The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Losing weight, gaining faith

3D program nudges members to good health

Television commercials show slimmed-down men and women praising weight loss programs as they hold their old jeans now six sizes too big. Images of yummy foods follow, promising viewers they can eat and still lose weight—if they’re willing to fork over money and not budge from the programs.

ScaleSusan Orth and a million other people are members of a different kind of weight-loss program, one that doesn’t focus entirely on lowering a number on a scale but more on finding a sturdier path to healthy living and to God. The 3D (Diet, Discipline, Discipleship) Plan is a 12-week small-group program focusing on wholeness in all aspects of life, from the physical to the spiritual. Participants make small, gradual changes in their diet, lifestyle and discipleship practices.

For Orth, director of outreach at Zion Lutheran, Leola, Pa., the success of the program at her church has propelled some 28 members to continue for another 12 weeks. Participants have lost a total of 142 pounds since January, but she said the real joy has come from the camaraderie and spiritual growth.

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