Lose the Weight...Lose the Worry!
Mother and Daughter Team Up to
Share the Plan
(Birmingham, AL) - Does the idea of starting a diet make you hungry? Can you eat more than your children's combined weight in twinkies? Don't worry! Help is on the way. Author Julie Morris, RN, and her daughter, Sarah Morris Cherry, have developed a proven method for losing weight and keeping it off permanently. The Guided By Him method not only helps people lose weight, it also helps participants learn how to cope with stress. After years of struggling with her weight, Julie has developed a strategic, humor-filled plan designed to keep participants motivated, laughing, learning and yes, even eating.
In Guided By Him, readers embark on an adventure in weight loss. Julie and Sarah use uplifting scriptures, thought-provoking questions, daily devotionals and fun-filled food facts to ensure readers keep a positive, light attitude toward learning a leaner lifestyle. Julie's experience as a nurse and Sarah's knowledge as a certified counselor, make this a pair of enthusiastic, highly qualified coaches. This study could be used alone in the comfort of home or led in a group setting. It's great for casual girlfriend meetings, church small groups and even the lunchroom at work! Accountability questions keep participants honest and real with themselves and others.
About the Authors
Julie Morris and Sarah Morris Cherry
Julie Morris is a wife, mother, nurse, author and teacher. Since 8 years of age Julie has struggled to control her weight. That struggle of overeating, along with high blood pressure, sent her searching for a solution. After discovering the Christian 12 steps she began seeking God's guidance toward health and wholeness. Now, 25 years later, she's excited to share these tips with others. She is the founder of the Step Forward weight loss program. Guided by Him is a lighter, easier version of Step Forward, for today's busier lifestyles.
Sarah Morris Cherry is a wife, new mother and Licensed Professional Counselor. She has counseled people from two to 92. Whatever the age, she enjoys teaching people new ways to deal with stress as well as facts for healthy living. She coaches them with simple things they can do to become more like the people they want to be. She speaks from experience, having overcome many overwhelming health problems by putting these concepts into practice.
Blog Tour Questions
It seems like everyone is endorsing, writing or following some kind of diet plan these days. What prompted you to write Guided By Him, when there are already so many programs out there?
Julie- I wanted to share a fun and easy way to lose weight--especially designed for busy people who overeat when they feel stressed out. I know personally that this program works. It helps overwhelmed overeaters lose the weight... and worries... that weigh them down. Guided By Him (GBH) is encouraging, inspiring and can be done in just a few minutes a day!
You introduce 12 Steps for weight-loss in your book. Briefly describe the process and importance of these steps.
Julie In 1982, when I first read AA's 12 Steps, I knew they were the answer! I had been trying to figure out how to rely on God's power when I lacked willpower with my eating and the 12 Steps showed me how to do that. The 12 Steps were written by Christians over 70 years ago and have helped millions of people around the world to overcome their weaknesses. GBH steps are similar to AA's, but ours are shorter and they focus on Jesus helping us to quit overeating.
You offer many practical tips, called Stepping Stones, to encourage participants to make intentional choices regarding food. Share a few of these with us.
Sarah We teach you how to spend 10 minutes having a daily Quiet Time that will literally change your life. In those few short minutes you will learn how to draw closer to Jesus, recognize things that are driving you to the refrigerator that day, and surrender them to Him. We also teach you how to use a Prayer Journal so you will learn to cast your cares on the Lord, not the refrigerator, and Food Cards that will help you to eat in a well-balanced way without having to count calories. Other Stepping Stones provide practical ideas that help you to lose weight. Here are some simple weight-loss tips:
A good way to decide how much a serving of meat is: look at a deck of cards.
Never eat while standing.
Make eating a meal a relaxing event (I'm finding that's really hard with a toddler!).
Brush your teeth frequently. It helps you reduce snacking.
As much as possible, stay away from foods that trigger your cravings (mine is peanut butter).
Chew gum or wear a mask if you're tempted to nibble while you're cooking.
You're a mother/daughter duo. You both bring years of experience to the writing table. How did your careers help you in the writing process of Guided By Him?
Julie I am a wife, mother and new grandmother. I have been a secretary at the Pentagon, Spanish teacher, lay counselor, and RN. But the experience that helped me most in writing GBH was doing things WRONG for so many years, and then watching amazed as God helped me to change. I lost my extra pounds over 25 years ago and have kept them off. And God has changed my misery to ministry. I've been writing, speaking across the country and leading weight-loss groups since 1992.
Sarah I am a wife, new mother and Licensed Professional Counselor. I have counseled people from two to 92. I have worked a lot with overweight people who desperately need to lose weight, but are overwhelmed at the thought of doing it. I love teaching them new ways to deal with stress, facts about healthy living and easy things they can do to help them become more like the people they want to be.
Sarah, how do you incorporate the principles in Guided by Him in your counseling ministry?
Sarah I use them in many ways. I teach my clients how to use Anger Busters, Victory Lists, and Prayer Journals. And I teach them the fun-filled food facts and fitness facts in GBH. I talk to my clients about how quitting their Stinkin' Thinkin' can change their behaviors. One example of Stinkin' Thinkin' might be: "I have already blown it today so I can eat anything I want." I encourage changing that to "Shrinkin' Thinkin': "I need to plan a healthy, filling meal tonight because I am starving!"
When tempted to cheat on your healthy habits, what snack do you each reach for?
Sarah When I'm snacking, I try to balance carbs and proteins so my body stays balanced. And I drink a lot of water with lemon or lime slices.
Because scripture is emphasized in this method of weight-loss, what is your favorite verse to use as a defense against overeating?
Julie There are so many! I guess my favorite is 1 Corinthians 10:13 "...God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." For many years I thought the only way out of my temptation to overeat would be in heaven because I was sure that I'd always be tempted by unbearable food cravings while on earth.
How do you reward yourself for achieving your goals?
Julie This sounds really goofy, but I'll tell you anyway. Every week, I tell my friend Sue how I have done with my eating, exercising and other goals (like not being grumpy). If I have achieved more than 80% of my goals, she gives me a pretty colored sticker. I love having a sticker on my Victory List each week. And I HATE having to tell Sue that I've done badly! But the biggest reward is that I feel so much better when I'm on track with my eating and exercising, and I really feel crummy when I'm not.
Sarah For my rewards, I make extra time for myself to give myself a manicure/pedicure or to watch a favorite TV show. Sometimes I do "Wal-Mart Therapy" where I buy $10 worth of things that I don't normally buy at the grocery store (shower gels, an unusual tropical fruit, a new nail polish).
For moms out there trying to help their children to lose weight, what advice do you have for them?
Sarah- I have a two-year-old so I am finding ways to reward him with things other than food. They include hugs and kisses (of course!) praising him when he obeys and Play-Dough time (his favorite reward right now). I think it is super important to keep kids active, limit TV, computer and game time. Those things are privileges--not requirements--for kids. Other advice to help your child lose weight: exercise and eat in a healthy way as a family. They will do what you do. No pressure!
Here is my review of this amazing Bible study:
First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Julie Morris and Sarah Morris Cherry and their publisher for sending me a copy of "Guided By Him" to review for them. I have always been grateful for this generosity, but haven’t been very consistent in taking the time to thank them in a public forum. I really appreciate your time, effort and expense in making a reviewer copy available to me.
“Guided By Him” by Julie Morris and Sarah Morris Cherry is a wonderful resource! I was quite surprised that this is not a self-help book, but actually an incredible 12-week Bible study on how to lose weight and stress less. By making it a study, this encourages group participation and establishment of accountability partners. The emphasis is not being on a weight loss diet, but rather establishing healthy habits beginning with spending time with Jesus!
The study, itself, is not very taxing. Its lessons are completed as daily quiet time which will help the reader to develop this habit or add positive components to their existing daily time with God. I highly recommend this study for individuals and groups, and can’t wait to see the physical and spiritual results of participating in my own life.