Monthly archive for December 2018

Cheryl Bloemendaal

Cheryl Bloemendaal

I was ten years old when the doctor told my mother that I needed to go on a diet. My mother immediately put me on carrots and celery, only for desserts. From that time on, I saw myself as the fat girl. I always felt out of place, like I just didn’t fit in anywhere. My father told me all I had to do was push myself away from the table; if only it had been that easy. I had many friends in junior high, and I was even in the ‘popular’ girls club in high school, but I still felt out of place. I always saw myself as the fattest girl in the group. My sister used to call me Cheryl Barrel, so I felt as though that is what I must look like. When I was fourteen years old, I met a wonderful man and we married when

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Cherie McGraw

Cherie McGraw

“Throughout this one-year journey, one thing that has somewhat been my motto is something said in a meeting: DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING.” I was always active growing up, whether it was clogging (dance), color guard in the band, or volleyball. I was always involved in something that required exercise. I never had any issues with weight.  I stayed a decent weight and size, although at the time (with the typically teenage girl mindset) I didn’t view myself as a good size. My freshman year of high school, I was the “most fit” or “smallest” due to being in color guard AND dance that particular year. After graduating high school, I married the love of my life. This summer we will celebrate our 14-year anniversary. During the past 14 years, we have welcomed four precious baby boys. Our first baby, Christopher, and we were ecstatic about our sweet baby. Sadly, two

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Charlotte Kennedy

Charlotte Kennedy

Are you tired of trying to lose weight by eating less or taking diet pills or going on the newest diet? I have tried them all; some were successful, some were not, but none of them kept the weight off. When I reached goal weight, I eventually went back to eating the way I used to and was proud to lose weight on this diet.   My friend, Julee Rachels, is a woman who is passionate about health and wellness; full of energy, encouragement and an inspiration to everyone. She started a FP4H group at FBC-Longview. I heard it included Bible study.  My daughter, Cheryl, and I decided to go to the April session. At the first meeting, Julee told us about inviting God into the weight-loss process and to give Him a year to change our life. By loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, we could

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Bryon Drigian

I am very grateful for having joined  FP4H, and for the leadership provided by Linda, Denise & Delilah. My wife, Doreen, had been after me to join. Because she had been in the program for a number of years, I knew the amount of Bible study, homework, and discipline required.  I was hesitant – uncertain I could do the work. However, thanks to the prayers and guidance of the group and Doreen’s encouragement, support, and purposeful cooking, I’ve had some success. I have learned to focus on God’s love for us. This energized the effort needed to do the work. Each of us makes difficult choices every day. Thanks to the on-going influence of the Holy Spirit, and the prayers, support and guidance of the group, my success with the program was able to continue. Also, I would add that weekly participation in the group sessions is a critical component.

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Becky Turner

Becky Turner

In my pride, I wish I could do it all on my own, but it really does take a community. I thank God for the First Place 4 Health. It was January and the scales read over 200 pounds once again. I looked to the heavens and cried out to God, “Is this the only thing You cannot deliver me from? Is gluttony the ‘thorn in the flesh’ that I will have to deal with all of my life?” God, in His gracious and benevolent way, very quickly corrected me about a few things.  Number one, there is nothing from which He cannot deliver me. Number two, He desired my cooperation in this process by pushing away from the table sooner, making wiser choices in my food and to exercise. Number three, food had become my idol and replaced Him. I was lonely. A typical evening for me after I

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Becky Stephenson

Becky Stephenson

“I knew every number on the fast food menus, and had such a sweet tooth that dessert was part of each meal. I was so out of shape and overweight that my arms used to flap every time I moved them.” My story really isn’t about me; it’s about God’s transformation in my life through the FP4H program. When people see me, they automatically think I have been in shape and exercised all my life, but that is so far from the truth. The truth is that I loved to eat and was a “couch potato.” I knew every number on the fast food menus, and had such a sweet tooth that dessert was part of each meal. I was so out of shape and overweight that my arms used to flap every time I moved them. My eating and non-exercise habits led me to years of yo-yo dieting. I

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Barb Harrison

Barb Harrison

I have come to realize that my body truly is the temple of God, and I can’t be fit for service in the kingdom if I am not physically fit. I joined First Place 4 Health in the inaugural class of September 2012, at the invitation of our leader, Kathy Fox. I wasn’t particularly looking for a weight- loss program, even though I was seriously overweight.  Kathy handed me the information as I walked into church that Sunday morning; I took a look at it during the service, pulled out my checkbook and filled out the information. Kathy was a little surprised when I handed it back to her right after the service.  She commented that I had made up my mind quickly, and I said “Why not?” “I’ve got nothing to lose by trying it out!” I weighed 221 lbs. at weigh-in a few weeks later; my initial goal

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Amy Pelletier

Amy Pelletier

Are you thinking, “This is too hard for me and how will I ever lose so much weight?”  You are not alone! I have an ultimate goal to lose one-half of my body weight. This is a very large number and I have a long way to go, but I know that God is carrying me even when it seems too hard. If I really think about it and add up all the pounds I have lost in the past only to put them back on, I have probably lost more than I actually need to lose and keep off! I lost 10 pounds on a diet my mom and I did when I was a teen and I gained it all back. As prom was approaching, I did Slim Fast and lost 20 lbs. to look good in my gown and then gained it all back plus more. There

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Amy Gray

Amy Gray

I couldn’t resolve to exercise. Even through continual pleading prayers that God would make me go, make me want to exercise, motivate me or push me, it never worked. I hated the idea of exercise. To this day, the words of my gymnastics coach continue to play like a tape in my head. He said, “You’re getting too fat to spot over the vault.” I was seven. For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and a terrible body image. Maybe it was the words of that gym coach, or it was a product of my upbringing, or maybe I was just born with a negative self-image. Regardless, my weight has been a central focus of my life for over 25 years. I grew up under the very watchful eyes of my parents. I knew I couldn’t “get away” with anything – especially when it came

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Make Every Day your Best Day

Make Every Day your Best Day

The last chapter in “Make Every Day your Best Day” is Giving Life Away.  We challenged our class to bring in hygiene products for the Mission Center to give away.  They were asked to donate an amount equivalent to their weight loss or the number of memory verses they recited. We collected over a hundred pounds of products! ~ Tuesday Noon Leaders at Houston’s First Baptist Church.

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