The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Gluttony and Gregory

By Jeremy Callahan
The 700 Club -“I was so disappointed in myself, I felt ashamed that I couldn’t control this area of my life,” said Greg Mathis. "While I was laughing on the outside, on the inside I was really hurting."

Greg Mathis was like thousands of Americans struggling to control his weight.

“He always went back for second helpings. And once in awhile Greg might go back for a third time before having his dessert,” says Greg’s wife, Deborah Mathis.

Greg’s health deteriorated as his weight climbed.

“The more weight I put on, the more medicines I had to take. And so I was on high blood pressure medicine. I ended up having to take cholesterol medicine,” said Greg.

Greg pastors a church in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  With his son’s wedding coming up, Greg decided to try and lose a few pounds.  That’s when he met with Sam Varner, an Olympic trainer who attends his church.

“Greg, let’s get serious,” Sam remembers saying. “I’ll challenge you to get real serious about your health. How would you like it if I gave you a year of my life, coached you, helped you?”

Greg accepted Sam’s offer and began making changes in his life.

Greg continues, “It was a radical change, a change in my schedule, a change in what I would eat, and how I would exercise."

Sam customized a workout routine for Greg to follow.

“I got very winded,” says Greg,  “And I¹d be out of breath. Many times I would bend over just exhausted.”

Deborah remembers, “He probably lost about 30 lbs. in that first six weeks, and then he would get excited, so of course I got excited along with him.”

The Mathis’ also took a serious look at Greg’s diet.

“I got him to start thinking about how much he was eating. He got to see that he was making food his god, that he looked at food as something to give him relief,” says Sam. “One of the things that Greg asked me when we started looking at nutritional labels was, ‘do I need a degree in nutrition? I mean, how do I look at stuff.’ And I just said, 'Greg, It’s pretty simple, If God made it, it’s a good food. God didn’t mess up. God foods are foods that are naturally occurring in nature, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins.'"

“I immediately stopped eating fried foods, and really watched my breads and my desserts.  No more eating after 5:00 or 6:00 at night. That was really big,” says Greg.

The dramatic changes in his life were not easy, but Greg never gave up.

Greg remembers, "I thought, 'OH Lord, I hate this. And I can¹t do it and I want to quit.' But I had made a commitment and Sam continued to encourage me, and my wife and others continued to encourage me."

The hard work paid off, and a little over a year later, Greg had lost 125 pounds.

“I’ve lost 12 inches in the waist. I was then between a 52 and a 54 pant. And now I’m between a 38 and a 40-inch pant. My blood pressure the last time he took it, it was like 120/80, which is, you know, about perfect. I just feel fantastic. I feel the best, spiritually, emotionally, and physically that I have ever felt in my life,” says Greg.

He’s kept the weight off for two years.  Though he’s never maintained his routine perfectly, Greg says the key is to keep going.

“No matter how many times you have failed, or how big a failure that you feel you are right now, you’re looking at a person that had failed over and over and over in his life in this one area, this stronghold of my life. And God didn’t give up on me and he’s not going to give up on you,” says Greg. “Apply His truths to your life. Let the power of His Holy Spirit help you and deliver you from what it is that you¹re going through.”
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