Dr. Christopher Davis works out his body and his spirit at LP Nutrition and Fitness. (Photo: Johnathan Martin)
“It’s hard to serve when you’re sick. We certainly will pray for healing but we want to stress preventative healing.”
– Leonard Pegues
LP Nutrition and Fitness

I hope you receive this in the spirit in which it is given. But y’all first-of-the-year gym people fray my nerves.

I’m always next to the one go-hard lady on the elliptical. My eyes are rolling all over my head. Working out is a lifestyle change. It doesn’t work if you go hard that one day. Consistency is key, especially as we get older. Ahem. Trust me on this.

Leonard Pegues trains my pastor, Christopher Davis, who told me that he is a part of a workout group with some other clergy friends. In light of the recent deaths of some of their younger colleagues and within our 40-something peer group, they have become even more focused on fitness and longevity.

I went to have a chat with Pegues at his temple of deliverance, better known as LP Fitness. Believe me, you “shole” will get a mighty word and he will deliver you from your own foolishness. Drawing parallels to Bible passages for inspiration, he marries the Word to life.

“Jesus’ ministry is preaching, teaching and healing,” says Pegues, a former athlete with over 30 years experience, who is doing all three.

The group assembled on this day consisted of Dr. Davis, Pastor Gary Faulkner and Bishop William M. Young Sr. Each is a living testimony to the positive outcomes of having a trainer and to being dedicated to your program.

Faulkner says that he would get seasonal allergies or illnesses, which he no longer suffers from now that he works out regularly. He also believes in leading by example.

“It’s hard to serve when you’re sick,” he says. “We certainly will pray for healing but we want to stress preventative healing.”

Young, who is 74 years young, has always been a walker. Pegues helped him to up his routine. He sought out Pegues following an episode with fluid on the heart. His heart rate and blood pressure are normal now.

Davis was at his heaviest when came to Pegues two years ago. Now he is down 40 pounds and maintaining. He is, without a doubt, one of the busiest people I know. So I asked, “How do you get around being busy?”

His simple reply: “It has to be a priority. Ultimately, we control our schedule. (And) if it’s a priority, you will find the time and the resources.” Davis will even FaceTime the group to work out when he’s on the road.

In an effort to help others – and myself – I asked Pegues about common mistakes in the fitness journey and recommendations to stay consistent. He answered with the fire and delivery of a preacher and few Jesse-isms. Fitness is truly this guy’s ministry.

He points to diet as the biggest culprit, which should be no surprise. It’s what’s we eat; how much we eat; and when we eat. Sometimes we eat too much of the wrong food at the wrong time. Or, we eat the wrong carbs at the wrong time.

Some of Leonard’s Laws:

Eat like a king for breakfast. Eat like a prince for lunch. Eat like a pauper for dinner.

For dinner, eat one protein the size of your fist (not Godzilla’s), which is usually about 4-6 ounces, with double vegetables.

Take in your carbs ideally around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. but no later than 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock, as your body is preparing to rest. You likely won’t be active after that.

“Good carbs are easy to break down,” he said. “Try oatmeal when you first get up. It’s when your metabolism is the highest.”

Brown rice, bananas (also potassium for muscle development), brown rice, apples, sweet potatoes and (thank ya Lord) wheat pasta all make the good carbs cut.

“God doesn’t want a sick body,” he warned. “He wants a living sacrifice. Your food is your medicine; you will either eat your medicine or take your medicine. Your health will become an expense if you don’t invest in it.”

So, how do people stay focused and consistent and finish the year as they started? The gospel according to Pegues:

Identify your vision and your goal; set realistic goals.

Keep your attention on your intentions.

Don’t be lazy; be self-motivated.

Remind yourself that motivation will get you started; habit will keep you going.

Don’t hibernate in winter; get angry with winter!

And let’s write this one down. Pegues warns. “If you want a summer body; you must have a winter workout.”

Preach the word!

(LP Fitness is located at 5316 Cottonwood, Suite 1. For an assessment, call 901-240-9601.)