As we embark on the Daniel Plan journey together, there will be highs, lows, challenges, and triumphs. Saddleback Church member, Alex Murashko is allowing us a glimpse into his progress by letting us track his personal journey. Here’s what he had to say in preparing for Saturday’s seminar and to get started on the plan:

What were some of the reasons why you think you started developing bad habits? Any specific life events that led you down an unhealthy road?

I was pretty much a “pleasure junkie” all my life. I ran from responsibilities. Instead of doing chores as a kid I would bolt out the door to go play. I was into sports and that was a good escape into the world of fun. Later in life, my desire to always simply “just have fun” led to alcohol and drugs.

In high school, I was in great shape and the ideal weight for a defensive end. I was 6’3” and 187 pounds. After high school, I had it pretty rough mentally and emotionally. I couldn’t handle the responsibilities of being an adult since I was used to focusing on just trying to have fun all the time. My drinking increased and so did my “partying.” That included eating whatever, whenever, and often. I went from someone that was once called “body” at poolside to having quite the belly. I’ve been sober now for 16 years. However, unlike those layers of the onion that you need to peel away from your life to grow and mature, I’ve kept the layer that is “eating to escape” on. I’m pushing 300 pounds and feeling real unhealthy. My cholesterol is high and I’ve had trouble with my blood pressure. My energy fluctuates and it bothers me when I can’t do all the things I want to do.

What inspired you to make the decision that the time was NOW to get healthy?

No matter how many times I’ve promised myself and others (mainly my mom) that I was going to get healthy and lose weight, I’ve fallen short of keeping any weight off. Then came the Decade of Destiny campaign and hope. In addition to having an weight problem, I have just about all the other issues that Pastor Rick wants to address and battle against during the Decade of Destiny – health, finances, relationships, work … you name it; I want to improve my life in all these areas. One of the most impactful things Pastor Rick has said that has inspired me to continue on this quest is that we must face our fear; we have a choice between fear and faith. The choices we make affects our lives. Today, I want to choose faith and not the fear that causes me to live and eat unhealthy.

What personal goals have you set?

Although I had already decided to take part in the Daniel Plan when it was first announced, I recently heard Pastor Rick say that his plan is to lose 90 pounds. I thought to myself, “Wow! That’s just about exactly what I need to lose!” Then, I pondered it a little more and thought how cool it would be to match Pastor Rick’s 90-pound weight loss goal. I said to myself, “It’s on!”

Hey, Rick! Want to be my accountability partner?

What do you hope to get out of the Daniel Plan by the end?

I hope for a changed life. From watching “The Biggest Loser,” every once in awhile, I see that their efforts are more than just losing weight; these people have life issues and they are often being transformed for the better in other areas of their life in the process. I believe the Daniel Plan will draw me closer to God because I know that I can’t do this without Him.

Want to share your story and/or allow us to track your progress? Send me an email at [email protected].

Can you relate to what Alex has been through? Click the comment button below to share your thoughts and encouragements.