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Patricia Johnson-Hill By Tonya E. DurrellSentinel Religion WriterThis past summer, Patricia Johnson-Hill had accomplished a personal goal that continues to elude so many others in search of self-improvement--she lost an astounding 72 pounds. Since then, she has dropped another 29 pounds, rounding out her total weight loss at 101 pounds in less than one year."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," commented Hill, who used the Cookie Congregation Diet System to achieve her goals.
Based in Los Angeles, the Cookie Congregation got its start out of Bryant Temple A.M.E. Church with Rev. Dr. Clyde W. Oden who urged his congregants to follow his lead on the diet to counter health ailments related to being overweight. Together, they lost a remarkable 2,000 pounds. The Cookie Congregation is based on four S.E.E.D. pillarsóspirituality, education, exercise and diet and uses nutritionally-balanced cookies as meal replacements. The cookies, coupled with a sensible dinner for an average daily caloric intake between 100-1200, seem to be a recipe for success.Hill eagerly embraced the spirituality component of the plan and credits her success with her strong belief in Jesus Christ. "It is a good program and I know it can work. We have to put Christ first in every area of our lives. Once you make up your mind-- ask him for the strength to guide you through. If you can make it through the first week, then it is smooth sailing after that," she said.When Hill finds herself needing more encouragement, she knows that she has her faith to see her through. "I cast all of my cares and concerns to Christ. He cares about me and everything that concerns me. He knew this was a concern to me," she said.With diabetes quickly becoming a growing epidemic among African-Americans along with hypertension's long-standing presence in Black America, Hill was all too familiar with what she faced in her battle of the bulge.Hill commented "I'm in a better place, physically and emotionally, a place that I am willing to do whatever it takes to remain."The Cookie Congregation plan has taught her a lot about healthy living. "It was very eye opening learning about body mass and fat. I was surprised to learn that I was considered obese."As part of the program, she has a weigh-in every Saturday and goes to the gym regularly. She even has a plan to keep up her weight loss during the holidays. "Rather than making two pans of our favorite foods, I will make just one."In the past she has been partial to sweet treats, so being able to have her cookies makes it that much easier. She is also enjoying the perks that come along with losing over 100 pounds. "I can go into any store and shop off the rack."Hill is thrilled that she met her goal for the year and wants to lose just a few more pounds. One thing is certain; she will continue to look to the Lord to remain motivated."The power of life and death is in the tongue. I learned to speak positive things in my lifeófaith is seeing those things that are unseen, I had to believe that I could attain this goal."To learn more about the Cookie Congregation, call (323) 296-3438.