I’ll be honest: for me, books on health rank right up there with books on parenting. I’m no fan of either because, well, I can generate enough guilt on my own, thank you very much. I mean, let’s just say that, given the wealth of adjectives at your disposal, you would not necessarily choose “healthy” to describe my lifestyle. So, when offered the chance to read and review First Place 4 Health, I knew I was stepping outside of my comfort zone and I was curious to see what
guilt encouragement I would incur receive.
First Place is a 27 year old weight management program with groups in over 12,000 churches. Carole Lewis, the author of First Place 4 Health, is the organization’s national director. According to the press release accompanying the book, the program has undergone a renovation, shifting the focus from weight management to complete wellness, not a die-it, but a live-it.
This book, First Place 4 Health, addresses wellness in four aspects: mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. Each section concludes with real life testimonies from First Place participants who have experienced radical lifestyle changes, nearly all having lost a tremendous amount of weight in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.
In my opinion, that is the true value of this book: encouragement for those who want to lose weight. True, the book claims to teach a balanced healthy lifestyle—and it does—yet its overarching emphasis is on weight loss.
First Place is a “grace filled, Bible based” program, a mindset clearly evident in Lewis’ book. There are a variety reasons for being overweight and she offers no condemnation for any of them. She is careful to emphasize the necessity of Bible study and prayer in any lifestyle change and goes so far to recommend study tools such as a specific translation and commentary. In fact, one thing I found a little odd in a book of this type was such detailed recommendations in the spiritual section while the healthy eating chapter contained only vague indicators of what participants would learn about portion control and calorie intake should they join the program and attend a First Place meeting.
All in all, this book offers great encouragement and inspiration for those who feel caught in their weight loss struggle. One can easily see why First Place has enjoyed the success it has. In fact, Lewis issues the challenge, “Give God and First Place 4 Health a year…and your life will change forever.” Interested in taking her up on it? Find out more at www.firstplace4health.com.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….