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Mary Kloek

I began First Place for Health when a friend invited me to attend a meeting. My before picture shows a happy face having fun with my granddaughter at the lake, but I was not very happy on the inside. I had no peace about my need to be responsible in caring for my body, God’s Holy Temple. I felt like I was out of control with health issues, and disappointed that I was entering retirement in poor physical condition.

My husband has always lived a healthy, active lifestyle. I was concerned that in retirement I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him and enjoy our days together. I suffered backaches, low energy and painful joints from the weight I carried and depression from my inabilities. I feared the physical threat of cancer, because my sister died of cancer at age fifty. I also was threatened with potential diabetes, heart issues and blood pressure problems, which a weight change could reverse. I had difficulty finding an insurance to cover me due to obesity. Yes, my life was out of control health wise.

I began to work the First Place 4 Health program as best I could and eventually lost 85 pounds. More important than the weight loss was the benefits I reaped physically with reversing the ill effects of overeating. All my blood pressure numbers became healthy, and the aches and pains disappeared after the weight loss. It is hard to believe that I chose to overeat, carry that extra weight and suffer the consequences, but that is the truth of my old lifestyle. Emotionally, the burden of guilt and condemnation lifted after I became healthy.  I acquired peace with my Lord as I learned to walk obediently, and my happiness and confidence level has soared. God has set me free to become more of the person He designed for me.

I attended my First Place 4 Health group at a neighborhood church for six years. During the last year, God gave me a heart to share my new-found freedom by starting a new group at my church. I was concerned that the busyness of organizing a new group would detour me from the need to lose my last 10 pounds, but the opposite became true. The responsibility of leading my own group has challenged and motivated me to continue my weight-loss process. In 2012, the 28 members concluded our first session with a total group weight loss of 270 pounds. As we now conclude our second session, our group total is 220 pounds.

What an amazing God we worship to share healing and transformation with His children who choose to walk in His will! My life has been greatly enriched by First Place 4 Health, which has aided in a transformed lifestyle for me. As I continue to work on losing my last pounds, I have confidence that He will bring me to my goal weight and a healthy maintenance. Philippians 1:6 says, “I am confident of this, He who began a good work within me will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

In the last picture of me in the big chair, I like to tell our new people, “I lost so much weight that now we need to purchase new furniture.”

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