Rev. Warren brings new purpose to slim America

Tri-City HeraldAugust 29, 2012 

An epiphany can happen at any time or any place. It's that moment when the heavens part, so to speak, and a leap of understanding — sometimes a life-changing realization — suddenly drops into your mind.

When it happens, you know you're onto something.

For Rev. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, an epiphany happened in the Saddleback Church baptismal about the time he was heaving another parishioner up out of the water. His thought was rather unholy in the middle of a dunking.

"They're all fat," Pastor Warren reportedly told reporter Troy Anderson for the June 2012 edition of Newsmax magazine. The mega-church minister was referring to the 900 he was baptizing that day.

As I noted this comment, I could only wonder whether it was the preacher's aching back or a directive from God that prompted his realization. Only Pastor Warren knows, but he now has a new purpose: the slimming of America.

However, he decided to take the 2 by 4 out of his own eye before working on the splinter in his congregants. The portly minister knew he was a poor example. Post epiphany, Warren 'fessed up to his unhealthy eating habits in front of his 22,000 church members.

But what had caused him to repent of his wayward diet was not the expanding girth around his waist, but learning about the shrinking brain power that obesity can bring.

According to the article, "studies have shown people who are obese are much more likely to suffer dementia in their later years." The health item went on to say that for someone such as this author and leader, that was motivation enough.

Today, the once 290-pounder is 90 pounds lighter. It's the result of a diet and exercise program the minister collaborated on with three experts: cardiac surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show; brain expert Dr. Daniel Amen and metabolism authority Dr. Mark Hyman.

The Daniel Plan is inspired by the biblical story of Daniel and three other Jewish boys who refused the rich kingly food for vegetables and water, ending up healthier than their peers. Pastor Warren believes it's difficult to serve God to your greatest potential if you're not well or you're out of shape.

"In just one year, the Saddleback program has helped 15,000 participants collectively lose 250,000 pounds," reports Newsmax. "Those on the plan are exercising, eating plenty of vegetables and other healthy foods, and have sworn off sugar, white bread, rice, pasta, wheat, hydrogenated fats or oils, caffeine and processed food."

For all the details, go to

Hopefully, stepping up to a new lifestyle could mean never again stepping onto the bath scales followed by an ear-splitting scream.

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