Watching the local television news is not usually a life altering event. But for Spokane residents, Lee and Lori Settlemeyer*, a 30 second advertisement on KHQ made all the difference in the world for their life and health.
One evening, Lori pointed to the TV as a local news announcer spoke of a free medical service in town, Lori said, “Honey, I think we should go to this.” Her husband, Lee, sitting on the other side of the room, looked at her and said, “We really need that!”
It was a statement that meant more than they knew!
The First Step Toward Change
At the appointed day, Lee and Lori arrived at day-break and walked into an auditorium packed with people and trade-show-style booths. But this was no trade show. It was a free community service event being offered to Spokane residents called “Your Pathway to Health”.
They had just stepped into a revolutionary course for their lives.
What Happened to Happily Ever After?
Lee and Lori were married in 2009. Deeply in love with one another, they hoped for a happily ever after. Unfortunately, life was full of problems for both of them.
Lee was overweight at 465 pounds. He was keenly aware for years that unless something changed, he was on the path of multiple health problems, such as diabetes and heart issues. His feet were having tingling sensations. He barely had any energy level. Walking was a hard thing to do. Then, sleep apnea accompanied him at night. In addition, depression shackled Lee to another level. Watching TV and sleeping a lot were his regular activities. Potato chips became his comfort foods. Desperate for solutions, Lee had attempted many different promised remedies that were not necessarily good for any human being.
Lori was not much different. She was also overweight at 299 pounds. Her whole body was crippled with arthritic pain. Her blood pressure skyrocketed around the 160’s/90’s at times. Depression was also a challenge, though mild.
Spiritually, they were both hurting. Though they professed to be Christian, they longed for a better spiritual journey and were seeking for a church family.
They were desperate and knew it. For many years, they prayed for help.
Lee and Lori came to the event that August in 2015, because they had medical needs that were not covered by their insurance.
Lee asked for a dental exam on a tooth that had been broken for years. Lori asked for an eye exam. They were very thankful for the care they received.
But there were more blessings in store for them.
A Chance Meeting of Neighbors
They came back the next day, and while they waited in line for their treatment they met Chris Miles. Chris was a volunteer at the event working as part of the hospitality team for those who came for treatment. Chris saw Lee standing waiting for Lori’s dental appointment and started talking to him.
Interestingly, they had similar backgrounds. They both had worked in the same missile field in the air force. They attended the same non-denominational mega church in the past. Even more amazing was that, they lived only 2 blocks away from each other! Naturally, they connected instantly and became friends.
Chris invited Lee and Lori to study the Bible with him once a week. He also invited them to come to church, and they felt very at home at the North View Adventist Church.
The Changes Begins To Happen
What happened over the next few months were significant positive changes in Lee’s and Lori’s lives as well as a dramatic weight loss. They attended the follow-up health lectures one after the other. They were learning a lot about the body, how food can affect them, and how poor choices of food can lead to many health problems, such as heart attack, high blood pressure, and diabetes—the exact problems Lee and Lori were facing.
They were taken aback by what they learned. It was hard for them to believe that at their age, they had never been taught this life-saving information.
They knew they had to make changes! But How?
Learning To Cook Healthy
Fortunately they were able to attended some cooking classes being offered as a follow up to the health event. They learned not only how to cook vegetables, grains, nuts, and beans, but also how to make them taste good.
They were very impressed.
As they were implementing these new cooking skills, they met some people who became the kind of supportive friends they had been looking for. A couple of those new friends were their instructors—Fran and Arlan Fletcher. Lee and Lori received answers to the many questions they had about healthy cooking.
Relieving Their Depression
Another major need was also met for them through a Depression Recovery Program by Dr. Nedley that was held by one of the Adventist churches. The program taught them practical tools on how to relieve depression.
After the program, as they continued to implement the program, their depression improved tremendously.
Lowering Blood Pressure, Gaining More Energy
In October 1, 2015, Lee and Lori decided to switch to a totally plant-based diet with no added oils. In two weeks of eating like this, Lori did not need her blood pressure medication anymore and lost 10 pounds. Lee also regained some of his energy back.
Next, Lee and Lori attended, “Dinner with a Doctor,” a community outreach hosted by North View Adventist Church. There they met another friend, Mary Nash, who became their health coach and another tremendous blessing.
She was really helpful for them in setting goals and in keeping them in the right path on their health journey. She also suggested they check their vitamin D levels, which, when they found out, were so low that they were life-threatening.
They took actions to correct that and soon started to feel their energy return.
Even A Spiritual Health Gain
The blessing did not stop with just their physical health. Lee and Lori joined the Bible prophecy studies that their Pastor, Wayne Kablanow was conducting.
They had never heard about prophecy before and became very interested. The group was small, which gave them an opportunity to have one-on-one interactions with the pastor.
At the end of the studies, Lee and Lori decided to be baptized and join the church officially. By this time, they were already attending each week and wanted to seal their commitment.
And A Bright Future
Lee and Lori were baptized in April 2, 2016 and joined North View Adventist Church.
As of today, Lee is at 362 pounds and has lost 103 pounds. Lori is at 249 and has lost 50 pounds.
They not only regained their health back, but also they were very thankful for a new, healthier spiritual life. They are amazed at this 8-month journey and at how God providentially put people in their path to help them make the changes they needed to make.
It’s A Future You Can Have Too
As Lee and Lori can vouch for, having better health and wellness doesn’t have to be a mystery or even a painful experience. Having a few good friends and the right knowledge can make all the difference. And waiting till you are in desperate need is risky.
So why not start making a change in your health today.
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( *Name Changed for Privacy )