I went to a chili supper the other night, and while I was walking back to my spot at the table with a scrumptious pumpkin dessert in my hand, someone called out to me, "Hey, Bro. Doug., how many points is that dessert?"
This person knew that I was a part of the Weight Watchers program and she thought that I shouldn't be eating a scrumptious pumpkin dessert. But, I was able to respond to her question with a ready answer. I had already estimated the point value of that lovely little taste-delight and I knew that I had the extra points in my daily allotment.
If you are familiar with the Weight Watchers program you will understand what I am talking about. But if you aren't, please read on.
I want you to know that on the Weight Watchers program you can eat dessert, even a scrumptious pumpkin dessert like I had, just as long as you count the point value of that item.
In the Weight Watchers program you learn that you don't have to deprive yourself of good things. But, you learn portion control, moderation, and how to eat and live healthy.
I have been a part of this great program for more than two years now, and I have lost more than 100 pounds.
I haven't been dieting. I haven't been counting calories. I haven't cut out all carbohydrates. And I haven't cut out all fats from my diet. I have been learning to live a disciplined, healthy lifestyle.
Since I have been in Weight Watchers, not only have I lost a lot of weight, but I have gotten my cholesterol levels where they need to be; my blood sugar levels are excellent; my blood pressure remains in a good place; my doctors have cut out a number of the medications I was taking; and I feel so much better, physically, mentally and spiritually.
I attend weekly Weight Watcher meetings. The accountability I receive from the others in my group is a real blessing for me. Sometimes there are conflicts and I have to miss a meeting, but I am faithfully counting my points and recording all of the food that I eat on a daily basis.
I come in contact with people all the time that I haven't seen in a couple of years who are amazed at my weight loss. I too am amazed at my weight loss, and I am so grateful.
First of all, I am grateful to God. He is the one that pointed me in the right direction and encouraged me to begin this journey. I knew that I was way overweight and that I was not setting a good example for my family and the people of my church. I knew that I needed to do something.
I read a comment from the Bishop of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church to the ministers under his charge. He said that as ministers we needed to be setting better examples for our people, and we needed to lead the way to healthy living.
God spoke to me through the Bishop's comments. I knew that message was for me. I had heart problems, blood sugar problems, and other health issues. I needed to make some changes. But I knew I couldn't do it alone. I had tried so many times over the years. I needed help.
I needed God's help. I needed the help of my doctors. And I needed the help of others who have succeeded at weight loss and weight control over the years.
I believe God led me to Weight Watchers. I found a group of people there who understood my struggles and who were willing to support me as I tried to change my life.
Together we are learning the importance of eating healthy and making wise choices when it comes to food and daily activity.
We share our victories and discouragements together, and we encourage one another to continue on this journey.
I know God led me to Weight Watchers, and He used the people there to help change my life. I know that I need to discipline myself to continue on this journey and to move forward. I don't want to put the weight back on. I have to work hard to keep it off and to continue a healthy lifestyle.
I can do it too, with God's help and the help of those around me.
-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.