Monthly archive for December 2018

Connie Welch

Connie Welch

This program teaches how to live life in a new way. My story is how God takes tragedy and turns it into triumph. I was diagnosed in 1994 with Chronic Active Hepatitis C. In 1992 I had surgery at an outpatient surgical center where a drug user was working as a scrub tech. While the scrub tech was alone with the patient, he would take the patient’s syringe of medicine and shoot up. He then refilled it with normal saline from the patients IV bag. The contaminated syringe was used on the patient in surgery. After the surgery, I began to have symptoms associated with liver disease. Later it was discovered the source of the infection. Through liver biopsies I found that the disease was not only chronic but also active. I took Chemo-Interferon therapy twice. Neither time was successful. I knew that the Lord had a plan for me. I prayed for His direction.  God led me to study about

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Colleen Hammond

Colleen Hammond

I had been using food in place of relationships with people and God. I started First Place 4 Health in January 2008. I weighed 255 lbs. and was desperate for change. I had been using food in place of relationships with people and God. Food was my friend, or so I thought. I knew that if I did not change my lifestyle, I would never experience God working in my life. I was embarrassed and I hated to go anywhere for fear of the looks and pity I would see from others. My fear was really about my own opinion of myself; I felt disgusting.  I was on depression, anxiety and sleep medications and nothing was working.  Nothing was filling the void I had inside. I had to make that first right choice to join a group where God was front and center in order to start my incredible journey. Once I joined, I told God I

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Christopher Lawson

Christopher Lawson

I have always had a misinterpreted relationship with obesity, being overweight, and the connection to food and mood.  Of course that led to a depleted self-esteem and positivity issues throughout life.  Fast forward to 2012.  I call this my “newbie year.” My youngest was born and this is the year that my maximum weight was reached. In time for a physical at doctor’s office, I had consciously worked on losing; losing 40 pounds of well over 500 pounds, feeling accomplished.  Doctor walks in the room and acknowledges the loss, but delivers the impact blow, “If you want to see your kids all graduate, you need to step on the accelerator!” Accepting the challenge. I started home exercise programs, bought the shakes, joined the various groups, and even bought what claimed to be the “magic pill” for success in weight loss and transformation. Some of you may have experienced that temporary

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Christine Bevilacqua

Christine Bevilacqua

I grew up believing in God, but I did not have a relationship with Jesus. I was depressed for over 20 years, searching for happiness in all of the wrong places, before knowing Jesus. I made many bad decisions in my life and I always questioned, “How could God forgive me for my past?” On February 12, 2009, my life changed forever. I was being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance after just celebrating my 40th birthday in January. The EMT told me that I was having a heart attack. During this frightful ride, I only thought about my 8-year-old daughter.  Who would take care of her if I died? Why is this happening to me? I’m a healthy 40-year-old woman who never smoked and was not overweight. I spent a week in the hospital and returned to work 10 days later knowing I still did not feel well,

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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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