Tim Schmoyer 2 webI have been overweight my whole life. I chalked it up to the mix of my genetics and my fast-paced lifestyle. I remember as a boy shopping for clothes in the husky section, which at first I thought was wild and cool until I learned what “husky” meant. Twelve years ago, at a routine doctor visit, my blood pressure was high; my doctor prescribed medication and told me to lose weight. But the meds worked, so I didn’t fuss with the other part.

In the fall of 2020, my doctor prescribed a second blood pressure medication. In that moment, I made up my mind that my unhealthy lifestyle of carrying too much weight needed to end. I determined to change my physical life and return to the balance God designed for all of us.

I had heard of a doctor in my region that specialized in natural weight loss methods. I had heard ads with testimonials of success. I personally knew of people that found success with this doctor. So, I booked a consultation. The doctor gave me confidence that if I faithfully stuck to the program, I would lose weight and reach my goal of losing 130 pounds over the next twelve months. I began his system the very next morning. I was determined to change my lifestyle and I wanted to get started right away.

The doctor believed that Americans struggle with obesity because of inflammation caused by unnatural additives in our highly-processed foods, and the candida yeast that grows in our digestive system feeding on the high-carb diets we have. My new diet eliminated everything that sounded like it belonged in the chemistry lab. It also eliminated high-carb foods like pasta, potatoes, and grains. It eliminated all sweets and dairy, and for a short time, even fruits. I was left with a diet of low-fat meats like poultry and fish, fibrous vegetables (anything except potatoes), and small portions of brown rice, nuts, and legumes (like lentils and chickpeas).

The doctor also instructed me to take a daily regimen of supplements to aid with gut health (probiotics, fiber, enzymes). The last part of this program was a monthly toxin cleansing system, with two days of vegetables-only, followed by three to five days of a lemon drink that drives toxins out of the digestive system, followed by two days transitioning back to the normal diet.

It was empowering to feel in control of what I consumed for the first time in my life. Of course, I had always been in control before this, but we all know how it is so easy to not take our consumption thoughtfully. We naturally default to auto-pilot. I was being intentional for the first time in my life. I had to keep a daily record of what I ate and the calories for each item I consumed. The nurses at the doctor’s office would review my journal to hold me accountable and to give me advice for the following week.

I had temptations to grab a burger or throw the diet out the window. In those moments, I would remind myself of what I was learning from the doctor: “Nothing tastes as good as thin and healthy feels.” That fast food would taste good in the moment, but it would not taste as good as I would feel being healthy. I was learning to think past the moment and think for the long-run. I had a goal and I was going to hit it!

In nine months of going to my doctor, I lost 130 pounds. I lost five pant sizes. After just three months, my family doctor took me off my blood pressure medication. All this encouraged me to return to the gym, which got me building muscle while I was losing fat. It also introduced me to a new joy: running.

All in all, my journey was not just about weight loss; it was about learning to live in balance. Health is not a number on a scale — Health is about being in balance.

Timothy Schmoyer is lead pastor of Whitehall Bible Fellowship Church, 3300 7th Street, Whitehall, PA. 

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