Submitted by Pastor Dan Ofstehage, Trinity Lutheran in Mobridge: Like every January, when the new year came around I took part in Portico’s health assessment. This seems like a no brainer to me. All I had to do was punch in some numbers, report my overall wellness, and receive $150 to go towards health costs. Once the health assessment is completed I look to see what the health and wellness goals are for the year. By completing one of the goals, members of the plan are able to earn another $350 to go towards medical expenses. This year all of the goals had to do with eating in a healthy manner. I took a quick look at the goals and thought to myself that the challenge to log my food intake for five weeks would be the easiest and the least likely to result in me having to make a change in my daily routine and eating habits.
On January 3 I began logging all that I eat using the myfitnesspal mobile app. After about a day and a half I realized that my diet left something to be desired. I knew that I had gained a bit of weight since seminary, but didn’t really think about or care very much. After visual proof of how many unhealthy snacks I eat, I thought maybe I should step on a scale and see where I was at. I weighed more than I had ever in my life. So, I started watching what I ate and added more fruits and vegetables to my diet. I began eating less snacks and smarter meals. I also started walking a half hour to an hour three or four times a week. I completed the five weeks of food tracking and have continued to do so. Logging my food has seamlessly become a part of my daily routine and as of today I have lost 19.5 lbs. with a more balanced diet and a bit more movement. I feel better and have more energy. If I didn’t participate in the health assessment and the “Make or Break” wellness goals of Portico I would not have found the motivation to change the way I approach food, diet, and exercise. Logging my diet and seeing what my problem areas are have been the push that I needed to make a few simple changes to the way that I eat and live.