“As a pastor, it’s not easy to stay in shape,” says Ricardo Herrera. “Many of my fellow pastors suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.”
Ricardo has served as a pastor for more than 30 years, and he knows firsthand the difficulties of trying to balance ministry and a healthy lifestyle. In describing the life of a pastor, he shares, “we have to go to events with lots of food, we often eat at irregular times, we use cars or motorcycles for all our transportation, we never exercise, and we don’t even discuss healthy living among ourselves!”
Ricardo’s lifestyle doesn’t just affect him; it also affects his wife Olga. “I went to a seminar, and I got on the scale. When I saw that I weighed nearly 200 pounds, it really bothered me,” she explains.
But something is changing in the lives of Ricardo and Olga. Between the two of them, they have lost more than 35 pounds in the last four months. “I feel that my health really is changing for the better. I feel happier and healthier,” Olga says joyfully. Her husband shares that now he talks about healthy living with his colleagues and the members of his church. “Before, I felt ashamed to talk about taking care of one’s body because I was overweight, but now, when people notice that I’ve lost more than 20 pounds, I take the opportunity to explain to them what I’m doing.”
In April of this year, Ricardo and his wife attended the workshop “Integral Health and Nutrition.” In this special training session for pastoral couples in Leon, the Nehemiah Center shared the “Seven Pillars of Health” by author Dr. Don Colbert.
Dr. Colbert emphasizes seven basic practices to stay healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically:
- Drinking enough water
- Resting and sleeping enough
- Eating raw foods
- Detoxifying the body
- Paying attention to stress levels
- Using vitamins and supplements
“Now in the house we are more careful with what we eat. We have gotten rid of soft drinks, we eat more fruits and vegetables, and we’ve eliminated greasy foods,” says Olga.
“I learned that I am responsible to keep myself healthy, and I like that the pastors learned that our health is as important as our theology. God wants us to be healthy,” Ricardo concludes.
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you
and that you may be in good health,
as it goes well with your soul.
John the Apostle (3 John 2)