Success Stories

Vicki Linstrom

Vicki Linstrom

I began my First Place 4 Health journey in 2012. Our church offered a Christ-centered weight loss program as a small group. I thought it was just what I needed. I had tried to lose weight for years. I started my weight loss journey at the age of 12, when I was 103 lbs. A well-meaning family member told me I was putting on some weight. I had tried so many different diets: low fat, no sugar, one food, specific foods on specific days, and low calories. I even tried some diet aids, one of which was like a caramel that you were supposed to eat and then drink a warm glass of water. I ate the whole box. No matter what the diet, the results were similar–no loss at all or a loss followed by a gain. When the Ridge offered a weight-loss program that was faith-based, I signed

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Twila Tillman

Twila Tillman

“I give God all the glory because without His help, I could never have done it.” Before First Place 4 Health, I had health problems. My mother had adult-onset diabetes, and I did not want to go through what she did. I was over the 40 mark and knew I had to do something. FP4H had formed in my church, and I didn’t join in the beginning. I thought I could lose the weight on my own; however, I had lost weight twice before and it all came back.  I began to see the change in the women’s lives that were in FP4H and decided this was something I wanted to try. After being in the class for almost half a session, I wanted to help—I have been a co-leader since then.  I do the nutrition part. My walk with God is so much closer. I’m now at goal weight.

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Tim Fast

Tim Fast

I have lost 70 pounds and I feel great. I no longer get winded going up stairs; my blood pressure is now in a normal range; my cholesterol is fifty points lower, and my resting heart rate has dropped 12 beats per minute. I am in better shape now than I have been in twenty-five years. It began on a Saturday in April 2005. I was in the kitchen and noticed the church paper was open to the First Place section. My wife had been trying to get me to lose weight for some time, so I jokingly said that if she wanted to join First Place I would join with her. The next day we were at a First Place orientation meeting and signing up to start the next session. I weighed 285 pounds but was in good health, so I did not see the need to lose weight.

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Tammy Mutter

Tammy Mutter

My name is Tammy Mutter and I’m 41 years old. I’m writing you from inside prison in Gatesville, Texas, at the Lane Murray Unit. Here’s my story for the glory of God. I grew up an overweight child; I still remember the feelings of rejection and never fitting in with the rest of the kids.  The fear of rejection and not fitting in followed me into adulthood.  I was in a hurry to grow up; I guess it was to escape the sexual abuse from the male members of my family.  So at the age of 12, I was on my own and making my own choices.  I made a lot of foolish choices and ended up with a horrible addiction to crack-cocaine.  Being on drugs was the only time my body was small and it was only temporary because when I wasn’t using drugs, I always gained the weight

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Tamara Fisher

Tamara Fisher

Weight no longer defines me. In the past, I felt like even if I was a good mother, friend, or sister… I was still the fat mother, fat friend, or fat sister. Now I’m just Tamara. Would you think you could lose 12 dress sizes and 140 pounds in a little over a year? If you answered “no,” then you probably feel the same way I did when I started First Place in January 2004. At that time, I was wearing a size 28 and weighed 290 pounds. I had been overweight my whole life, starting at about the age of 10 and gradually increasing to my highest weight of 320 pounds when I got married. I was skeptical from the beginning, but felt that I was running out of options.  The way I saw it, I could try First Place, undergo surgery, or get even fatter.  I decided to

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Sherry Bell

Sherry Bell

First Place 4 Health literally saved my life at 320 pounds. In my FP4H support group, I was prayed for, held accountable, loved by people struggling just like me… As a prodigal, I was invited to church and read about First Place 4 Health in the Sunday bulletin. I was on an arduous, desperate roller coaster ride for over 20 years. Food was my idol, drug of choice, and my comforter as a food addict and emotional eater. I felt a sense of entitlement to binge. After all, it was my body. Living in the bondage of shackles, shame, and denial, I never in my wildest dreams ever imagined that I could succeed in winning this demonic battle. As a nutrition major, I was a poor example of a health professional, knowing how to purchase and prepare healthy food. However, what I learned most, is that this battle belonged to the Lord, and not to me. First Place 4 Health literally saved my

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Sherrie Carroll

Sherrie Carroll

I never really thought about having a “success” story. I have been on my First Place journey since 2003. I started at 214lbs. In 2002, our oldest son gave us a 2-year warning that he was going to marry his high school sweetheart. I thanked him for giving me 2 years to lose weight. I was 44, overweight and felt frumpy. I could see myself in those many wedding pictures. I didn’t want my son or any of the rest of the family to be ashamed of me. I wanted to hear people say, “You look too young to have a son getting married!” Just at the right time I saw an advertisement for FP4H in a magazine, I felt as if I was being handed a lifeline. I am not one of those people that started this program, and that program only to succeed, fail, succeed, fail. I just

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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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