Fans of the gospel music genre remember Lowell Pye as one of the energetic front men of John P. Kee’s New Life Community Choir and a co-founder of the male quartet “Men of Standard”. In 2010, Lowell released a solo CD entitled “Finally” to rave reviews. Over the years, Lowell’s voice never lost its potency but he experienced substantial weight gain. He started diets that he didn’t follow through with, exercised very little, and continued to eat late at night. After 15 years of struggling with health issues related to obesity and a bout with depression, Lowell lost 65 pounds and is on journey for total health in mind, body, and spirit thanks to a group of caring friends and a personal commitment to change.
Lowell’s journey to transformation began on September 11th, 2011 when he thought he was going to visit with a consultant associated with the hit NBC TV series, “The Biggest Looser” for a nutritional plan. He was unaware that this seemingly routine consultation would change his life and set him on a course of emotional healing, physical fitness, and renewed spiritual focus. The consultant was determined to get to the root cause of the weight gain and lack of drive to continue on a healthy path. During the session, Lowell opened up describing how he “battled with depression”, felt like he didn’t like himself and how he didn’t think anyone else liked him. He described how he received satisfaction from singing but he was “singing in pain and hurt”. He experienced a gambit of emotions during the session, from crying to being upset because he felt like his friends “set him up”. Although he remained upset, he opened up further by shared things from his past that he had never shared with anyone.
The following day, Lowell made a decision to consult God about it by asking him to “show me what they were talking about”. He realized during his private time with God that he was lacked drive and wanted things to happen without a consistent effort on his part. He read Romans 12:1-2 in the Bible. This scripture states that Christians should “be transformed by the renewing” of their minds. These verses, although he heard them preached several times before, were like a “bomb that went off” inside of him and he realized that change begins when a person makes up their mind to change. From that moment on, Lowell has been focused on “moving forward and living a healthy life”. He isn’t just focused on the health side, but he is also making strides towards spiritual, financial and emotion health as well. He’s made a life change.
Lowell’s regimen consists of 6 small meals a day (3 meals and 3 snacks). He eats baked chicken, tilapia, salmon, broccoli, spinach, brown rice, almonds, watermelon, and protein shakes to name a few items. He drinks unsweetened tea with Equal and hydrates by drinking at least a gallon of water per day. He actually cooked the meals for 21 days to establish healthy eating choices but now is able to go enjoy restaurants. He stays within the same healthy choices when he goes out to eat.
Lowell exercises at least 1.25 hours in the gym at varied frequencies. He didn’t hire a trainer, but he found an exercise regimen that works for him. He started out by doing a lot cardio and has added weights for strength training. He walks the track and has started to play basketball to ensure movement. He also added the elliptical machine to his workout. He started at a comfortable pace and worked his way up to where he is now able to sustain at least 30-35 minutes on the elliptical machine.
Lowell’s story resounds with the population because many struggle with weight loss and weight gain for various reasons so naturally, when he began posting his progress on Facebook and Twitter, he received tremendous feedback. He formed “Team Transformed” where he posts his progress and those on the journey inform him of their progress as well. Lowell recalled a time when he posted a comment about his struggle with depression and how “amazing” the response was and he even received a comment from a person who was in the hospital because of diabetes. The man wanted to know what Lowell did to overcome and Lowell was able to assist because of his personal fight with weight. Team Transformed is centered on the whole person and not just the physical aspect, although it plays a great part.
He acknowledges that having people to hold you accountable is very important. His support system consists of members of the gym he attends, his friends, and his family. His sisters are now on their journey to a healthier lifestyle because of his influence. He says he’s learned that “you can’t have people around you that like what you like or like to eat as much as you do”. He’s motivated by the fact that he feels good, walks pain free, and motivates other people to start their individual journey to health. He is also motivated by his desire see his son graduate from high school and go on to college one day.
Lowell’s journey is continuing to evolve. He no longer has to take medication for high blood pressure. His vocal range has improved and he can breathe better. He is now walking without a limp and no longer has lower back pain. He recalled a time where he would be embarrassed to go out because he couldn’t fit in the seats or chair and people would laugh. He admitted that “you have to be honest with yourself” because it does hurt when people laugh, but he’s now more focused than ever and he’s determined to move forward.
His attitude, will and drive are all different as well. He is very proactive in his career and he wants to be successful. He’s emphasized that being proactive applies to more than just his career related activities. He is more proactive in his finances, housekeeping, and other areas. He stated that he’s “thinking more freely” and although you cannot see these attributes they are an important part of his journey.
Lowell is an inspiration and he reminded us that sometimes friends and family members can see what you can’t or are not willing to address. He now appreciates how his friends helped him on September 11th, the day his journey began. He made a decision not to have a surgery to lose weight and in dealing with the whole man, has showed and continues to show those struggling with their health that it can be done. It takes a made up mind, focus, and determination. Lowell’s new CD, appropriately entitled “Transformed”, is due for release in the summer of 2012.