- Faith & Family
One way that many weight loss attempts or weight loss maintenance plans have been derailed is because of personal pain and loss of a loved one.
Yet for Shirley Johnson, it was personal tragedy that triggered path to health and wellness. Eventually, she wrote a book, “Stay Slim God’s Way,” detailing her progress.
“We were having what I would almost call a perfect life – loving life and loving the lord and our children were out of the house – when my husband was on the basketball court and he had a massive heart attack and died,” Johnson recalled.
After his death, Johnson knew that she was facing a long period of grief. So she decided to rededicate herself to her studies. At the time, Johnson was working towards her Phd. Part of her requirements required her to create a personal development project.
For the project, “I decided that I did not want to lose the relationship that I had with the Lord because he was really a comforter to me and I wanted to keep that relationship,” she explained. “And another thing that I didn’t want to do was gain weight because I just wanted to remain healthy.”
For Johnson, who has been a lifelong Christian, the Bible was the natural resource to turn to for nutritional and spiritual advice.
“I believe that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirt and because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit we cannot defile it and we have to take care of it,” she said.
The program she developed for herself eventually became the book, “Stay Slim God’s Way,” a diet and weight loss program that relies on faith and biblical understanding.
“It’s a very simple program – all you need is a journal, a tape measure, a scale and the Bible,” she explained.
Every day Johnson recites eight affirmations which she repeats 50 times. Her affirmations include sayings such as “Lord help me to understand that instead of living to eat, I eat to live” and “Lord you are my light and my salvation, food has no power over me.”
She also keeps a journal of everything she eats – being mindful of eating more fruits and vegetables – and makes sure to exercise regularly by jump roping.
“Even today at 66 years old, I jump between 300 to 600 jumps a day,” she said.
However, her weight loss goal is only a secondary prize compared to her real success, according to Johnson.
She explained, “I feel wonderfully healthy, but most importantly my relationship with Jesus Christ continues to grow.”
Currently, Johnson is teaching her course at the Bible Emporium at 564 NE 125th Street in North Miami. For information, call 305-895-4321.
By Kaila Heard