On Saturday, Saddleback hosted the second Daniel Plan seminar of the year. The morning was full of celebration, information, and of course, healthy snacks.

Attendees braved the rain to hear from the team of experts assembled to educate us on health, fitness, and nutrition. The day’s talks centered around two themes: the power of community and how to push past plateaus.

Before beginning the educational portion of the seminar, Pastor Rick invited people with Daniel Plan success stories on to the stage.

Undeniable results

Just eight weeks in to the program, some participants reported losing between 20-40 pounds; others have seen improvement in health indicators such as cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).

The most impressive victory, however, was the fact that Daniel Plan members have collectively lost a staggering 160,457 pounds!

Pastor Rick revealed his own personal progress. He has lost 30 pounds and reached one-third of his 90-pound weight loss goal.

We heard from a panel of four participants – Gabby, Stephanie, Sherry, and Kendall. Each described their struggles before the Daniel Plan, from weight that just wouldn’t come off to insomnia, depression and fatigue. The four revealed that, with the help of the Daniel Plan and their support groups, each has seen incredible improvements in their overall health and fitness.

Dr. Mark Hyman, best-selling author and Functional Medicine physician, congratulated the panel and audience on their success and acknowledged the importance of health partners and small groups.

“We get healthy together. It’s the only way it works,” said Dr. Hyman.

We’re better together

It’s apparent that the community aspect of the Daniel Plan drives its success and church members aren’t the only ones taking notice. Dr. Hyman told the crowd that President Obama recently invited Pastor Rick to the White House to explain how he launched the Daniel Plan. President Obama is reportedly interested in rolling out the Daniel Plan to the entire country.

“The Daniel Plan is changing healthcare in America!” exclaimed Dr. Hyman.

Next, fitness coach Tom Wilson woke up attendees with an unexpected, yet fun workout. He raised heart rates as he led the group in a series of aerobic moves to the beat of live music. Saddleback Worship Pastor Rick Muchow and the band played the song “Set Free.” Wilson and Muchow brought smiles to the crowd’s faces and a bit of sweat to their brows as they sang the modified lyrics, “I’m fat free!”

A higher goal

“More than anything,” concluded Wilson, “it’s important to know why we do this. The goal is higher service to God.”

The audience watched a 15-minute video recently recorded by Dr. Oz and Pastor Rick, discussing the success of the Daniel Plan and the motivation for staying consistent.

“Everything I do in life, I do in this body,” said Dr. Oz. “So I’ve got to take care of it!” Dr. Oz encouraged viewers to make choices every day to feed their bodies the right nutrition and to avoid foods that could sidetrack progress.

Dr. Daniel Amen, physician, psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist, gave more information about the obstacles that hinder progress. These factors, he said, include eating late at night, hidden sugars, chronic stress, depression, untreated ADD, negative thoughts, food allergies and focusing on exercise or nutrition instead of focusing equally on both.

Dr. Amen encouraged attendees to fight these interferences by personalizing their approach to the Daniel Plan. He also reminded us that bodily health directly affects brain health.

“Change your body, change your brain, change your life,” said Amen in closing.

It’s not too late to start your own Daniel Plan success story. Get started on your Daniel Plan journey today.