Success Stories

Kim Waters

Kim Waters

A sudden career change and, all the emotions that came with it, sent me into a downward spiral health wise.  I kept up with my exercise, but my spiritual and health walk deteriorated.  I gained weight—I didn’t care about anything health wise, and I wasn’t too sure about myself or why God had allowed me to lose my job in the recreation ministry like He did.  I couldn’t even go over to the gym because of the hurt. I was excelling at my new position.  I was loving the senior adults and they were loving me.  At the end of 2007, the senior adult minister (one of my two bosses) decided to retire.  I held down the fort, so to speak, for a month waiting to hear who Pastor had hired as my new boss.  Then in January 2008, Pastor Ted called me in his office and asked me to

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Kevin Fisher

Kevin Fisher

Like many, I was in great shape when I got married. My bride, Tamara, had struggled with her weight from an early age, but I just knew I could change her and I tried. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before life changes caught up with me and I would steadily gain weight, up to my highest of 290 pounds, joining Tamara at her highest of 320 pounds. As a former athlete, I thought the “eat less, work more” formula was all that was required to bring balance into our lives. However, after countless attempts with popular weight loss diets and a few of our own, we mutually gave up on weight loss. That was until Tamara discovered First Place 4 Health and committed to attending an orientation at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, TX. When the day of the meeting arrived, Tamara had many excuses (including me) not to attend and

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Ken Hodgson

In December 2014, I was going to try once again to lose weight. My health wasn’t great—I was overweight with a new high for me at 284 pound. I had high blood pressure, severe sleep apnea, little energy, and had just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I was heading for trouble, as my health deteriorated, and I knew it. I’ve been overweight my entire adult life and the task of getting healthy seemed overwhelming. I attempted to lose weight several times and was successful on occasion, but never successful at keeping the pounds off. Like so many, when the pounds came back, I ended up heavier than I started. I knew I needed to do something different; so I brought my problem to God for the first time and asked for His help. I thought my weight issue was my problem alone and I shouldn’t be taking the issue to

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Keeli O’Cain

Keeli O'Cain

When I heard about First Place 4 Health, I just knew that this would be my “get skinny quick” fix. After a few meetings, I realized that there is much more to this lifestyle change than losing weight. As the session progressed and I started surrendering first place in my life to Christ, other things starting falling into place. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I did not and still don’t do anything perfect, but I have learned that God isn’t looking for perfection. Each day that I do my best and live my life for His glory, He richly blesses me. You see, there is only one perfect man and he is no longer in a fleshly, human body. I was shocked to realize that He didn’t expect me to be perfect. I quickly realized that God had a plan for my life that I had not been following. All of

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Kathy Hickey

Kathy Hickey

Update to my story — I “accidentally” got into my recent online First Place for Health group! I went to the First Place for Health Wellness Week in Round Top, Texas, last October because I needed a place to retreat while I wrote a book to pass on to my children. To be polite, I attended my assigned small group (shout out to Vicki’s Heath’s small group). I was floored when people in the group began talking about their online classes. I didn’t even know there WERE online groups! They encouraged me to enroll, and ten weeks ago, I did. Studying the Beyond Free Bible study in Gladys Stefany’s Zoom group has meant the world to me! I can’t imagine how I would have coped staying home all the time without the structure and encouragement of First Place for Health. I’ve always eaten compulsively during times of stress or grief,

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Karrie Smyth

Karrie Smyth

By September 2002, I had lost more than 35 pounds and my new body was a mere bonus compared to the intimacy I had found with the Lord. My family loves to eat! Whether happy or sad, if we’re together, you can bet food is there. For the first 30 years of my life, I did not realize that I had a problem with food. I was active enough to compensate for what I ate. But after having two children, I found myself incapable of losing the weight I had put on. I tried a number of different diets with little success. I knew what to do, but couldn’t seem to do it. With the pressures of work, being a wife, mother, and daughter as my Dad was dying of cancer, life was out of control and so was my eating. In the spring of 2002, during a simulcast, Carole

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Karen Arnett

At one time I had great difficulty just standing in the back of a room and talking. Now I am a First Place leader and I give my testimony at local churches. It is amazing what God has done in my life. When I was four years old, I went to live with my grandparents for a few months. When my parents came to get me, they hardly recognized me. My grandmother had fed me very well. Although I was a very active child, I remained overweight. Looking back, I know I mostly overate from boredom. Diets wouldn’t work because I used food to keep me busy, to comfort me and to push down any anxiety that I had. It wasn’t until I found First Place that I came to realize that only God could truly help me. Only by committing all of my life to Him and disciplining myself

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Justine Poplaski

Justine Poplaski

I remind myself that food cannot solve my problems, but only add to them. I believe I finally understand this program. I started First Place 4 Health in 2004, and lost 20 lbs. the first 12-week session. I did not stay with the program and about a year later, I gained the weight back. I was not as successful the second time I tried it. It seemed at that time the focus was on the food, rather than why we ate. The third and forth time I did the program was in 2005 and 2006—again not with a lot of success. I felt like such a loser, because I was unable to get rid of the weight again. I never stayed with FP4H a full consecutive year, but participated in about four 12-week sessions over three years. I am so grateful to God that He did not give up on

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Joyce Ainsworth

Joyce Ainsworth

The most important thing I have gained is Freedom from the bondage of overeating. I am no longer enslaved to the power of food. People say a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree! A picture also reveals truth, just like the scales do. That is probably why I never really liked having my picture made! I have avoided the truth, like so many of us have a tendency to do. I hear so many people say I want to be small again or the size I was back when, but the truth is I have always been big. All my life.  My Family Heritage has been that we are all big. I have never known anything else. I like so many others have used all the excuses in the book of why being overweight is acceptable and for me unavoidable. A lie I told myself for way to

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Joy Bianchi

I have lost 81 pounds in the last 14 months with First Place 4 Health. I have struggled with weight all of my life, probably like many of you. I can remember the first time I ever realized that I was fat; I was eight or ten, and our family doctor told my mother that I was a little “husky.” I really never lived that one down. In a way, it may have been just one of the first self-fulfilling prophesies that I would choose to believe. Like many of you, I have experimented with a lot of different “diets” that worked temporarily or didn’t work at all. I have tried programs that called my eating “an addiction” or classified it as a disease. I joined the “no-carb” craze for a bit, and have even tried various “natural” and not-so-natural remedies in a pill. About one year into the First

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