Several years ago my wife Amparo and I spoke of wanting to provide for women who are overweight a program of holistic health. With support from the Alliance of Baptists, Festival Church and Calvary Baptist Church, this year that desire became a reality. During the months of July and August we offered 16 two-hour sessions, each of them to ten participants. The results were surprising. 40% lost a pound a week; another 40% lost half a pound a week, and 20% remained at the same weight. The program was aimed not only at losing weight, but also in acquiring a healthy lifestyle. With that in mind, there were mental health classes and spiritual guidance.
We had help from Dr. Matilde Parker and the collaboration of three other people. In effect we became a team. Most of the participants were mothers with two or more children, which they brought with them to the program, where they received good care. Well, we had no Physical Education Instructor, which led me to became our instructor on “systems of physical exercises”. Apparently I didn’t do too badly at it because I myself lost a little over 8 pounds.
I think I was one of those who learned most from this program. We live in a society where the important thing is to work, do things quickly, compete, eat grease-filled food, trying to get our tasks done, both at home and at work, with as little physical effort as possible. As for the problems particular to our routine, put up with the stress involved.
It seems like a crazy race for life, leading to obesity, physical and mental ailments. The program dealt with many things in a short time, from what to eat, what to drink, how to breathe, what physical exercises to do, down to how to deal with stress, how to achieve positive thinking, how to have a joyful spirit and how to reach out to the Transcendent. The law of love was taught, and the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, who will help us take on the new healthier lifestyle.
In considering the program’s dynamic, I was able to reflect on the importance of wanting to be happy. Two things stood out: what should be the easiest: (becoming healthy and learning to stay that way) became the most difficult thing. We have mental patterns or schemas, that we took up way back when we were little children, and it’s very hard to change them now. But since we want to be happy, it’s well worth our while to try and change them and, without spending money, to follow common sense, with some knowledge of the important functions of the biopsychosocial being we know as a human being. And how satisfying it is to serve, to think and to act for the good of others. The program was a beautiful occasion to share experiences, to challenge one another, and to get to know each other. Together we learned a better life.