The Dayton Daily News, of Dayton, Ohio, recently recognized the Self-Expression and Leadership program project of Julie Olmsted, a pastor for Trinity United Church in nearby Miamisburg. The project, titeled Fit the Journey Weight Launch Challenge, created a dietary program focused on healthy eating and exercise.
Shift the weight and restore your balance
Trinity United Church of Christ, 203 E. Linden Ave., Miamisburg is offering a 12-week dietary program focused on exercise, healthy food choices and nutrition. Trinity pastor Julie Olmsted said the Fit the Journey Weight Launch Challenge grew out of a Landmark Education leadership program that encourages positive and permanent shifts in the quality of life.
“We have so many obesity-related diseases and the temptation to overeat is everywhere,” Olmsted said. “My idea is to shift the weight and the objective is to restore balance in our personal lives and restore balance in the world.”
Olmsted’s passion for making a difference in fitness and well being hasn’t ended with her project. Since initiating this program, Olmsted has continued to write about the subject of eating and exercise for the Dayton Daily News. Here are parts of a story that she contributed on August 30.
Put your quest to lose weight into God’s hands
by Julie Olmsted
Saturday, August 30, 2008
A great secret of life is to ask for help when you need it. That’s what happened over a year ago when I spoke to my friend Laura. Laura had been involved in a spiritual weight-loss program and lost 50 pounds that year. I figured I needed to lose close to that, so I reached out.
We agreed to speak daily on the phone to support my weight loss efforts. I was foundering; there was no doubt about it. Days went by and I could not say no to myself. That “no” muscle was flabby, and so was everything else. I learned a lot in our brief conversations; I also lost more than 35 pounds. Following are some lessons I relearned in those talks, in case losing weight is on your list of to-do’s as the seasons turn.
Stop pretending: In any area of life that has us whipped or in a bind, we have to stop pretending that it doesn’t bother us. This is what it means to come empty-handed to God. Blessed are the poor in spirit, says one of the Beatitudes. This means blessed are those who come to God (and to each other) saying, “I need help. I am not well.”
Get support: It is no secret what God can do. What he does for others he’ll do for you. We exclude ourselves from what’s possible with God and with others. But you have to reach out and take the support, like you don’t know everything, like you don’t have it all together.
Your world in a day: If you can discipline yourself to lay down yesterday, its failures, its cravings and its looming shadows of guilt, you can start fresh today. Commit that you will have a day of conscious and healthy eating and then go about fulfilling your own prophecy. Do it for only one day, then another and another.
Never give up: Stop disempowering yourself by saying, “This isn’t a good time. I can’t do it. Maybe someday.” This is your life. Establish credibility with yourself by being true, one meal at a time. You deserve the freedom and self-expression that comes with a lighter body. Lay claim to better health and greater service to God by handling the food issue in a way that suits and honors the real you.
The Rev. Julie G. Olmsted is pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Miamisburg. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.