me into the strapping figure of a Ranger I always wanted to resemble. I exercised for an hour each day and controlled my food. After a few months, however, I had not lost more than 5 pounds and still couldn’t run without looking like I would drop dead any moment.
I also tried a number of “fad” and “crazy” diets, including the “Cabbage Soup Diet” attributed to hospitals and health associations. It was supposed to melt weight away magically and rapidly. Turns out the whole diet is a hoax. It took me a long time to eat cabbage again…
So when my wife suggested hCG, I wasn’t all in at first, but I was also desperate. My first concern was the urinalysis–I’d hate to be fat, unable to run, and be positive for a controlled substance. That would be a big fail. Fortunately, homeopathic hCG does not show up on UA’s. So we tried it.
And amazingly, it worked. I dropped 30 lbs. in five weeks. That was two months ago since I finished taking the stuff and doing the diet. The weight isn’t returning. In addition, I can push more, sit-up more, and run faster simply because I’m not lugging around extra weight anymore.
As a bonus, God taught me a couple things I wasn’t anticipating:
1. I worshipped food rather than God. One of the nice things about doing hCG is that I wasn’t hungry even though I was only eating 500 calories a day. I never felt hungry and sometimes couldn’t finish a meal because I felt full. You could say, then, that I was freed from bondage to food. I was not compelled to eat out of cravings or a desire for more. I no longer found satisfaction or pleasure in food. It wasn’t that I didn’t like food, but rather that food no longer provided comfort beyond satisfying hunger. The noticeable difference in attitude towards food convicted me that I had been in fact in love with food, and in particular sweets and breads. I didn’t just have a metabolism problem, I had a worship issue. For five weeks–and since then–God has been pulling me out of a worship of food and eating.
2. Sugar and Breads are my enemy. They may not be everybody’s, but they are mine. I can eat a small amount of bread and sweets in comparison to what I used to eat. But if I start to eat primarily starches and carbohydrates, I begin experiencing all the headaches, stomach and gastric discomfort, fatigue, and weight gain I used to have before I started hCG. When I stick to good wholesome meats and vegetables, I’m alert, energized, don’t notice my stomach or hunger, and in good shape. The spiritual lesson here is one of stewardship–we are all stewards of the bodies that God has given us. One person’s body may run better on a particular fuel compared to another persons. It is my responsibility to know what makes my body work best to accomplish the mission God has given me, and to stick to those foods. In this way my diet complements and enables my purposes in life, rather than making it difficult to get through the day.
Ultimately, the fat loss was not just the hCG. I could easily have gone back to the diet I had before I started the diet and get right back up into my Chubby Chappy uniform. Yes, the hCG mobilized and burned the fat, but it also created a situation in which God transformed my heart to worship him and steward the body he gave me. The result is that long-term, I’m looking at a healthy life of serving him.
Wage the Good War!