Honor God With a Lean Bod

Pastor Steve Reynolds has lost more than 100 pounds and has helped his congregation lose more than 2,000 pounds by following his Bod4God plan.


Pastor Steve Reynold has been overweight all of his life. As a first grader, Steve weighed 104 pounds! “There weren’t that many hunded-pound first graders back then,” says Steve. He says he grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia on mostly unhealthy Southern food. By the time Steve was in high school, he was involved in football. Steve worked out hard and ate a lot too. After playing in college, Steve vowed to never exercise or run again. He ballooned to 340 pounds. While in college, Steve met and married Debbie. They started a church in Annandale, Virginia. “The good news is that the church started to grow,” says Steve. "The bad news is I also began to grow.” Part of the reason he grew more overweight is because he developed a new pastime. He sat in a recliner every night after work and ate ice cream. In 1999, Steve developed diabetes. “God was working in my life and God was telling me I needed to do something about this area in my life,” says Steve. Eventually, Steve began the journey of improving his health. At first, it was a personal issue between Steve and the Lord. “It was private. I was overweight, unhealthy and painfully aware that I needed to make a permanent change in my life,” says Steve. So he began to pray, knowing that he couldn’t do it without God’s intervention. Steve reminds us that God created our bodies and that the Bible tells us a lot about the body. “The Bible uses the word body 179 times,” says Steve. He reminds us that our lives should be about honoring God. Steve says his Bod4God plan is not about a diet as much as it is a change in lifestyle. He came up with an acrostic, DIET: D: Dedication, honoring God with your body; I: Inspiration: motivating yourself for change; E: Eat and Exercise: manage your habits; T: Team: build your circle of support. Steve says as God began to stir his heart about being overweight, he sensed that God wanted to lead him through His Word. The passage he gave Steve was Matthew 16:24 an 25,“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Steve’s weight -loss program Losing to Live, comes from this passage. “People lose weight without God,” says Steve. “People do it every day with secular programs.” With the Bod4God plan, Steve says it is not a diet. He’s talking about a healthy lifestyle that continues after any weight-loss that is achieved. The very foundation of building a healthy lifestyle is to realize that God gave us life, and that we are to please Him in the things that we do with our lives. Steve says to renew your mind. Obey the Bible. Eat less. Exercise more. Set a goal. Do it now. Steve also says it is important to build a circle of support. “You can’t be a lone ranger,” says Steve. “You have to bring people with you.” When Steve preached the Bod4God sermon series at his church, his goal was to motivate the congregation to become the biggest losers in the U.S. All together, 250 members of his church lost 2,100 pounds. Steve says he believes so many Christians are overweight because pastors behind the pulpit are overweight. “The good news is that if the problem lies in the pulpit, perhaps the answer lies there, too,” says Steve. Currently there are a dozen churches piloting his Bod4God program.


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