In the spring of 2009, I was accepted to a reality show that gave me a path to change my life – The Biggest Loser. During my journey, I found that no matter our problems, there is always a path to get us out of the wilderness in which we struggle – and we ALL struggle in some area of our life. Although God gives us a path out of the wilderness, we must stand up and walk that path. And it takes encouragement and help along the journey to successfully navigate our way to the Promised Land of freedom! These wilderness areas could be weight, finances, marriage, relationships, depression, sickness – I could go on and on. But the good news is that we can choose differently than we have in the past and change the course of our future! First, let me tell you a bit about my past.
Growing up I was an overweight child. I never quite knew why – it was just a fact! I lived a “yo-yo” life of fluctuating weight throughout my school years. It all culminated when I was 16 years old and I looked in the mirror. I often wondered why my friends had girlfriends and I didn’t! Well, that all changed when I went home on a mission: I would lose the weight and get that girlfriend! I devised a plan, stuck to it and lost over 70 pounds that summer! If they’d have filmed it, it might have been “The Biggest Loser: High School Edition!” Well, my confidence peaked and I did get the girl, but it was only a while until I began gaining again. It seemed like overnight I was married with two children and almost 460 pounds! What happened?
Many of us find ourselves in these situations – asking ourselves what happened! It’s not such a bad thing if you look at it from a different perspective. You see, when you ask yourself that question as you look in the mirror, while you look at your debt, or while you walk away from an argument with your spouse, it can be a re-defining moment! I had a serious re-defining moment just before the Biggest Loser. One day my daughter walked in and said, “Daddy, I want to be just like you when I grow up! You’re my hero!” I was so proud! Then she continued, “I want a belly just like yours!” My heart sunk. You see, my stomach was over 69 inches around! I slowly rose (at 460 pounds, that’s the best way to describe it!) and walked into the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror and had a “come to Jesus” meeting!
The conversation went something like this: “How can you do this? It’s not just you at stake! It’s your wife and your children! If she wants to be like you, then stand up and be what she needs to be!” I was asking the question “what happened?” It was a turning point. Just a short time after that, in a journal, I wrote that I would win the Biggest Loser! And 11 months later I was chosen from over 300,000 entrants to be one of the sixteen on Season 8! I went on to lose 239 pounds, 55.58% of my body weight, in just 6 ½ months to become the Biggest Loser EVER on that show – all because I hit bottom and faced my problems. So in this first column I want to ask you one thing. In what area of your life – finances, marriage, parenthood, weight, career, or in your relationship with God – can you ask that question – “what happened?” Because only then can you begin to change it.