I never really thought about having a “success” story. I have been on my First Place journey since 2003. I started at 214lbs. In 2002, our oldest son gave us a 2-year warning that he was going to marry his high school sweetheart. I thanked him for giving me 2 years to lose weight. I was 44, overweight and felt frumpy. I could see myself in those many wedding pictures.
I didn’t want my son or any of the rest of the family to be ashamed of me. I wanted to hear people say, “You look too young to have a son getting married!” Just at the right time I saw an advertisement for FP4H in a magazine, I felt as if I was being handed a lifeline. I am not one of those people that started this program, and that program only to succeed, fail, succeed, fail. I just didn’t start any at all. I was sad, ashamed, depressed. I really wanted to be invisible and hoped no one would ever call attention to me.
Then came the dressing room incident, trying on pants, the dreaded task, I did something I had not done in years, and I used the mirror to turn around see how the pants looked from behind, and saw the SIZE of my behind!! I was horrified. I was shocked, I was so embarrassed by myself in that dressing room, thinking…how can I leave looking like this?
It occurred to me that everyone else already knew what I looked like from behind. To say I was in denial, couldn’t be a truer statement. I felt like I was the last to know how far my weight had gotten out of hand. So, I started FP4H for all the wrong reasons, a child’s wedding and the approval of others. But, I started.
I was so sure that God had provided me the information about FP4H at the exact time I needed it, that there was no way I was not going to jump on board. There were no groups available in my area. My determination or desperation, or both, steered me to start a group. As much as I felt I was heading into unchartered territory for me, I felt such a peace and confidence knowing this was not about me, this was God’s work happening around me, and I couldn’t wait to see what He was going to do. Not only in me, but, among the participants.
I truly felt honored that God would pick me, to serve Him, using my biggest weakness, my weight, to serve others. Starting out as a leader, at my lowest point, I had no option but to completely let God lead and to trust in His faithfulness to me and those He entrusted to me on their health journey. So, we rolled together through one session, then another and another. For seven years!
I lost 50 pounds before my son’s wedding. The unexpectedly blessing was how my relationship with the Lord changed, and how I changed personally. My most pleaded prayer was that others would see less of me, and more of Thee!!
The Lord began to mold me into a person that I didn’t recognize, and not just on the scale, I started to like myself. I was changing. It was more important to me to please Him, than those in the world.
This is where my failure came. Once I started getting compliments, the sizes of my clothes changed, I became confident. When I hit a magic number “-50” I felt like I had arrived! Woo hoo, I did it!
I settled. I became satisfied. I looked better. I felt better and there I stopped for many years. I pretty much carried that number like a trophy. The more satisfied I became with the number, the less invested I was in the program. After the deaths of all of our parents, in a short 15-months time frame, I was spent. I took a leave from leading and participating in the FP4H program.
My weight started to creep up….5, 8, 10…15…20…pounds. I knew if I didn’t act, it would all come back, so I started attending Wellness Week. You can’t help but come home recharged and ready to go. In 2017, the day before I went to Wellness Week, I figured out what our financial investment had been for me to attend WW for the past five years. It was enough to make me realize that last year had to be my last year, unless I could come home this time saying, I am “All In”. Which I did.
It takes a little longer for the weight to come off at 60 vs 44. That weight has come off and then some, I am now at a 60-pound loss, and I know we are not done. That is why my pictures are “before” and “during”, during the journey, I am not at the finish line yet. I am coming around the bend!
I praise the Lord every morning before I get out of bed. I thank Him that my body continues to do what I ask it to, it may go a little slower, it may take a little longer to recover, joints might make a little noise but that is OK. I am happy to be along for the ride the Lord and I are on. I ask the Lord to show me things, where I need to change, how can I serve, help me to show compassion, show me what a life of giving you all the Glory looks like. I am ready!