12.29.2010

Youth Pastors and their Weight

I'm thinking that the only more dangerous thing for my health than being a youth pastor is a week in New Hampshire with Marie's family. I thought there was a lot of pizza around doing youth ministry, but wow.

A quick word about pizza:
The pizza in New England is amazing. I came here for Christmas 2005 and ate nothing but pizza. No joke. We were living in Japan at the time and I was seriously craving pizza over all foods we left behind in America. I knew I was in trouble when even my fat jeans didn't fit well anymore.

Youth ministry can be harmful to a person's health. Everywhere you turn around there is ice cream, pop corn, pizza, and other things covered or busting with trans fats. Be careful youth ministry friends. We not only model behavior for our family, young people, but also our congregations. Connecting with kids does not mean we eat like a teenage boy again. I've got my waistline work to do in 2011 for sure, but here are some ideas that keep me from doing too much damage.
  • Kick soda. You don't need to drink your calories.
  • If you meet people at star bucks, don't ge Frapuccinos. More empty calories. You might as well eat a big mac. 
  • If you must eat at McDonald's only order their fresh fruit...no matter how hungry you are. 
  • Chipotle vegetarian burrito bowls are the lesser of the evils at this chain. 
  • If you have a smart phone download an app to help you keep track of what you are eating. The simple act of capturing everything you eat helps you see poor eating habits. 
  • Realize the simple equation: if you put in more than you burn, it has to be stored somewhere!
More than any quick tip you must realize that you cannot earn God's love or lose it. If your motivation for trimming your waist is anything other than health, you will most likely deeply struggle in this area. These are little tips to help you resist the youth ministry belly bulge, but they do not address the deeper emotional issues that youth ministers foster. May you crave healthy food, enjoy life, and may you do it in healthy ways!!!
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