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'Biggest Loser' motivates church to lose big

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Sept. 3, 2012 at 4:03 a.m.

Mark Cornelison, contestant of "The Biggest Loser," speaks at Covenant Life Center in Victoria.  Cornelison  came to speak to the congregation Sunday about his spiritual journey to weight loss and to motivate others to do the same.

COVENANT LIFE CENTER 30-DAY WEIGHT LOSS WINNERS

First Place, Jim King, 14.5 percent loss

Second Place, Curtis Tonne, 12.1 percent loss

Third Place, Jeff Rendon, 11 percent loss

FIT 4 HIM

WHERE: Covenant Life Center Clubhouse, 108 Cozzi Circle

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. (Group meets every other Tuesday)

COST: Free

CONTACT: Patrick Kutchka at 361-237-5536

Weight loss loser Jim King walked on stage Sunday night at Covenant Life Center Church and shook hands with an even bigger loser, Mark Cornelison.

The 44-year-old Cornelison, a top five contestant on NBC's hit weight loss show, "The Biggest Loser," traveled from Houston on Sunday to visit the church and encourage a packed room of fitness-minded Christians that they, too, can meet their spiritual and physical goals with God.

"You guys stand out to me because you did it without a TV show," said Cornelison, who lost a total of 101 pounds on the show. "It was unbelievable experiencing what God used for me to get my life back, and for some of you he's using Fit 4 Him."

Cornelison, a student pastor with Faith Bible Church in the Woodlands, was referencing Convenant's weight loss ministry, which fuses calorie counting with Christ.

On Sunday, King was announced as the biggest loser of the Fit 4 Him 30-day weight loss challenge, losing a total of 14.5 percent of his original body mass.

His prize - a new iPad, courtesy of the church.

"My wife and family have been so supportive of me in this journey ... a really positive example," King said.

Inviting his wife Betty King on stage next to Cornelison, he handed off his enwrapped iPad trophy and kissed Betty before a cheering congregation.

"Our anniversary is in a couple of days, so here, 'Happy anniversary,'" King said to his wife.

Like King, Cornelison struggled with weight loss for many years and decided to use faith and prayer to keep motivated during his fitness journey.

While addressing Covenant Church, Cornelison encouraged those participating in Fit 4 Him to believe in God's ability to mold them into the best versions of themselves they can become.

"There's no way I could have done this without God," Cornelison said. "When we're physically in shape and we don't have to worry about the exterior, there's no place we can't go and nothing we can't do for God."

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