I have lost 70 pounds and I feel great. I no longer get winded going up stairs; my blood pressure is now in a normal range; my cholesterol is fifty points lower, and my resting heart rate has dropped 12 beats per minute. I am in better shape now than I have been in twenty-five years.
It began on a Saturday in April 2005. I was in the kitchen and noticed the church paper was open to the First Place section. My wife had been trying to get me to lose weight for some time, so I jokingly said that if she wanted to join First Place I would join with her. The next day we were at a First Place orientation meeting and signing up to start the next session. I weighed 285 pounds but was in good health, so I did not see the need to lose weight. I figured I could go and support my wife and maybe drop a few pounds myself.
What has happened over the next twelve months has been nothing short of incredible. I have lost 70 pounds and I feel great. I no longer get winded going up stairs; my blood pressure is now in a normal range; my cholesterol is fifty points lower, and my resting heart rate has dropped 12 beats per minute. I am in better shape now than I have been in twenty-five years. The impact of how much weight I have lost really hit me one day while I was carrying a bag of cement on my shoulder. I was thinking how heavy it was and that it sure was not easy to walk with the extra weight. Then it hit me that the cement only weighed a few pounds more than the amount of weight I had lost over the previous twelve months. What an eye opener! These are all real positive things and would make joining First Place a great experience on their own. However, the real benefits of joining First Place have come in other areas of my life.
My wife and I walk almost every evening and have a chance to really talk to each other. It has given us the opportunity to become reacquainted after raising two sons. I have been reminded what a wonderful woman she is. We have made some very good friends in our First Place class and look forward to seeing them each week. We have memorized scripture that will stay with us the rest of our lives and the weekly Bible studies are great.
I thank God for the First Place program and give him all of the credit for the changes made in my life. It is true that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.