Jeffery Pettit: Tackling His Health Head On

The Daniel Plan heard Jeffery Pettit looked so muscular that Pastor Rick joked about wanting to hire him as a body guard. Read Jeffery’s story and the keys to going from flab to fit.
Jeffery Pettit, 53
Mission Viejo, CA
Member of Saddleback Church since 2003

Before starting The Daniel Plan, I’ve struggled with weight gain and loss my entire adult life. I’ve been as heavy as 238 pounds and weighed as little as 159 pounds (both fat and skinny and unhealthy). When I started The Daniel Plan in January with my Small Group, I weighed 225 pounds and was, without question, an emotional eater. I had moderate to severe lower back pain that had actually caused me to give up the game of golf.

The worst eating habits I had were not eating good balanced meals, instead I would eat chips, crackers, and candy treats as an entire meal. I was also known to eat large portions of food at any particular meal. I began The Daniel Plan to address my health issues “once and for all.” At 53 years old, I knew that if I wanted any quality of life at all in my latter and remaining years, I needed to tackle this issue head on, and with help this time.

The most significant things I’ve learned through The Daniel Plan, and my Small Group is portion size control and food ingredients/contents. I can’t believe what I was actually putting into my body and how much! I’ve educated myself on the right foods to eat, just like Daniel in the Bible, the right portion size to feed myself, how often to eat (5-6 times per day) and, most importantly, what foods to avoid. As Dr. Mark Hyman says, “eat what grown on a plant, not made in a plant. The most important thing I learned is that you can live on 1700 calories per day and never be hungry and always be satisfied.

The results I’ve experienced have been incredible. When I started I was clinically “obese” by medical standards. I am 5’11” and had a 43 inch waist, wore a size 38 waist pant, and extra large shirts. As of this writing, I have a 33 inch waist, wear a size 32 pants, have lost 55 pounds. Now I’m buying “fitted” dress shirts! The key for success in any aspect of life, healthy living included, I believe is being connected to people who love you, care for you, and will be honest with you.

Since coming to Saddleback Church, being connected to the Church Family and my Small Group, I have all the ingredients to live a full and purpose filled life. The key is being accountable. I have achieved this through honest, transparent, and authentic relationships. My entire Small Group is committed to our group success (One fails, we all fail). We ask the tough questions in a loving manner, and share our struggles as well as our successes. Without my small group, I’m convinced that this would have been another diet story and failure, not a lifestyle I can embrace and enjoy for the rest of my life.

And one more thing, I am playing golf again, pain free!