A-B-C’s of Better Together…C

For the last couple of months, I have written about why we are better together because of being involved in a First Place 4 Health class.  I called this series the “ABC’s of being Better Together.”

In January, I wrote about Accountability.  In February, I wrote about Belonging. This month I will finish the series by writing about Commitment.  If you didn’t read the first two articles, you can find them in our e-newsletter archives.

Commitment is something that is hard to pin down and we usually think about it as a singular activity—I make the commitment and then I carry out the commitment.  So how does the word “commitment” fit with why we are better together?

Recently, I was in Sacramento, CA, for a Hope 4 You Conference and talked to many First Place 4 Health people.  I would like to tell you that I heard some new stories, but that is just not the case.  I hear the same kinds of stories everywhere I go and they all center around the word “commitment.”

Jessica Tanihana gave her testimony at the event and she is a living, breathing testimony to the word commitment!  Jessica has lost over 80 pounds and is at her weight goal.  She has taken up walking, running, biking and swimming and has finished a Triathlon.  Jessica leads a FP4H group and is heading up a 5k race in the near future.  She has plans to ride from Seattle to Washington, D.C. this summer for the “Big Ride Across America” to raise funds and awareness for the American Lung Association’s critical research, education and advocacy programs. Jessica has made a commitment to wellness for the rest of her life and she is walking out that commitment every day.  Even though Jessica has had success in the “physical” part of the program, she needs the group for encouragement in every area.  See Jessica’s First Place 4 Health story at http://www.firstplace4health.com/stories/109/jessica_tanihana

I met another lady who confessed to me that she is not filling out her Tracker, having her quiet time, or exercising and that she is doing her Bible study the night before her meeting.  When she told me that she is the leader of her First Place 4 Health group, I asked how the group was doing and she said, “not very well.”  We are better together when the leader is doing the program and inspiring her group to follow her example.  Everything rises and falls on leadership.  When the leader is not committed, the group follows the leader’s lead.

Another lady shared with me that her group was a “rogue” group.  When I asked her what that meant, she said that her people couldn’t afford the Member Kit so her church bought a Group Starter Kit for the leader to use and she teaches the group.  She shared that they started out with 20 people, but it has dwindled down to the same five attending weekly, mainly for the Bible study.  She asked what I would suggest she do as the leader?  I had two suggestions;

  1. Start a new group at a different day and time and do it right. Everyone is required to buy a Member Kit and a Bible study.  After the first session, they will only need to buy a Bible study.  When this happens, new people will be drawn to a group using the entire FP4H program.  People who really want to lose weight need all the materials.  We really are better together when we commit to purchasing what we need for success.
  2. Go back and talk to her present group and share that the reason they are not doing well is that they lack the tools needed to succeed.  I suggested that they close out the present group and that the ladies save $5.00 per week (by not eating out) until they have the money to buy the Member Kit.

When we join a FP4H class and invest in the Member Kit and Bible study, we are making a commitment not only to ourselves, but to the group.  We all have everything we need to succeed and as we meet together, we can all read and learn together as a group.  We are truly better together.


Carole Lewis

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