Grand Marais Pastor Takes Control--Loses 80#
Eight years ago Pastor Dale McIntire of the Cornerstone Community Church in Grand Marais got a sharp wake-up call from his doctor. He was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a long-term (chronic) condition that can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems.
Dale has a family history of the condition and he said, “It was not a surprise, but it felt like a death sentence.
He immediately went on a progressively intensive course of pharmaceutical treatments, including daily doses of insulin. By 2019 he was maxed out on the medicine he could take and his doctor wanted him to start injecting insulin before every meal. At that visit, Dale asked for a reprieve from that prescription until his next quarterly visit so he could try to help himself.
Dale’s wife Linda wanted him to get off the drugs, but that would require some significant changes in lifestyle. “I asked myself, why is the doctor managing my diabetes?” Dale said. He then decided to take responsibility to manage his own condition in November of 2019. At that time, he tipped the scales at 260 pounds.
“Diabetes is a disease you do to yourself,” Dale said. So he believed fighting it was something he should do for himself.
He contacted his brother, who “got all the handsome genes,” to ask him how he maintained a healthy weight. His brother eats just one meal per day.
Now, Dale eats once per day, a meal that he enjoys and looks forward to. He takes his meal between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“The pandemic made getting food difficult,” he said. “We ate out often before the pandemic, but we just stopped eating out.” Cooking at home allowed for better portions and quality control.
In his research, he discovered and investigated a popular diet plan called Intermittent Fasting. “I investigated and adopted it, not as a program but as a principle,” Dale said. “I eat whatever I want for my one meal a day,” he added. He uses black coffee and water as a meal substitute if he feels hungry.
His doctor advised him to add movement to his life. He began walking and biking more, easy to do, except in the winter. So in the winter, he decided to park the snowblower and shovel snow by hand as often as he can. “I almost look forward to snow, a little bit,” the Georgia native said.
His lifestyle changes have had the desired result. His goal was to reduce his weight to 190 pounds, and he’s currently weighing in at 180 pounds. Since taking control of his diabetes care he’s lost 80 pounds and no longer needs insulin or blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
“The first 70 pounds came off real easy,” Pastor Dale says. “The last ten pounds were the hardest.”
Dale grew up in Columbus, GA, graduating from Spencer High School in 1979. His goal as a young man was to become a doctor of tropical medicine and surgery and work in east Africa. He was motivated by an intense interest in biology and the work of the missionaries who visited his church in Columbus.
He enrolled in Mercer College in Macon, GA. He described his freshman year as one of the worst in his life. It was at the end of that year that he had a personal encounter with Jesus at a camp meeting he attended with his younger sister in Jackson, MS. “I’d grown up in the church and adopted all the language, ideas, and principles,” he said. “But I realized that Dale on the outside wasn’t the same as Dale on the inside.”
He went on to attend the Kentucky Mountain Bible Institute earning a degree in bible studies and international mission in 1982. In 1985 he earned a degree in biology and chemistry from Asbury University.
While teaching an adult bible study in Norfolk, VA he met his future wife Linda. Together the two decided that Dale should attend seminary at Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul where he received his Master of Divinity in 1995.
He and Linda came to Grand Marais to fill in while a friend of his, the pastor at the 1st Baptist Church of Grand Marais, went on vacation. He didn’t realize at the time that the day he arrived, the congregation received his friend’s resignation letter. So a two-week stint as the fill-in pastor turned into summer and fall. By Christmas of 1995, he was called to be the permanent pastor and he has served ever since.
Dale also volunteers at the “Odds and Ends” second-hand store in Grand Marais, using some of his past experience working for J.C. Penney years ago to assist in marketing and display. The store workers volunteer their time and get credit for their hours worked to earn money for the local non-profits of their choice. Dale likes working there to engage with members of the community on a personal level.
Information about Cornerstone Community Church can be found at https://cscchurch.com/about-us/. Or call 218-387-2090.