JC is a great example of how making changes in your diet can make a positive impact on your life — even when you seem like an unlikely candidate for change. Life change is inspiring; creating a ripple effect in the lives of those around you.

Something Has To Change

About a year ago I got really sick with a terrible stomach virus. That virus landed me in the doctor’s office to get some help. I felt awful. But the worst part of that day for me wasn’t the sickness—it was the weigh in. I had never in my whole life weighed more than 200 lbs and that day I clocked in at 210 lbs.

I knew something had to change. I wasn’t seriously overweight, but it didn’t feel good to see that number on the scale and I felt awful. I had developed some major digestive issues and was tired every day when I got home from work. I didn’t have the energy to play with my young son. That was a heartbreaker.

A series of events put me on the track towards change:
A good friend signed me up for a run. I didn’t do so well.
I lost 20 lbs during the training for that run.
My friend quickly signed me up for another race.
My wife and I decided to eat healthier.

When it came to the running, I reluctantly, but excitedly agreed. Reluctant because I was going to have to make some changes, but excited for the competition. When it came to the food changes, I was nervous. You see, I grew up in Memphis where barbecue and soul food are king and I knew giving up those foods would be hard.

The Results Are In

We decided we would try The Daniel Plan. It’s only 40 days. If it didn’t work, no big deal. If it did work, then I would make some big changes in my lifestyle.

Just 24 days into the process I was blown away by the results. Not only did my digestive issues improve, but so did my sinuses, my energy level, my self-esteem and my sleep. The bonus: I lost another 15 lbs!

As someone who has never really been a health food, clean food, supporter, I am amazed by how great I feel. I share a lot of my life online through my blog. After starting The Daniel Plan, people read about my progress and they became curious and started asking questions. Leaders and congregants in my church are now trying The Daniel Plan. Small groups are forming. The “ripple” had begun.

The biggest thing I learned was that the type of food I choose to eat really makes a difference. It really does. The difference is so big that I am willing to give up certain things because of how bad they make me feel. I’m continuing to make changes—no dairy, possibly no caffeine, and investing in a Vitamix for smoothies. Who knows, maybe I’ll be a smoothie expert!

Leading the Next Generation

As a pastor, I highly recommend that ministry leaders try The Daniel Plan. We are in the position to influence the next generation of spiritual leaders. It’s time that we talk about the “big” problem of physical health in our churches and that we lead by example. We need to encourage our staff to take the first step. Poor health is one of the contributing factors to burnout.

I am now the leader of our 5th and 6th grade ministry and our high school ministry. I feel like God did all this significant change in my physical life for the change that was coming in my vocational life.

This change in eating has transformed my energy level and I don’t know where I would be during this transition without it. I’m ready to handle what comes my way in the office and I still come home ready to play with my son.

As a pastor at Brookwood Church, JC is passionate about leading the next generation and continues to leverage his energy and life for that purpose. JC lives in South Carolina with his wife Kristen and young son Cannon.