Unificationist Attributes Dramatic Weight-Loss to Life of Faith| JUNE 11 2012 courtesy of familyfed.org|As bathing-suit season draws ever nearer and people areMessage 1 of 1 , Jun 12, 2012View Source
| JUNE 11 2012 courtesy of familyfed.org|
As bathing-suit season draws ever nearer and people are looking to slim down for the summer, few can say that they've lost 185 lbs, and even fewer can say that their motivation for doing so was to have a better life of faith. With a healthy combination of dieting, exercise and family support, Unificationist Hermine Okoth, originally from Cameroon, was able to accomplish both within the span of a year.
Okoth joined the Unification Church in 1990 and was blessed in marriage by Rev. Sun Myung Moon to George Okoth from Kenya in 1992. She now has three children and is living in Miami in the Kendall Church Center, where she works as a hairdresser and to educate young Unificationists about faith development.
Okoth says that at her weight in 2011 of 350 lbs, she struggled to find energy and knew that if she wanted to keep contributing to the church in the way she wanted to, she needed to change her lifestyle.
"I just decided one day that it was time to lose weight,"� she said. "Time is precious as we approach Foundation Day, yet working for God was difficult because I was overweight."�
But her motivation was more than personal. "I also want to be an example for Unification Church members who are struggling with weight-issues,"� she said. "Obesity can be passed down through generations and cause diseases and early death."�
To Okoth, the beginning was the hardest part. But she relied on faith as her motivation.
"I told myself, 'Rev. Sun Myung Moon' survived 40 days with no food." There should be no reason that I cant change the way I eat. I knew that if I had determination, I could do anything I wanted to do. So, I changed my eating habits. I used to have big meals before I went to bed, but I started cutting down when I realized they were unhealthy."�
Regular exercise also spurred the weight-loss process. At the start of every day, Okoth ran for an hour and at the end of every day, she would do a series of sit ups, starting off at five and adding five more every week. Such activity not only strengthened her body, but also her relationship with her husband.
"Thank God I have a very supportive husband,"� she said. "Sometimes I'd forget to do my sit ups, but my husband would remind me. "Oh darling, have you done your sit ups? Can you wake up and do them?" Just like that. So it became a daily routine. I am currently doing 100 sit ups every night before I go to bed."�
As a source of motivation for reaching her ideal weight, Okoth keeps the clothes she wore when she weighed 350 lbs. "I refuse to give away my old clothes," she said, "because anytime I want to give up, I just need to look at them and I am re-motivated."�
After her decision to lose weight, Okoth noticed a change in her energy-level almost immediately. Now, after having lost 185 lbs, she feels she is in a position to inspire her local faith community and wants to utilize her weight-loss testimony as a medium to bring new members into Lovin' Life Ministries.
"Lovin' Life is great!"� said Okoth. "It has really changed a lot of things, especially the old ways of doing things. It's modern, fun and embraces everybody. Also, we are encouraged to celebrate life and be excellent in everything that we do, both internally and externally. It's different from the old days, when being externally successful was almost looked down upon. The whole ministry is so great, and it inspires me to keep up my efforts."
"Im witnessing to my clients about the Unification Church. They can see that Unificationists have strong faith and determination. They see that I wanted to achieve something and succeeded, and that my faith had a lot to do about that. Through this example, they can be motivated to join or follow my footsteps."�
For Okoth, the most important aspect of her success is that now she has the energy to contribute more than ever to her faith community. She encourages those who hope to lose weight to be decisive and simply stick to those decisions: "Everything has to have a beginning, and I know the beginning is very hard,"� she said. "But make up your mind and tell yourself, 'I am decided.' Make the determination that you are not going back to the past. With this mindset, you can keep going."�
Okoth is quick to credit others who she sees as having played a role in her weight-loss success. "First and foremost, I would like to thank my husband,"� she said. "He really motivated me a lot. When I'd go to bed without wanting to do sit ups, he'd do them with me. If I didnt want to go on a run he'd go running with me. He is so happy with what I've been able to do for my health and we have become closer as a result of that. My son and my two daughters tell me, "Wow, mom we like the way you look." My family is incredibly happy with the way I look and so am I."�
"Rev. Tom Cutts, district pastor of District 5 [Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi] also motivated me a lot. He mentioned me during Sunday service once and told everyone about my progress. That simple shout out re-inspired me to stick with my decision to lose weight and look where I am now!"�
Contributed by Sachie Kawachi and Ariana Moon.God Bless You!Lets learn from one another through educational sharing!+82-10-4789-6804