Joanna Ward

CBS Survivor: Amazon Contestant and Fitness Professional

Candie A. Price: Thank you so much for agreeing to share with our readers your remarkable story.  We know that you appeared on the hit show Survivor in 2003, can you briefly tell us what you learned by appearing on the show, particularly about yourself?

JoAnna Ward: I have learned that I am both strong and resourceful and that the nature of a true leader follows her in any situation or circumstance. I learned what I won’t do for  a million dollars. The greatest and most cherished lesson I learned is that God is the Master of the Universe and provider no matter where I may find myself. I knew nothing about the jungles when I got there, but God had been maintaining it from the beginning of time and He lead me to eat the good of ‘that’ land while helping me surviving the harsh elements. 

CAP: Tell us about your battle with weight loss and fitness

JW: The battle that I had with weight loss was a by product of emotional and psychological weight gain through a strenuous matriculation through college and a broken marriage that resulted in a devastating divorce. While I had weathered a few storms, I had no foundation to keep me when the tornadoes and tidal waves hit me head on. I had no motivation and no inspiration. I was tired, weary, and plain out done. I begin to eat more and do less and these two made my body a complete mess.

CAP: Today there are thousands, if not millions, of products, diets, and lose weight quick plans out there. Consumers, I’m sure, are confused and fed up with all of these products and the barrage of advertisements. What do you say to that person who has struggled to lose weight and has tried almost everything out there? What is the real deal to get significant results without all of these products?

JW: The quest for an external solution to an internal problem is bound to produce a frustrating and ineffective result. Many of the underlying issues associated with weight loss have to do with the individual on a person to person basis. This is why people hire a “personal” trainer. Everyone has a different reason as to why they are struggling in one area or another. Once the diagnosis is made, the remedy must be self-administered and the average person does not have an adequate plan or the internal fortitude to exact what is equal to a childhood like restriction, punishment, or “whipping” on his or her own body.  A plan, action, consistency, and accountability rooted in self-control and discipline have proven the most effective and permanent results. 

CAP: It is amazing that there are a lot of Christians in our churches today that are overweight and some, even, morbidly obese. What are we doing wrong and how do we fix it? 

JW: We have justified our obesity as a rite of passage for being “HOLY.”

The issue with avoiding vanity and a narcissistic expression has caused us to be complacent and apathetic about both our health and level of fitness. We must first realize it is unacceptable and not bringing Glory to 

God or deliverance to the people. God is able and will provide His people a way of escape, but they must know they are captives first. Obesity and sickness are forms of captivities. Thank God that Christ often heals the sick and sets the captive free.

CAP: Tell us about your book, Surviving the Fitness Game. What makes this book different from all the other fitness books?

JW: This book has 3 majors components, but I believe that the first half of the book, Preparation of Spirit and Mind, makes it most significant. There are lots of exercises and recommendations out there for fitness and exercising, very few if any offer a preparation phase. Preparation, a very well mapped plan, is the key to the success of just about anything we attempt. There is also the 5 daily power points that can set the atmosphere for an empowered day before the sun rises or you step the first foot out of your door. The DVD is intimate and instructional. While most DVD’s require the viewer to follow along and attempt to keep up, this DVD literally teaches the exercises and defines the purpose behind what they are and the muscle groups worked. “Give me a fish and I will be hungry tomorrow, teach me to fish and I will never go hungry again.” The DVD teaches viewers. This is a both rare and unique.

CAP: Many times people start a weight loss regimen only to hit a wall and give up. What should they be doing to continue to be motivated?

JW: Stick with a plan that evolves as they evolve and not just associate with, but become a part of a powerful network of people with like goals and aspirations. Whatever you learn or achieve, quickly teach it and show it to someone else. This is the best way to master it yourself and help others. Seniors are always looking for motivation and leaders as well as children. No matter what, you have to determine in your mind that this is a lifestyle change. You have to make a commit to fit for life, no just to get to a certain size or weight. This commitment is followed by achievement and motivation.

CAP: Please give our readers some final words of wisdom about their weight loss goals.

JW: God bless you and keep you and may He empower you with strength, power, and praise. May He bring to your remembrance who you are and of what you are made. As you begin this journey yet another time, be well prepared with the Holy Spirit as your guide leading you along the entire way into the body of your destiny and ordination. May you enter the fitness game with the preparation and confidence of a Champion who knows all the rules, all the plays, all the strategies to win, not only because you are prepared, but because your owner and coach is The Most High God!

CAP: You may leave any information about where to purchase your book, your website or any future projects, etc.


The book Surviving the Fitness Game is available at Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Family Christian Book Stores or you may have it ordered by using the ISBN: 978-0-88270-458-6.  Thanks for allowing me to share. 

Featured in WOW! Magazine April 2008

#JoAnnaWard #SurvivingtheFitnessGame #Survivor

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