My Experience with First Place for Health: a Christian-based Healthly Living Program That Helped Me Lose Weight
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My Experience with First Place for Health: a Christian-based Healthly Living Program That Helped Me Lose Weight

Healthy eating and exercise habits in a Christian based format

First Place for Health is different that any program I've ever tried to use to lose weight.  There is no pressure, no guilt, and they help you try to figure out why you are over weight AND stress that you are not alone in your search for a healthy lifestyle. 

God is with you every step of the way. This program begins by looking deep inside your psyche.  It stresses that 'Change Begins From the Inside Out.'  They want you to understand your motivation in making food choices.  Here are some of the basic beliefs:

1.)  You can't achieve permanent weight loss unless you understand how you use food to fill an empty place in your life.

2.) Learning how to handle your emotions leads directly toward managing your health and weight.

3.) Avoiding these first two steps is not advised because a healthy lifestyle is a total body experience.

4.) Changing your current behavior toward food and exercise will result in a change of thought patterns as well as helping you create a balanced relationship with food and exercise. So what kind of obstacles are in your way?  Here are a few Mental Food Fights Ask yourself 'Why am I overweight?' "I don't have time to cook and make healthy meals." "I have to eat out a lot because of my job." "My kids want the junk food, so I can't help being around it." First of all blaming others is unproductive. So nip that habit in the bud right now.  

Toss it out the window.  Be honest with yourself.  Also, is it possible that you are continuing to follow certain eating habits you developed as a child despite the fact that you are less physically active? Why do you want to lose weight? "To look better in my clothes." "To lower my cholesterol and prevent a heart attack." "So that I can play with my kids or grand kids outside for longer than 10 minutes." "So that I can complete my housecleaning without having to sit down and rest in the middle of it. We all know good looks aren't here forever, but good health can change your life.  Concentrating on reasons that are health based encourages the maintenance of a healthy weight and fitness level.

Next thing to consider, if you've lost weight in the past, is why did you gain it back? "The food plan was too strict and  complicated." "I didn't have any support from the people around me." "It was a really hard year, and I just couldn't stick with it." You need to recognize the circumstances or thoughts that triggered your relapse into unhealthy eating and/or lack of exercize. 

Once you figure out these triggers you can use that knowledge to avoid those inevitable bumps in your journey the next time.  And there WILL be bumps.  No one is perfect, everyone falls off the wagon, but that doesn't mean it's time to give up.  Just dust yourself off and begin again the next day or next meal. The key here is to recognize that what you eat is a choice.  If you choose something that is not healthy, it's not a failure.  It's simply the choice you made for that moment.  Just try to make healthy choices your priority. Another insight into the First Place for Health program: Fitness.  Creating a healthy lifestyle includes physical activity.  You don't have to jump into a hard core exercise program, but you do need to step up your activity and exercise.  If you exercise too vigorously it could result in injury. 

Also it's important to rest after exercise and gradually add more length and intensity.  Variety is important,  don't let yourself get bored doing the same exercise day after day, week after week.  Make sure your goals are realistic, something you can meet.  You can always set them higher once you real your goal.  Make sure your training plan is appropriate for your level of fitness and skill.  Set a schedule for your fitness workout and stick to it if possible, be flexible, it's okay to adjust your workout when interruptions come up.  Do some sort of exercise everyday, even if it's only for 10 minutes at a time, three times a day.  If you can find a workout buddy it will help insure you continue to progress due to the accountability factor. Lastly,  First Place has a diet program that stresses calorie count and serving size.  The uniqueness of this program will allow you at one point to be able to stop counting calories and recognize how many servings of fruit, veggies, meat/nuts, dairy, oils and grains you should have each day and the appropriate serving size.  Turning this 'diet' program into a life long healthy eating lifestyle.

First Place for Health has a bible study with it's program.  It's designed to reinforce and encourage your search for a healthy lifestyle.  It stresses that Jesus encouraged a healthy lifestyle and God wants you to be healthy and happy. Imagine what they ate back in the days that Jesus walked the Earth with his disciples.  Nuts, berries, fruit, fish, etc.  Nothing fried or in a heavy sauce.  Now consider this, would you eat any differently if Jesus sat across from the table from you at every meal?  Yikes!  I would. Kim Townsend First Place for Health Instructor Hazelwood Baptist Church Hazelwood, MO

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