Forgive me if this column squeaks like the Tin Man after a thunderstorm, but the author is a bit rusty. But after contemplating New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or get in shape, returning to writing a some-what regular sports editorial seems likely to be a little less painful.

Unfortunately my expanding waistline hasn’t happened by accident. Apparently my hunger for hunting and fishing has been replaced with an appetite for second breakfasts and midnight snacks. Gone is my drive to give my all to win that pickup basketball game for the victory, replaced with the a new-found fortitude to finish off a full plate and go the extra yard to force down dessert in overtime. The former athlete is still alive somewhere behind my new Michelin Man body fat suit. Sadly, it appears my motivation has turned to a  competitive drive-thru, as I’ll easily tackle the challenge of a supersized opponent/meal. The only marathon’s I’ve been participating in are all-day sessions of Netflix induced binge watching, or butt-breaking bleacher hugging at the kids’ endless basketball events.

I was uneasy on Sunday at church when the message  started out with scripture from 1 Corinthians, “your body is a temple” as Les preached about dieting. I was mortified when the first image on the big screens associated with his message, was a photo of belly fat. I thought to myself how dare he use a picture of me without my permission. Turns out the model in the cropped image of a shirtless man holding a handful of his love handle wasn’t actually me, although it was easy for me to draw in my face on the cropped photo of the less than sculpted midsection.

After I got over the misguided shock of thinking my six pack of Jello Jigglers abs had been exposed to the congregation, I sank back into my seat, dreading the rest of the sermon I assumed would follow.

But instead of being preached at to make myself miserable for the sake of a temple makeover, I was told not to be anxious about life, what I eat or drink, nor about my body and what I put on it.

It wasn’t a get out of jail free card offering no ramifications for overeating or swearing off exercise. Instead it was acknowledgment that we all come in different sizes and shapes, so not everyone is going to be able to pose for the cover of a fitness magazine. And that’s ok, as long as we are putting God first. It’s when Oreos, ice cream or Doritos become our top priority that the temple makeover needs to take place. The same can be said for sit ups, treadmills and workout sessions in front of the mirror. Obviously there is nothing wrong with getting your temple in tiptop shape, as long as it doesn’t become your top priority.

It made me realize, my focus wanders too frequently. I can just as easily perch atop the stationary bicycle in front of the TV instead of on the couch, well at least every once in a while, or head outside and walk around the block a few times instead of walking to the fridge for another snack.

And it’s not just about trying to get the gut gone in time for beach season. My enjoyment of bow hunting, ice fishing, and the like has not disappeared. It’s just got buried under weight of settling for a sit on the couch instead of exerting a little bit of extra energy to go and do.

Just like it is simpler to sink into the easy chair instead of loading up the fish finder and the auger to journey out on top of the ice, it is effortless to avoid authoring an opinion piece that may or not be enjoyable for readers to view.

So there you have my New year’s Resolution, to take the easy way out less often in 2016.