Ruth Alderman

Ruth Alderman

In years past, I joined and participated in every First Place for Health class available, along with many other weight loss programs offered in my community. At the completion of each program, the result was the same. I weighed more at the end than when I began. In the final analysis, any pounds lost were soon regained, plus a few extra. What I was doing to my body was starting to take a toll.

The visits to my physician were more frequent and two serious problems emerged. My blood pressure and cholesterol was consistently high. For the first time in my life, I was taking prescription drugs on a regular basis. It did not take long for me to realize that being overweight was contributing to my health problems. Eating too much was no longer a matter of self-esteem or self-confidence, it was a matter of whether I wanted to enjoy good health.

The break in the chain of failure occurred when I observed my precious daughter-in-law losing and maintaining her weight. I knew she was practicing all of the principles she learned through the First Place for Health program. Knowing that I needed to do something, I reluctantly decided to join FP4H for what seemed to be the hundredth time. The real difference this go-around was a strong desire to succeed and the confidence to stay on track.

As the weeks went by, I started to develop more confidence that I could reach my goal. I firmly believed that God was intervening on my behalf. I faithfully attended each session. My determination increased with the help of close friendships, prayer partners and God’s Word.  Gradually, the weight began to come off and after eighteen months, I had lost 90 pounds. With the weight loss and regular exercise, I was feeling my best. The doctor visits became less frequent and finally, the physician indicated that prescription drugs for high blood pressure and cholesterol were no longer necessary. I had truly reached my goal.

With some healthy nutritional habits established and daily exercise, I had no problem maintaining my weight, but I noticed my midriff and abdomen were not showing results or toning from the physical exercise like the rest of my body. During one session, I felt a pain as though a muscle had been strained in the abdominal region. The pain lingered for several weeks and would not go away. A CT Scan revealed a ten-inch tumor and surgery was scheduled the following week, with the expectation the tumor was a fibrous growth and I shouldn’t be concerned.  After the surgery, I was told the tumor was malignant and I had ovarian cancer.  Had I not lost the weight, I am convinced the tumor would not have been discovered early. I never thought nutrition was so important. Today, my focus and attention is clearly on the Scriptures as I cling to God’s promises. My loving family and friends are constantly praying and fasting in expectation of a miracle. A prayer web page is established and over 400 people have signed on, most of the names I do not recognize.

In my current circumstance, God is teaching me to submit and trust Him, whether it pertains to my eating habits or other areas of my life. No matter what this journey yields, I will praise and glorify God.  One thing I have to share with everyone who hears my story, please take charge of your health. When you have your annual physical exam, insist on the blood test that can screen for ovarian cancer. People in the medical profession are gifts from God, but remember that our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ.