Feeding on God’s Word and Losing Weight

May 01, 2010 | Teresa Joy

A small group at the Bellevue (Wash.) Church is learning to "live it" instead of "die-t."

Each Wednesday evening, eight to 10 women (with some participants from other denominations) meet for "First Place 4 Health." The nationally recognized small-group curriculum is a Christ-centered weight-loss and healthy-living program featuring Bible study, accountability, a food plan with a diary and exercise at least three times a week.

"The goal is spiritual growth first with weight loss as a side benefit," says Ruth Lemus, class participant. Lemus struggled with a weight problem for most of her life and eventually gave up because she had no motivation remaining.

Since joining the class a year ago, Lemus has lost 25 pounds and says, "It's the first time I've had total success relying on God instead of myself or some preplanned-diet program. I stayed focused on God and let Him do all the work. I feel like a brand-new person on the outside, and God is still working on the person inside."

Ceci Hansen, another class participant, had limited success with various weight-loss programs before joining the class last year. "First Place is so much more effective because the emphasis is not on me, the food, or counting points and potato chips — it's on Christ," says Hansen, who lost 20 pounds. "That's what makes the difference."