Praying the Pounds Away: Sister Talk uses spirituality to address healthy living


Prayer strengthens the women of First Cathedral Church in Bloomfield,  who are on an innovative wellness journey.

SisterTalk is a faith based weight loss program.

“[It’s a place] where women of faith can get together and our faith be strengthened to take the journey to learn more about our bodies, to learn more about nutrition,” said member Monica Forbes.

Scripture motivates them to exercise and eat healthy.

“What Paul is saying to the Phillippians is forget whats behind-press toward the high call, so don’t think about the ice cream you ate yesterday,” Forbes said in a meeting.

Then it’s onto food for living, and learning to read food labels. Recipes like Ethan’s Mango Smoothie are also shared.

The women rely on their spiritual connection to keep them on track.

“Even if you get up in the morning and you pray and you’re going to do this and that, if you fall back, you can always call someone who will pray with you or call someone for advice,” said member Johnese Rodgers.

“I love to eat, I love food, and I enjoy going to restaurants and so I just have to have self control,” said member Lisa Maurice. “So I always ask God for self control and to tell him this is for my health.”

SisterTalk came alive with partners like St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

“The goal was to really make sure that we had something scientific that was relative to people’s lives,” said Dr. Marcus McKinney.

“We added to it the everyday issues of motivation,” McKinney said. “Women pray for each other. We use our spiritual lives to make sure not only this week but six months from now the things that we encourage each other to do we’re still doing.”

SisterTalk began in 2003 with 12 Hartford area African-American churches and researchers from UConn health center and St. Francis.

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