For the Rev. D. Michael Jones of Killeen, the scripture “All things are possible through the Lord who strengthens me,” Philipians 4:3, rings especially true.

He said the Lord is strengthening him as he pushes himself every day to beat diabetes and improve his health.

“I was exposed to Agent Orange during Vietnam and I have diabetes. My weight gain contributed to my diabetes,” Jones said. “If I can bring my weight down, it will help with my diabetes and other health issues.”

Jones said he has no idea how much he weighs because he never gets on a scale except when he has an appointment at the VA hospital. But he does have “indicator clothes” which help him gauge his weight loss and gain. He pointed to his belt and showed he was on the second hole and may have to soon get another belt as he continues to lose weight.

But old habits die hard.

“You have to change your diet and that’s a hard thing to do. Most of my life has been 'my mother’s cooking,' if you will," Jones said. "I do things the old fashioned way with a little of this and a little of that. This is not the best thing if you are talking about dieting. I don’t maintain control over bad carbs and my cholesterol when I am eating my fried chicken.”

Jones said the key to his weight loss has been maintaining consistency.

“Too much of anything is dangerous. I have to do things in moderation getting what I want and doing things I want,” he said. “I love food. I have to find a happy medium there and, with exercise, to pull the weight off.”

Jones, 65, said he has not been able to get into “real exercise” because of some existing health issues. He walks a 1/2 mile daily and has continued the regiment for the last 6-7 months, losing between 15-20 pounds.

Does Jones consider himself a role model to the congregation he leads at Pioneer Crisis Ministry and feel pressured to lose the weight?

“When I am standing in the pulpit, I make sure I give the word of God," Jones said. "All things not pertaining to that message are outside.”

Jones agreed with the Bible passage that says our bodies are temples and we should treat them sacredly.

“Our bodies belong to God, not to us. I’ve come a long way," Jones said. "I can remember smoking 2 1/2 packs of cigarettes a day and drinking a pint of Old Granddad 100 every day.”

This was well before Jones turned to the ministry. He has not smoked or had a drink of alcohol since March 4, 1990, he said, and as he continues his daily routine of walking, sees a slow but steady improvement in his weight.

“I have pants now that I have to pull in on my belt. Here in the last 30-60 days, I have to put my belt on the second hole to make my pants stay on,” Jones said.

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