Faith and Fitness: Ruthie’s Weight Loss Journey
The following is contributed by Sergeant Ruthie Forgey, corps administrator for The Salvation Army Cleveland Corps. Ruthie has lost over 150 pounds through hard work, persistence and most importantly, faith. Read about her weight loss journey below.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
Many have asked me how I’ve lost 150 pounds during the past eighteen months. Truthfully, on January 1, 2012, I did not believe it was possible. I was at my heaviest ever weighing in at 386 lbs. I have lost and gained more weight in a lifetime than most, yet maintenance was the issue. I was afraid to believe I could lose weight again and feared that if I did succeed it would be short term, and I would be back where I started or worse. My health, however, was declining—I was on four different medications for blood pressure and two for my stomach. There’s a family history of diabetes and heart issues, so I knew that sooner or later I would not be able to dodge those bullets.
So, on January 1, 2012, after much prayer, I decided that I would not make a New Year’s resolution, but a new day resolution 365 times! Each morning, I awoke and purposely and intentionally made a commitment to God and myself to be the best I could be emotionally, physically and spiritually. This included making healthy food choices, tending to health issues that I had neglected for many years, spending consistent time with the Lord in following His lead and making strides to resolve any unhealed hurts in my life. After all, I thought, I can do anything for twenty-four hours.
Soon, I was able to connect the twenty-four hour days into a week, then a week turned into a month and the months turned into a year. By January 1, 2013, I had lost a hundred pounds and had gained so much more life in return. I realized that because of the weight, I had been sitting on the sidelines of life observing rather than participating.
At 100 pounds down, I was feeling resurrected and resolved to see this thing through. I filled out an application to the YMCA to become a contestant in the “New Year/New You” contest and was selected. I began to work out with a trainer, Meredith Casteel, who pushed me to do things I never thought possible. Through movement of my body, emotions began to flow bringing healing on even deeper levels. My body began to change shape and my gratitude and confidence increased daily. I am blessed to work in an environment where my co-workers were some of my best encouragers. They believed in me on days when I couldn’t and offered words that inspired me to persevere. I have wonderful friends who loved me and reminded me daily that I could indeed meet my goals. And my son, Alex, is my biggest inspiration of all.
I am two-thirds of the way to my weight loss goal now. I will lose the remaining 50 lbs following God-directed steps twenty-four hours at a time and with the continued support from my family and friends. If you are reading this and can relate, I just want to tell you, you can do this too. All it takes is a mustard-sized seed of faith and the willingness to live just twenty-four hours at a time.
The Cleveland Salvation Army has started a seven weeks Bible study called “Made to Crave” that gives insight and helps break the cycle of compulsive eating. The class also addresses the spiritual and emotional motivation needed to make healthier choices. The class is for ages sixteen and up. Classes meet on Tuesdays at 5:30 at The Cleveland Salvation Army located at 437 Inman Street. For more information, please call 423-304-9281.
I’ll see you there.