I was in Dallas on Thursday and returned home Friday afternoon. As usual, it was a busy week and so I was looking forward to a little down time on the flight home. I purposely waited for other people to board, as I had an aisle seat and I didn’t even want to get in and out of my seat once I was on the jet. Anyway, I was pleased to see that the window seat was already occupied so I got ready to sit down. I thought, out of the corner of my eye, that the passenger who would be next to me looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t be sure.
In fact, I even thought it might be that guy who does the commercials for Subway sandwiches – you know, Jared. The guy who lost 245 pounds about 17 years ago when he was a freshman at Indiana University in Bloomington. After his story was featured in the school newspaper, he became famous for his weight loss and went from a 60″ waist down to 34″ or 36″. He was a tall guy, 6’2″ I think, but since my neighbor was sitting, there was no way to tell how tall he was.
Anyway, we started talking – the polite stuff – where you are coming from, where you live, business or pleasure, etc. and it turns out that he introduced himself to me as Jared – The Jared – the one who has done all the Subway commercials. He lives in the Indy area, where he was raised, and was headed home after a trip out west near LA. He was getting ready to head out again back to the west coast today or tomorrow but wanted to spend a day or two with his family over the week-end. It takes a special guy who wants to fly almost trans-continental twice within 3 days to be home with his kids.
I was impressed with this young man’s commitment and discipline. After all, he started losing weight when he was 425# – and lived on Subway sandwiches for a year. All in all, he lost 94# in the first 90 days and a total of 245″ at the end of a year – finally landing at 180# before he added 10 back and settled at 190#. In fact, he still eats Subway 2-3 times a week – only now he doesn’t have to pay for his sandwiches – Subway pays for his meals.
He is on the road somewhere between 170-200 days per year; going to events that are sponsored at the national level as well as a huge number of local events in various markets. Now you can go online and find out more about him, but the purpose of the post this evening is to let you know how impressed I was with Jared.
For sure, anybody who has had his kind of success could easily become arrogant and full of himself. I didn’t get that impression at all. And for more than 15 years Jared has been the image of Subway. He admitted that something like this could only happen in America – and I think he is right.
Jared embarked on his weight loss program because he just couldn’t deal with his excessive size any longer. From worrying about whether chairs would hold him to being embarrassed at how much food he ate, Jared decided that he was ready to live a more normal life. I don’t know that being the Subway Guy leads to a normal life, but you know what I mean – he wanted to be a normal size – and he has done that.
Oddly, it turns out that I knew Jared’ second cousin, here in Indy. Years ago, when I was in the staffing business, one of my competitors bought the franchise for one of the national chains. Sure enough, he was related to Jared. Another example of how it can be a really small world.
Paul spoke extensively in his writings about our bodies and how we are to take care of ourselves. Jared certainly had events in his life that caused him to change the way he lived, much the same as Paul and countless others throughout the years. Jared has been a real inspiration to thousands of people who have been encouraged by his journey. Our verse for this evening is from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He tells us, in 1 Cor. 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…” In other words, take care of yourself – your body is a temple and is inhabited by the Holy Spirit. Honor God with how you treat yourself.
My encouragement this evening is that God wants you to enjoy the body that He has given to you but He also wants you to abstain from the worldly vices that sidetrack so many of us. My prayer is that you will consider how you live your life and take a tip from Jared. It is possible to get yourself under control and have a great life – all at the same time. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…