Dear Pastor Rick,

My name is Jo and I have food issues.

I have lost 17 pounds since the beginning of the year, and 29 pounds since you preached on God’s Prescription For Health (Nov 6, 2010).

Thanks to Cheryl Baker, I get to lead the Friday night CR Women’s Food Issues Open Share group at Saddleback, Lake Forest.  We started up the week after The Daniel Plan kick-off and we are give each other incredible support.

I host an on-line group.  One member lives in Hong Kong and another in Costa Rica.  Six of the 20 members have responded with their weight loss number so far and that makes 68 pounds and counting for the group.  Hoo-yah!

I also lead the Friday night CR Women’s Food Issues Open Share group at Saddleback, Lake Forest.  We started up the week after The Daniel Plan kick-off.

I’ve been on six PEACE trips since Nov. 2007.  As a result of the PEACE Plan, I have stepped out of my comfort zone and applied for a job at World Vision in the Global Communications.  I get an answer at the end of this week!

I am in your 50+ Daniel Plan group.  I really hate to confess this, but it’s the truth.  I still have a ways to go to have a healthy BMI.

I wanted to break the vicious cycle of putting on weight during the holidays.  I am excited to say that this winter was the first time I didn’t add the pounds.  I lost weight during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  That’s a new one for me!

I was morbidly obese when I first came to Saddleback nearly 10 years ago.  So fat at 5’9”, I stopped weighing in after I got past 300 as I surpassed the scale.  I only remember my weight after I completed a Celebrate Recovery Step Study about 6 years and I was around 320.  It was then I begin to lose weight, and lost over have my weight.

Even though I have kept most of it off, I have continued to yo-yo up and down each year during the holidays easily packing on 20-30 pounds.  I found out from The Daniel Plan that I’ve had an elevated set point.  My body still really wants to get back up and stay there.  My biggest challenge during our 6-week detox was giving up Diet Coke – esp. the caffeine and sugar in it.  I drank it more than water.  I found out Diet Coke was my emotional crutch to celebrate or comfort myself – how sick is that?  I went cold turkey, and haven’t had any since January.

I believe going through The Daniel Plan lifestyle change with the whole church will me make more available for God to use.  I’ll lose the things that keep my from running the race with endurance.   I want to live life with ALL its fullness!

In 2000, I wrote down 3 things that I wanted to do:

  • Go on a mission’s trip to eastern Europe.
  • Go to Kenya.
  • Climb a mountain.

I couldn’t do any of these at the time, because I was so obese my heart and feet couldn’t take it.

Fast forward to my first PEACE trip at Saddleback:  I’m on a mission’s trip to Ukraine in eastern Europe sharing CR.  Next, I’m on a mission’s trip to Kenya sharing CR.  Next, I’m on another PEACE trip climbing the 2nd highest mountain in Ukraine with orphans & former drug addicts.

Wow! Can it be? On the top of that mountain, I realized that God had answered all my seemingly impossible prayers in less than a decade, and it was all about others not me!  What’s next God in this Decade of Destiny?!

Praying for you, Pastor Rick!

I’m praying for Kay too. Ever since I went to our women’s retreat in 2001, she’s been my favorite Bible teacher. 🙂

God’s best to you,
Jo Willems (aka Joann)