I Am the Biggest Loser, and You Can Be Too!

You are here

I Am the Biggest Loser, and You Can Be Too!

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


One of the most beautiful songs I heard recently was titled “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” performed by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. The sad thing is this very talented man’s life was cut short by his battle with obesity.

Throughout the latter part of his life, Iz suffered from severe obesity and at one point he carried 769 pounds on his 6-foot-2-inch frame. He endured several hospitalizations and died of weight-related respiratory illness on June 26, 1997, at the age of 38. A tribute to his life and the song is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ltAGuuru7Q).

“F as in Fat 2008: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America” reports that “obesity is one of the most serious health problems in the United States today. Adult obesity rates have doubled since 1980, from 15 percent to 30 percent. Two-thirds of adults are now either overweight or obese.

“Childhood obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1980, from 6.5 percent to 16.3 percent. Additionally, the obesity epidemic is taking a toll on the U.S. economy by adding billions of additional dollars in health care costs and hurting our country’s ability to compete in the global economy.”

The article goes on to say, “Obesity and overweight are contributing factors to over 20 chronic diseases, including some cancers, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“Increasing evidence shows that maternal obesity adds major complications during pregnancy, putting babies at increased risk for pre-term birth and infant mortality.

“Obese children and teenagers are developing diseases that were formerly only seen in adults. For instance, approximately 176,500 individuals under the age of 20 have type 2 diabetes, and 2 million adolescents aged 12-19 have pre-diabetes. Obese and overweight children are more likely to become overweight and obese adults and are on a track for poor health throughout their adult lives. Overall, this generation of children could be the first to have shorter, less healthy lives than their parents.”

You can read more from this report at http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2008/Obesity2008Report.pdf. It is staggering!

I, too, was one of those that was overweight. Not like Israel, but enough that it affected my health. I was having continued heartburn, was exhausted all the time and could not go upstairs without shortness of breath. I just figured I was getting old and would probably die in a few short years. There was no way I could lose this weight! I had tried to diet before with no success until I saw an advertisement in the local paper that changed my life.

It was an advertisement to join a 10-week weight loss challenge that offered money as a prize! You paid $29 up front for the 10 weeks, and the money would go to the people who came in first, second and third place in losing the most body fat. Being the competitive person that I am, I decided to join.

The program involved going once a week to weigh in. Classes were taught on how to eat better and of course they offered their products that you could buy or do your own thing. After three weight loss challenges, over a seventh-month period, I won! I claimed the title of the “Biggest Loser” after losing 60 pounds total and beating out 28 other people with the most body fat percentage lost.

How did this program work for me when other programs I had tried had failed?

1. I began this program by asking God to help me.

I wanted to succeed. I have learned throughout my Christian life that it is God’s desire to help us succeed in all that we do.

In Matthew 7:7-8 God tells us to ask. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

I needed God’s help!

2. Group support.

It was very encouraging to go every week to my class where we all shared a vision and shared a goal. We would sit around and talk about things we had learned and what we were doing to reach our weight loss goal. We would also applaud people with their weekly weight loss.

This is much like our Church family. We all have the same shared vision, the same goal. And it takes a lot of encouragement from one another to continue in this walk with God. Group support in whatever we set out to do helps us reach our goals.

3. Leadership support.

We had to have someone to encourage us along who was knowledgeable, who had been there herself and who had a great desire to see us reach our goal. My weight loss coach, Michelle, had been overweight herself so she knew what it was like to have the low self-esteem and to struggle to lose that weight. She also had the expertise to teach us how to change our lifestyle and our eating habits—to teach us good nutrition! She was also a great cheerleader. She would express great excitement in my week-to-week success.

That is what we are all learning in our Christian life. When we overcome or come through a trial, we turn around to help others through those difficulties! The best teachers are those who have been there.

4. Accountability.

Yes, there was accountability. The scale was the mirror to my success or lack of success each week. If I had been good that week, then I looked forward to stepping on that scale. On the other hand, there were weeks I dreaded it! There was a penalty if we gained weight. We had to pay $1 for every pound we gained.

This reminded me of a scripture that applies in our Christian life. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

5. Reward.

Certainly the monetary reward is what got me in the door. The reward I received, though, was far greater than the money I received. It was a reward of better health and better self-esteem.

We also walk this Christian life because we know God has offered us the greatest reward anyone could hope to have! “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Even though I earned the title “The Biggest Loser,” I am a winner because of all that I have learned from this wonderful class. You can too! You can accomplish things you never thought possible, especially when it comes to your health!

We do not have to be a part of the statistics of obesity! The impossible is possible! If you are overweight, find what works for you. You, too, can be the biggest loser and come out the winner.

Seven food tips that help

1. Stay out of fast-food restaurants! Did you know that a Big Mac has over 700 calories? That is without the French fries. If you do plan to go out, check the restaurant’s Internet site or other sites that give calorie and nutrition information to find out what is best to eat.

2. Drink lots of water (see “9 Reasons to Drink Water and How to Form a Habit”).

3. Count calories! Find out how many calories you should take in daily and stick to it as much as possible. To lose one pound per week, subtract 500 calories a day from your daily caloric rate. You can subtract calories by eating 500 calories less or by burning 500 calories through cardio exercise. For example: 1,900 - 500 = 1,400. It really works. I have averaged losing a pound a week.

4. Buy groceries from the outline of the store, along the walls. Avoid processed foods if you can. Also there are books that can help you decide what best to eat, like Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding. They also wrote a book for children as well: Eat This Not That! for Kids! Be the Leanest, Fittest Family on the Block!

5. Learn to read labels. Read before you eat. If you can’t pronounce it, chances are it’s not good for you (http://www.howtobefit.com/learn-food-labels.htm).

6. Get a good scale and monitor your weight. This helps you keep on track.

7. Should you get off your diet or binge, don’t throw up your hands, quit and say, “It’s no use.” I have fallen off the wagon many times. You have to allow yourself from time to time to eat something you really enjoy. Just get back in there and as time goes by it will get easier and easier. It is so worth it. Don’t give up!

When I started doing all these things and being aware of what I was putting in my mouth, the weight started coming off. Remember, it is a lifestyle change that you cannot get from a pill!