Quick and Simple features Weigh Down Participant

Media Source:Quick and Simple
Date:Jul 01, 2013

God Answered My Weight-Loss Prayers

By the time her fourth child was born 12 years ago, Catherine Zanoni had gained more than 100 lbs., weighing in at 240. But in November 2001, this Brentwood, Tenn., native reached a breaking point. “I was sitting in a meeting at church thinking about how big I had become,” recalls Catherine, now 41. “And I just started bawling.”

Reaching Out

Fortunately, help was close at hand. After that meeting, Catherine confided in a fellow church member at the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who told her about a faith-based program called The Weigh down Workshop. It’s mission: To encourage dieters to replace their food obsession with devotion to God. “Before I started Weigh Down, there was no satisfying my hunger – I would be out to dinner with my family and start grabbing the food off my husband Robert’s plate,” Catherine, who is 5-foot-8, recalls. “The program encouraged me to figure out what was making me so hungry – like boredom, anger or sadness – and stop blaming my weight problem on not having the right diet pills or piece of exercise equipment.”

No More “Diet” Food

Catherine’s Weigh Down classes stressed that there ware no “right” or “wrong” foods; the key is to eat for energy. So she quit enduring diet dinners of bland skinless chicken and streamed broccoli and started enjoying petite portions of the “regular” meals she cooked her husband, Robert, 43, a mortgage loan officer, and their four kids. “I realized that if my body craved ice cream with hot fudge and I grabbed a rice cake instead, then I could eat a whole bag and not feel satisfied,” she says. “The key was getting variety: Whether I wanted some cake or a hamburger, I had it. But it didn’t mean I needed to eat these foods in excess or have them every day.” Cutting back on favorites wasn’t easy. “But Weigh Down showed me that overeating would only leave me overweight, guilty and depressed, and never give me inner peace,” says Catherine. “Only a strong spiritual relationship could do that.” To that end, Catherine spent more time at church and regularly read the Bible for the first time in her life, gleaning inspiration from her favorite Scriptures. And when visions of glazed doughnuts danced in her head, Catherine prayed for God’s help. She sensed a higher power was backing up her efforts: “I was always amazed when I would open my Bible and find an inspirational passage, or the phone would ring and distract me from food.”

Spreading the Joy

By November 2002, Catherine had reached her current weight of 138 lbs. – and she wasn’t the only Zanoni on a weight-loss roll. At the same time, Robert dumped 45 lbs., and their oldest son, Blake, lost a whopping 80 lbs.! Catherine felt so blessed by all that Weigh Down had done for her entire family that she volunteered to become a Weigh Down Workshop leader. “I want to save women who are heavy like I was from years of pain,” she says. “I plan on spending the rest of my life helping others realize that there is hope.” She considers herself living proof that you can replace “overeating, overspending and other escapes with lasting love, peace and joy.”