Patrick S. Thayer

Patrick S. Thayer

I began walking for exercise. In the beginning, I had a hard time just walking up stairs without losing my breath.

My main stumbling block in life has always been my excess weight. I had started a diet many times in the past, and I did lose weight. But within a short time, I would gain all of the weight back, plus more.

All of that yo-yo dieting took a toll on my health. I had high blood pressure, a hiatal hernia, sleep apnea and high cholesterol. I was taking five prescription medications a day. So, at the age of 50, in January 2006, I decided to go to a Bible study weight-loss class at my church. This was my introduction to First Place 4 Health.

I soon found that it was not just a diet plan, but also a Live It plan. We put Christ first in our lives, including what we ate. We also trusted in Him to help us with our physical activity. That year, with God’s help, I was able to lose more than 100 pounds.

When I began walking for exercise, I had a hard time just walking up stairs without losing my breath. Then I started going to the YMCA to walk on a treadmill. My goal was one mile, but that was a 20-minute struggle for me. My knees would hurt, mostly because of being overweight and having past knee surgeries in which all of the cartilage had been removed from my left knee and half removed from the right knee.

Within the first year of beginning my exercise routine, I slowly increased to four miles in less than an hour on the treadmill. I also began working out with the exercise machines four to five days a week. Losing the weight and exercising helped me feel great. By depending on Christ’s strength daily, my days began at the YMCA at 5:00 AM.  Getting up this early to exercise was a struggle that I battled with prayer. To this day I pray for Christ’s strength to get me out of bed and to the YMCA each morning.

I also pray every day that God will help me in my food choices. I am a foodaholic. I need God’s help every day to make the best food choices for meals and snacks. It’s not possible to just avoid food; we need it daily to survive. So the temptation to overeat and choose the right foods is a constant battle.

In December 2006, a friend challenged me to complete a marathon. That’s impossible, I thought to myself. But I bought and read a book titled Marathoning for Mortals. With God’s help and the book’s training plan, I began my plans to run in the Flying Pig Marathon in May 2007. With prayer and God’s help in training, I completed that first marathon. Since then, I have completed a total of eight marathons. I thank God, my friends and family, the First Place 4 Health program and the YMCA for helping me change my life.

Thanks be to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He continues to be my daily help.

Story taken from Live Life, Right Here Right Now!  To order, or call 800.727.5223, x1002.