It’s one thing to have the health message; its quite another to live the health message. From caffeinated drinks through to sugary desserts, from fatty foods through to inactivity, many Adventists fall far short of converting head knowledge into life practice. And there are few places that is more obvious than in the South Pacific Division, where the abundant life has made many of the team rather abundant in size.

So, like any good employer, the South Pacific Division is doing something about it. Specifically, it is offering the CHIP program to its employees. A third of the entire staff of the South Pacific Division are currently going through the CHIP program. “We’re delighted at how the program is going,” states Paul Rankin, the CHIP program director—who himself lost 30 kilos with a CHIP lifestyle. “The level of interest and enthusiasm among the SPD team has exceeded my expectations. And the results we’re getting already are very encouraging.”

I’m in the CHIP program because I want to experience optimal health.

Sharon Martin, from the Discovery Centre, Paul Rankin, CHIP facilitator, and Jarrod Stackelroth, associate editor of RECORD.

“I’m one and a half weeks into it, and I’ve lost 3 1/2 kilos,” states Jarrod Stackelroth. “I’m excited to be improving my health with the support of friends and colleagues. Some of the information is new and startling, and some I already knew. But I think the most important thing, is that it gives me impetus to make the changes that I was putting off or making excuses about. I’ve always done the cooking at home, and CHIP has focused me on making good food. Last night when I got home, I whipped up the CHIP creamy mushroom recipe in 15 minutes, boiled corn on the cob, and made a four-bean salad. It was delicious.”

Even the very trim Mark Baines, of Adventist Employment fame, is attending CHIP. “Look, I’m coming because I have a lot to learn. Being a good weight is one thing, but there is much more to living a healthy life. You can be trim and still unhealthy. I was raised in a healthy home – but I’m like anyone, I love chocolate, ice cream, etc. So just because I was raised healthy doesn’t mean I live healthy. I’m in the CHIP program because I want to experience optimal health.”

Theodora Amuimula agrees, “I want to improve my eating habits, so the part of the program that I’m most interested in is the cooking demonstrations. I’ve learned that lots of things I thought were healthy are not that good. Paul Rankin explained to us, for example, that you get 6 oranges worth of the fruit’s sugar in a glass of orange juice and none if its fiber. Much better to eat a couple of oranges—it will fill you up more, and weigh you down less.”

The SPD CHIP program runs through to mid-October.

To find out about putting on a CHIP program at your church or workplace, visit <chiphealth.org.au>.