Monthly archive for December 2018

Susan Townsend

It’s easy to measure progress in the physical part of my 1st Place 4 Health program: I look at numbers on a scale, and minutes walked in a week. In the other three areas, though, I don’t always know when growth is happening. Today, I got a chance to look at all 4 components – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – in a single experience. Late in the afternoon, I went with my daughter and her family to swim. Knowing that I would not get home in time to get in my evening walk, I decided to swim laps for a few minutes. Pausing to rest, I heard a couple of teenagers two laps over (did they really think I couldn’t hear them?) laughing because I had to rest after only two laps. Here is how I measured my progress in the four components of 1st Place 4 Health: Mental:

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Sheri Soldau

My First Place journey really began 32 years ago when at age 8, it was determined that I was a “chubby” child. Upon that realization, my mother put me on various and sundry food plans. None of these were terribly successful in helping with my weight, but they did firmly establish the idea that some foods are good and some are bad, and helped to create the “fat person” mentality that I still struggle with today. Unfortunately, none of my food plans also included an increased activity level. I was told to be careful about what I ate, but was not expected to exercise on a regular basis. Since I was very uncoordinated and hated to play sports, but loved to read, not being expected to be active was fine with me. By the time I was in my late teens, my mother and I joined another weight loss plan

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Shawn Maassel

Shawn Maassel

Psalm 107: 17-22 describes for me a time in my life when I struggled with eating disorders and issues with my body image. The verses read: Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. I had been baptized as a baby and I grew up knowing Jesus loved me, that He died to pay for my sins and rose from the dead so that I might have eternal life. My family faithfully attended church and Sunday School. I was a leader in my youth group and

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Sharolette Pennington

Sharolette Pennington

Start where you are today. Ask Him to take control and see the pounds fall off. Be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.(Philippians 4:6 KJV) This says to me: “Don’t worry about anything; the cure for worries and cares is ‘believing prayer’ that takes in all God has done for me in the past, all He is doing in the present and all He is preparing for me in the future.” This speaks of ALL things material, spiritual, and physical.  Pray without ceasing.(1Thessalonians 5:17) These are my constant cheers to The God of heaven. My name is Sharolette Renee’ Pennington. I’m 53 years old, 5’4″ on a small frame, and I’ve struggled with my body image since the day I got saved at the age of 10. The battle began: flesh versus spirit. Satan’s job is to

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Shanda Thornsberry

Freedom! That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of my First Place 4 Health testimony. Like “Shackles off my feet so I can dance1” freedom. Like “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, my God, my Savior has ransomed me2”kind of freedom. I don’t think I grasped the freedom salvation brings until God used FP4H in my life. When I was 10 or 11, I raised my hand in Sunday school to say,“Yes, I wanted Jesus in my heart” My parents did not know the Lord, and I never grew from that one moment. I went on to live for myself in sinful misery until I was 28 years old, which was just a couple of years before discovering FP4H in our church bulletin. Up to this point, I had stacked up years of one unhealthy choice after another. I had dieted since age 14 and had

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Sarah Mielke

Sarah Mielke

Unlike any other program, this is not a quick fix. It is not a program that you go on until you lose weight, and then go off once you have achieved a magical number on a scale. This is a lifestyle of health. It was supposed to be hereditary. I would struggle with weight my whole life. I would always be “big boned,” and would have to be content with having “a pretty face.”   I had surrendered to that fact… until I decided to give God first place in every area of my life: Mental, Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical. Although I grew up in a Baptist preacher’s home and trusted the Lord at a very young age for salvation, I just couldn’t seem to get control of my eating. Even as a type-A stereotypical ‘control freak,’ I couldn’t get a hold of the only thing that I could truly control… myself.

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Sara Ward

Sara Ward

I love how Carole Lewis says, “If you want to lose weight, start on your knees.” Over the last year, that saying rings true in my life. I grew up in a large Christian family where we all played sports and ate healthy. Growing up in a family where they encouraged me to eat healthy, I never worried about my weight. I was very active and enjoyed being the perfect weight for my age.  It wasn’t until the summer of 2007, that things in my life began to be more than I could handle. During this time, there were a lot of changes going on in my life; unhealthy relationships where I felt utterly alone and very scared.  I was mad at God for allowing this to happen. Some of those things were: my best friend moved away, my boyfriend at the time was very verbally abusive to me, I

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Ruth Alderman

Ruth Alderman

Gradually, the weight began to come off and after eighteen months, I had lost 90 pounds. In years past, I joined and participated in every First Place 4 Health class available, along with many other weight loss programs offered in my community. At the completion of each program, the result was the same. I weighed more at the end than when I began. In the final analysis, any pounds lost were soon regained, plus a few extra. What I was doing to my body was starting to take a toll. The visits to my physician were more frequent and two serious problems emerged. My blood pressure and cholesterol was consistently high. For the first time in my life, I was taking prescription drugs on a regular basis. It did not take long for me to realize that being overweight was contributing to my health problems. Eating too much was no

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Rossanne Day

Rossanne Day

“My hopelessness has been replaced with hope.” My story is about a never ending hunger, a need that I had for over 40 years prior to finding the First Place 4 Health program in early 2010. I am a workaholic, control freak, perfectionist and food lover. Is there anyone reading this that can relate? I can remember my first embarrassing weigh-in experience. I was about 12 years old and we had to weigh at school. Our weights were announced, as we got on the scale for all to hear.  I was 5’2” and weighed 120 pounds, while the other girls were all less than 100 pounds.  Shortly after that, my first diet was grapefruit, boiled egg and black coffee for 2 weeks. I lost 10 pounds, but then gained 15 pounds over the next month. The vicious cycle of the next 40 years had begun. I tried Atkins, diet pills, shots, Medifast, South Beach—you name it,

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Rev. Jason A. Stevens – Pastor

Rev. Jason A. Stevens - Pastor

Most of my life I have struggled with a weight problem. I guess you could say that I was born wearing husky diapers. Most of my life I have struggled with a weight problem. I guess you could say that I was born wearing husky diapers. I always knew that I had a food addiction, but I just wasn’t sure how to go about making the necessary changes in my life. I probably tried about every diet you can imagine, but all to no avail. Time after time, I would once again give in to my food addictions. Just over two years ago, I was called to serve as the pastor of a wonderful church, Church of the Nazarene, in Waynesville, MO. The Church of the Nazarene is a holiness church. Throughout the years, as a church, we have been very outspoken against things like smoking and drinking. We’ve pointed

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