Nothing Worthwhile Happens Quickly


Today is a happy one for me!  Forty nine years ago today I married my precious husband, Johnny. When I look back on all these years, it seems like such a short time since we were teenagers in love.  As I reflect on all the memories we share and all the monumental events we have gone through together, I realize that we have crammed a whole lot of livin’ into these 49 years. We had our three children in less than four years so we were changing diapers for a full six years without a break. Lisa was born in 1960, Shari in 1962, and John in 1963. Three toddlers, three grade schoolers, three teenagers, and all three left the nest in a little more than a one-year period.

We have shared joyous times, such as the weddings of our children and the births of our grandchildren. We have also shared sad times, like the passing of our parents, Johnny’s diagnosis of stage 4 prostate cancer in 1997, and the death of our daughter, Shari, in 2001. We have lived to tell about a fire and flood in our home.  Bankruptcy and the loss of everything except our home was a devastating time, but we went through it together.

All in all, this is a journey I wouldn’t have wanted to make with anyone else but Johnny. He is truly the best friend I have in all the world and the love of my life.

Of course, you know that I relate absolutely everything to the First Place 4 Health experience, so indulge me as I compare marriage with our program.

            Nothing Worthwhile Happens Quickly. 

Just as a great marriage takes years, so does a true lifestyle change. Since FP4H is a total lifestyle program, it will probably take years (at least it has for me) to experience changes in all four areas.

    Quitting Is Not An Option. 

I only had one sibling and she divorced and had two little boys to raise. My sister was seven years older than me and I saw how hard it was for her. She told me one day, “If I had known how hard it was going to be, I would have tried much harder to make my marriage work.”  Because of seeing how my sister struggled, I went into marriage knowing that divorce was not an option for me. Murder, maybe; divorce, never!

In FP4H, success is found in the process, not in a program. God may work in the emotional or spiritual area first, but rest assured, weight loss will not be forgotten by our God. In marriage, if we are determined to stick it out and not quit, God honors our determination and heals our marriages as we learn to give Him first place in those hard areas.

     Everything Is Easier When Shared. 

The absolute best part of being married is having someone with whom to share your life. In FP4H we make the best friends in the world…lifetime friends who cheer us on when we succeed and who cheer us on when we struggle.  As I’ve always said, FP4H people are the absolute best in the world!

The New First Place 4 Health Blog
We’re happy to announce that First Place 4 Health now has an active blog or web journal.  The blog will be a source of information regarding events, a place to display pictures and tell stories, as well as a place for you to interact with the staff and fellow First Place 4 Health members all over the world!  The web address is  At the end of each post or blog entry, there is a link to a page where you can make comments.  Please don’t be shy – we are so excited to get a blog community going!  Just click the comments link, type your comment in the space provided, enter your name, and click “publish your comment.”  It’s very easy and lots of fun!
Blessings to you,

Carole Lewis
First Place National Director

Carole was a member of the original First Place group that began in 1981, and became the national director of the program in 1987.

When Carole attended the First Place orientation in March of 1981, she eagerly anticipated what God might want to do in her life. She had recently seen an old friend that looked great and who reminded her that they were soon approaching 40 years old. Carole determined she did not want to be “fat and 40.” She joined First Place and soon lost 20 pounds. Learning how to bring balance to her life, she became a First Place leader to motivate others to achieve this goal.

Carole is a popular speaker and author of the books, Choosing to Change, First Place, Today Is the First Day, Back on Track and Begin Again. Carole regularly leads Conferences, FOCUS Weeks, Workshops and seminars across the country in the areas of personal balance, fitness, encouragement and temperament analysis. Her audiences know her as warm, honest and humorous.