Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Diet groups and Christian weight control groups and do they work, well they don’t start with Die -et and there are no guilt trips or being a piggy in the pen if you have put on weight. We look at the difference between emotional eating and gluttony and the food plan is balanced, their not about fleshy self – control but The Lords self- control in our lives and He works!Christian Weight Control Groups which were later called Heavenly Lights and also included one to one help both in person and over the phone, were a very special part of my Ministry to woman for over 20 years. I asked Joy who was one of my Leaders with these groups, to share her experiences both with loosing weight and with leading the groups in her home. Joy who is a very dear friend of mine with a big heart, is now a Chaplin in the Hospitals where she lives, she has had treatment for life threatening Cancer which at the time the Doctors did not expect her to recover from but she now gives thanks to God for her continued good health. Joy’s honesty, compassion and faithfulness have uplifted, encouraged and blessed many people. Without hesitation Joy agreed to take on the role of one of my Leaders knowing the need for woman to experience the freedom of feeling that they are people of worth regardless of their outward appearance and also learning to have control of what they fear is out of control, their eating. Joy had a wonderful Ministry as she trusted in the Lord to lead and equip her to help many woman in all walks of life.Thank you Joy for the Blessing you are to me and for always being there when I needed to share the many ups and downs that life brings and for being willing to share yours.
Joy’s Story…..My Name is Joy and I’m a very good friend of Anne, I joined her Christian Weight Control Workshop in 1991, my Pastor’s wife who had attended Anne’s group encouraged me to go too, she was very successful as were the others in her group and they all looked fabulous but I had to wait for the current group to end along with some other women who were wanting to attend the groups with the hope of losing unwanted weight but finally with 5 other Christian friends from where I lived we traveled once per week some 25kl at night to be apart of this amazing weight control workshop. We wanted to look “fabulous” too and feel it !!! We were in a group of 12-15 women from all walks of life and for 12 weeks we became very committed to attend and do the task. Anne kept us focused and on track, she has always had passion in her Ministries with woman and in sharing her Testimony of our God of Love and as she often says God of the impossible too . All of the woman on Anne’s programme with me lost weight and gained support, strength and love and respect for themselves. The Nutritional programme by The Health Department, is one that also gives us very healthy eating, is well balanced and very manageable.I made the commitment on the 2nd night to trust my Lord and Saviour in my weight loss and placed myself in His hands and from then on committed every moment and day to His strength to get me through. It was tough some times but when I gave it over to God He made it easy for me. I talked to Him often and every time I thought of wanting to eat something out of balance which would hinder my weight loss, I trusted Him and He gave me strength. My total loss at the time was 33 kilos. “Amazing”. I also faced my reasons for my weight gain and my insecurities.Anne asked me if I would become one of her leaders, she did have other Leaders all around N.S.W and many hundreds of woman attending these groups but where I lived there were quiet a few women wanting to do the 12 week course, which could be repeated if wanted. I agreed and in the comfort and safety of my home from 1992 – 2006 with God’s guidance I led over 400 women to become healthier and happier with the added bonus of losing weight. They were women from all walks of life –such as Minister’s wives, Nuns, women in the high power work force, young single women, married women with children, divorced women and widows etc. The list can go on and on. They came from many areas of Sydney, Christian and Non -Christian.We would start with privately and confidentially weighing in, which was at times very emotional and with lots of excitement but never guilt for putting on weight and then after as a group we encouraged each other, Anne had warm fussies in her groups which were fun, we didn’t know till later who thought we were so special. After encouragement time, we looked into God’s word and were encouraged again as The Lord made things clearer to us, we then took time to discuss our bodies and it’s Nutritional needs. I made up various recipes that Anne created for us to enjoy during the week, so we could try them as we had a cuppa and chat together.After the break we would have Bible meditation and relaxation and this was the time that woman in the group would unburden themselves of what was to them emotional baggage. Many tears would fall, Nobody planned to discuss their problems but our Precious Lord and Saviour gave the freedom to let it all out. Those with substantial weight problems were usually victims of rape, sexual and other mental and physical abuse, abandonment and great loss, some up been bullied, and others were divorced and all these plus more were the reasons they overate. These woman and others were eating to satisfy their emotions, anger, frustrations, fears and, loneliness and some in knowing that being overweight meant that others often did not find them attractive or sexually companionable, they found some would get out of their way and avoid sitting next to them and they made it noticeable, others scoffed at them and called them names, so that gave fuel to their emotions to eat more, as so once again they felt unwanted and unloved.These emotions are very deep seated and not easily dealt with. They are taken on board and thrust deep down in our being and the more heaped on the further the hurts are buried within our emotions and a big band aid is put on the top and sealed securely with the sign “Do not Remove”. From little children into teens to adults these feelings dominate our every moment of our days and although on the outside we are “jolly” and “happy” but we are constantly reminded of what we look like a “fatty” People would ask “should you be eating that” aren’t you dieting etc, some of us were accused of sinning by those who had little understanding of the real issues.Liking yourself is very hard when others delight in putting you down and then it is easy to give in and accept that they must be right. Trying to stand up to them having no confidence in yourself is too much to bear and so you are back on the merry-go-round.In doing the groups, God helped me find myself, who I am and my worth to Him and I no longer let people put me down. I stand tall with Christ’s strength. My weight is no longer the problem it was, I’m no longer obsessive about it or have fear what others may say, they no longer cause me to feel I’m unworthy in anyway.I’m reminded by God that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139: v 14. And yes I certainly praise my God for that. He has brought me through many trials and I count them Joy knowing He was with me and gave me the strength I needed not to give up and I know that at the end of my mortal life I will have Life Eternal with Jesus my Lord and Saviour, AMENThank you Joy for sharing, may you be greatly blessed as you continue in the freedom The Lord has given you and as you Minister to those who are hurting in your role as Chaplin in the Hospitals where you live.Christian Love from both of us – Anne.