Community and the Journey to Better Health

Author: Sharon Ford
March 29, 2018

Our Sabbath School lessons on “The Promise of Community” have been thought provoking and easily provide us with many more months of study and discussion material.  The lessons prodded me to think back about the benefit of a small group in helping us reach some of our health goals.

During October to December 2017 several of us met in a group to study “Full Plate Living,” a practical guide for weight loss and other health benefits written by two Loma Linda University medical school graduates and a registered dietitian.   This program is a simple, practical and effective presentation of the benefits of high fiber plant based eating and sound weigh reduction principles.  

Our group agreed to meet for 8 weeks to review and put into practice principles that have proven to promote weight loss, lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, fight cancer, and control blood sugar, among other benefits.   Meeting as a small community around a common purpose to improve our health had many benefits:

Getting to Know You…getting to know [more] about you…

Our group meetings provided a great way for us to get to know each other.  It was wonderful to become better acquainted with Sligo church members and also those from the community.  We came from different nationalities and cultures, and had different views on food and cooking.   Cheese curls tempted one person, ice cream was high on another’s list, extra helpings were the downfall of more than one of us.   Group members freely shared their struggles and what helped their progress.  (“Hmm…I am not alone in these problems”).   We did NOT do any “weighing in” during class nor ask each other how many pounds had been lost, although some felt free to talk about their actual weight loss from time to time.   Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ.”  Gal 6:2


Learning goal setting together…

We learned to set goals which were SMART goals:  specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time bound.   Goal setting was enhanced by sharing our goals with each other.  Saying them out loud to others gave us more resolve to reach them. 

Learning Sound Weight Loss Principles

These principles came from those who have been successful in losing weight and keeping it off. 

For example, two of the ten tools for weight loss are creating a “safe zone” and having a buddy.  The more tools we used, the more success we had. 


Your victory is my victory

Truly we rejoiced when a group member said she had lost 5 pounds during the Thanksgiving to Christmas season no less!    We also were happy if someone’s weight remained the same during the last several weeks of the year!


Wherever two or three are gathered together God is with us….

His resurrection power was evident as our group met shared, and prayed together!




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