We Are Fit to Serve
Officers are very busy people who care for others & often neglect their own health. Like other pastors, they may assume that caring for their souls is the most important and tend to live as heads without bodies. The recent Fit to Serve Boot Camp provided a venue where participants came together with a desire to live healthier abundant lives.
Our guests Mark Cornelison and Buddy Shuh were in the final five on the Biggest Loser Season 13, so they know a lot about struggles with weight issues. They shared their journey to health and fitness and how God used them in a unique way while on the Biggest Loser ranch. Mark’s wife Cathy has had her own journey to good health. She now teaches nutrition and healthy eating with enthusiasm and shares her knowledge to inspire participants to become educated consumers, decipher nutrition labels and make healthy food that is fun and delicious.
Most of the attendees have never experienced anything like this. Many have had years of unhealthy dieting as a quick weight-loss fix. Many have a basement full of exercise equipment collecting dust. There are lots of people who are intimidated by the thought of going to a gym. At F2S, participants were able to try a variety of exercises such as strength training, stretching/yoga, cardio, walking/hiking and water aerobics in a non-threatening environment. The workouts, led by Shavonne Murphy from the Kroc Center in Philadelphia were tailored for every fitness level, but everyone pushed beyond their comfort zone. No excuses! The interactive nutrition sessions provided hands-on food prep where they learned how to make good choices about healthy eating that are applicable to real life, as well as received one-on-one nutrition counseling. Each day a relaxing and much-needed massage was offered, also something that many pastors would consider an indulgence. Throughout the retreat, there were flex times when participants could choose to relax, take a nap or walk, enjoy the hot tub, or forge accountability partners. Integrating body, soul and mind was emphasized throughout every activity as each person reflected on the day’s learning; challenged negative messages about their bodies; were encouraged to show themselves grace and to seek the Holy Spirit’s wisdom & presence in physical disciplines; to set aside Sabbath time as they fed their souls and bodies all with the ultimate goal of being useful to the Master, made holy and prepared to do any good work (2 Timothy 2: 20-21).
Here are just a few comments from the participants:
“I was able to taste new foods that I probably would not have tried on my own…I have gained tremendous insight into nutrition and healthy eating/living… I have already been approached by others in my Corps and community to share what I have learned.”
“A great motivational and informational event on how to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. I’m learning to ‘eat to live not live to eat’.”
“It’s always comforting/affirming to know others have similar struggles.”
“I slept with a calmness I have not done in years.”
“I learned I had to admit my own stumbling block was and is myself, and that I am capable of more.”
“I feel ready to join an exercise class -something I was not confident to do before.”
“Fit to Serve is a beneficial program for anyone who is ready to change their lives.”
“Officers do not look after themselves well enough. This is not a secret to be kept – people need to come here.”
The part I enjoyed the most was:
“…realizing how common my issues are and how to finally overcome them.”
“…Laughing and learning”
Another Fit to Serve Boot Camp will be held in March 2018, so get in on your calendar now. If you’d like to explore options about holding a regional boot camp, have suggestions or ideas for your community and Corps, or want to know how YOU can be Fit to Serve, contact Officer Health and Wellness Services at firstname.lastname@example.org