Church helps members lose weight - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Church helps members lose weight

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BACONTON, GA (WALB) -

A south Georgia pastor is helping his parishioners get healthy. Saint James Baptist Church is holding their version of a "Biggest Loser" Competition.

Weighing just shy of 300 pounds, Maelett Ferrell knows she needs to make a transformation.

"When you look in the mirror and see stuff, it makes you want to change," says Maelett Ferrell, Contestant.

But wanting to change her appearance isn't the only thing motivating her.

"I have an obese little boy that is 5 years old, so I need to change my lifestyle for him and me," says Ferrell.

Sunday is the beginning of her new life. She is taking part in a Biggest Loser Competition at her church. And she has her eye on the prize.

"I want to lose close to 100," says Ferrell.

"We emphasize on working out which is important but the nutrition is probably a larger part of it than even the working out," says Mark Lund, Team Lund Professional Training.

Mark Lund is the trainer helping to get these church members fit by introducing healthy foods into their diets.

"We are also going to be weighing them in, checking their body fat, going to give them a recommended exercise program," says Lund.

"We have a lot of obesity, not just here in the church, but in our communities, and so we are trying to do our part as a church, to make sure we help curb obesity, hypertension, and amputations, that is in our communities," says Lawrence Knighton, Pastor.

Pastor Knighton saw the results for himself after several months of eating right and exercising and decided to get his parishioners involved.

"He was basically helping us understand it is really just about what you eat, I only go to the gym twice a week for 30 minutes with Mark, and I have already lost about 22 pounds, and I have already dropped two suit sizes, and I am in a 36 waist, when I was a 41 waist, and that is just in 4 or 5 months," says Knighton.

He says carrying extra weight makes it more difficult to do God's work.

"If your temple is not healthy then it makes it extremely difficult for you to go out and witness and things of that nature, because you don't have the energy, and so if we can get people in shape, it helps us to be able to do God's work a little bit easier," says Knighton.

And by making small changes now, people like Ferrell will see big results in the future.

The competition will start February 1st and end May 1st. The woman and man who loses the most weight will each win $250.

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