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Sheryl Boldt has the opportunity to talk to many people in the Big Bend about their businesses and activities. Then she shares that information with us! Below you'll find both written and audio highlights...as Sheryl Shares.

Click here to visit Sheryl Boldt's blog for many inspirational articles!

Recently, I had the privilege of having three Crisis Pregnancy Directors as my guest on a Wave 94 Sheryl Shares radio program. Their contact information follows this article that appeared in The Wakulla News and The Tallahassee Democrat in January 2018 for the National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

Would my younger self have chosen abortion?

Recently, I had the privilege of having three Crisis Pregnancy Directors as my guest on a Wave 94 Sheryl Shares radio program. Their contact information follows this article that appeared in The Wakulla News and The Tallahassee Democrat in January 2018 for the National Sanctity of Human Life Day.

Isn’t it true that whenever our safety and security are threatened, we scream for help?

But to whom can the unborn call when their life is about to be terminated? And to whom can those who are going through an unplanned pregnancy call for support?

I’ve never had a crisis pregnancy, but it must be a frightening and emotional experience. Wondering how your boyfriend will respond. Facing your parents’ anger and disappointment. Realizing your dreams of going to college or starting that new career may no longer be possible. Feeling alone, scared, and desperate.

Am I describing you and your circumstances? Does abortion seem like your only choice?

If I were to be very, very honest, I wonder if my younger self would have chosen abortion had I been in your situation. Maybe I would have. And that thought disquiets me.

I hope, instead, that an understanding woman would have reached out to me and offered me a different choice – and resources to assist me during and after my pregnancy. And I hope I would have accepted her help and listened to what she had to say.

Perhaps I would have visited the local crisis pregnancy center and had an ultrasound of my very tiny baby, revealing the miracle that was growing inside of me.

If I wasn’t able to raise my baby, I like to think someone would have helped me search out adoption agencies. Then maybe it wouldn’t have been as hard for me to make the same choice my baby would have wanted me to make, thus practicing Luke 6:31 (NASB): “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”

Finally, if I had gone through an unplanned pregnancy and felt alone, scared and desperate, I hope my family and church would also have practiced Luke 6:31 concerning me.

Then, perhaps I would have had the courage to choose life. I seriously hope I would have.

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you don’t have to go through it alone. Please consider contacting a crisis pregnancy center. If you’ve already had an abortion and need someone to talk to, your local crisis pregnancy center is available for you, as well.

Here is the contact information for the Executive Directors of local crisis pregnancy centers in the Tallahassee and Crawfordville area. Contact them about their services, ways you can volunteer your time and/or how you can financially give to their ministry.

A Women’s Pregnancy Center

Executive Director:

Jamie Brown

919 W. Pensacola Street

Tallahassee, FL 32304

Clinic phone: (850) 297-1174

Email address:  Jamie@awpc.cc

Clinic website: awpc.cc


A Women’s Pregnancy Center offers free pregnancy tests, free non diagnostic ultrasounds, free compassionate counseling on pregnancy options, free material assistance and very low cost std testing. We are located next to the FSU campus and serve men and women from Leon and the surrounding areas.

Open Door Women's Clinic

Also known as: Women's Clinic of Tallahassee

Executive Director:
Tracy A. Tesdall, MPA
1395 Cross Creek Cir, Tallahassee, FL 32301
PO Box 7146, Tallahassee, FL 32314
Clinic phone: (850) 656-9177

Email address: womensclinic.info@gmail.com

Clinic Website: WomensClinicTallahassee.com

Ministry Website: donateodwc.com

The Women's Clinic strives to offer the care that you need to help you make important decisions

regarding your pregnancy. Our services include free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, options

counseling, and now, free STD screening.

PHI Center - Pregnancy Help & Information Center

(Although Ryan was unable to meet with us to record today’s program, we wanted to include his contact information)

Chief Executive Officer:

Ryan Sprague

1710 S Gadsden Street Tallahassee, FL 32301

Clinic phone: (850) 222-7177

Email: Ryan@phicenter.org

Website: phicenter.org

The PHI Center exists to provide compassion, support and hope to women facing an unexpected pregnancy or life challenges surrounding a pregnancy, and to moms and dads experiencing struggles in parenting. We provide pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, a wide range of classes on pregnancy and parenting, as well as clothing, diapers, and other material needs at no cost to our clients.

Wakulla Pregnancy Center

Executive Director:
Angie Chatham

886 Woodville Highway

Crawfordville FL

Clinic phone: (850) 210 1276 

Email: angie@wakullapregnancycenter.org

Website: WakullaPregnancyCenter.org

Wakulla Pregnancy Center is a Christian ministry that exists to assist women and their families during unplanned pregnancies. We offer free pregnancy testing, and for those clients who choose life for their child, we offer assistance with material needs. We offer them someone to talk to and mentor them through their pregnancy. We have a mom and babies room with all the maternity and baby items needed to help through that first year. We also offer services for post abortive women to help facilitate their healing.

And a special thank you to Bone Dry Restoration and Cleaning for sponsoring today’s Sheryl Shares program. You can reach Bone Dry at 878-6469 for water damage, fire & smoke restoration, and mold remediation.

TCCTC Is Unique In Many Ways

Doug Apple sits in as guest host on this special edition of Sheryl Shares with Jo Anne Arnett, President of Tallahassee Christian College and Training Center (TCCTC).

1717 Hermitage Boulevard, Suite 102, Tallahassee, FL 32308

Refreshments will be provided throughout the day.

Come celebrate with TCCTC students, faculty, and staff, and appreciate how God has mightily blessed our school!

TCCTC is unique in many ways:

  • Basic belief that all followers of Jesus Christ are in full time ministry (whether they recognize it or not)
  • The belief that training is as important as a formal education
  • Need to equip themselves for the role God has called them to fulfill
  • All offerings are focused on Jesus / all courses based on Scripture / unity of Spirit and goal to “study to show ourselves approved” and to glorify Him
  • Students come from nearly 400 congregations in the Tallahassee Region – i.e. Pensacola, Thomasville, etc – study together
  • Members of the board, faculty, staff and student body are represented cross-denominationally

Our students:

  • Represent a variety of socio-economic and educational levels and are in positions of influence within this community and around the world
  • Some are dually enrolled homeschool & public school students / others have PhDs / some are pastors / all are welcome, regardless of age, walk of life, to study Scripture and Biblical topics in depth. Many of our students come as part of their lifelong learning.
A wide range of classes relate to family, workplace, congregational and community life
  • We are called to education and training within this region to equip others for service. We do this through accredited academic programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels, non-degree certificate programs and by offering individual courses and seminars
  • These are offered mornings, evenings and weekends
  • They range from seminars like Business by the Book, Helping the Homeless, How to teach, lead worship, etc. to in-depth studies of individual books of the Bible and studies in Greek
  • Programs are individualized to fit our students’ needs. Though some come full-time, most of our students are fully engaged in their congregation, workplace and community and take one course at a time.
  • TCCTC works with other non-profits, (several of whom meet here) and moves in prayer
  • TCCTC supplements, extends and expands the work of the local church. One pastor said sending members here was like adding staff

Keep up with the latest by sending send your name and email address with a request to receive our monthly email newsletter!

Tallahassee Christian College & Training Center

Address: 1717 Hermitage Boulevard, Suite 102, Tallahassee, FL 32308

Website: www.tcctc.org

Phone: 850-513-1000

Email address: Center-News@tcctc.org

Human Trafficking: The Underground Evil

At just eleven years old, “Stacey” found herself living on the streets. It had to be better than the home situation she was running from.

However, Stacey wasn’t afraid. She might be alone; but she truly believed that some caring adult was going to see her and offer help. It didn’t happen that way, though. Not one adult offered to help her – not one caring, loving adult, that is.

With 800,000 men, women and children being trafficked worldwide every year, how long do you think it will be before you or someone you care about is affected?

If you aren’t familiar with human trafficking, it’s the phrase used to describe people who are forced into prostitution or involuntary labor by another. Often it is under deplorable conditions and can go on for years until the person is able to escape or is rescued. And it is likely happening right in your community.

Proverbs 31:9 (ESV) speaks strongly about what to do when we see others being mistreated: “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Recently, during a recording for a special Sheryl Shares interview, I sat around a table and spoke with three extraordinary people who are doing just that: Julie Smith (Special Events/Community Relations Coordinator for the Salvation Army), and Elder Lee Thomas and Dr. Kimberly Thomas, pastors of Destiny Church of God, International.

During our conversation, I learned a lot about human trafficking: what it is, how to spot it in our communities and how we can get involved in putting an end to it.

Click on the play icon above and hear actual accounts, such as Julie’s story of “Stacey” (a name I made up), which I shared earlier. And the one about how surprised Pastors Lee and Kimberly were to hear why their waitress had a numbered tattoo on her neck.

Finally, you’ll hear about a woman who was subjected to human trafficking as a teenager, just three doors from her home. Thankfully, she has since come out of human trafficking and now shares her story in hopes that she can help others.

What would happen if we were to give these stories the attention and compassion they deserve? I would like to end with a challenge from Pastor Lee (which goes well with this week’s verse): “Make it your business to get involved just as you would want others to if it were your child, grandchild, niece or nephew who was in trouble.”

For more information and support regarding human trafficking or to request a free presentation on the subject (for any size group), please contact:

Julie Smith 

The Salvation Army  Special Events / Community Relations Coordinator  

 (850) 222-0304 ext. 109   julie.smith@uss.salvationarmy.org 

For encouragement and support regarding human trafficking or to find out information on Another Cry Save Our Youth from Violence Community Forum, please contact:

Pastors Lee and Kimberly Thomas

Destiny Church of God, International



My Favorite Sheryl Shares Interview – with My Husband!

Bert B. Boldt, II: Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services , LLC

Eleven years ago, when I was a private caregiver, I took Bee—one of the ladies I cared for—to see Dr. William Morse. He suggested I take her to be fitted with medical support hosiery and recommended Bert Boldt at Tallahassee Physical Therapy.

“What a name,” I thought to myself: Bert Boldt. But being the ever-so caring caregiver that I was, I made the appointment for Bee to see Mr. Boldt.

A little over a year later, I became Mrs. Bert B. Boldt, II!

I was delighted to have my husband, Bert, as a guest on a recent Sheryl Shares program to tell us about Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services, as well as JOBST medical hosiery. (Click on the play button to hear the interview.)

During the interview, we discussed what led up to Bert becoming a physical therapist and the history of his practice, which opened in Tallahassee in 1973.

Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services treats a wide range of diagnoses, including medical and surgical, orthopedic and neurological conditions, all referred by physicians. Their patients range from children to adults.

Tallahassee Physical Therapy patients who suffer with venous disease are fitted with JOBST medical hosiery products. The practice accepts almost every form of insurance and has strong referral relationships with area physicians.

Bert loves being a physical therapist. His entire staff works with the conviction that “it’s all about good patient care.”

Being married to a physical therapist has its advantages, too. After recently having surgery to fix two broken bones in my wrist, I didn’t have to go far for physical therapy. My wrist is already practically as good as new. Well, as good as new as a not-so-new-wrist can be, that is.

When I asked Bert, “What is one of your greatest highlights since becoming a physical therapist?” he immediately answered, “Meeting you!” (Wasn’t that the perfect answer?!)

For additional information about JOBST compression stockings, or to make an appointment with the best physical therapy practice (bias noted), call or visit their website:

Bert B. Boldt, II

Tallahassee Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services, LLC

132 Salem Ct., Tallahassee, FL 32301

850-877-8177; 800-833-3367


Rush and JoAnn Gander of Gander's Gulf Supply Hardware Store in Carrabelle, FL

Lessons From a Dying Man

“Hi, Mr. Gander. It’s Sheryl Boldt with Wave 94. Last time we spoke, you asked me to call back around this time to discuss advertising Gander’s Gulf Supply Hardware Store.”

“I would love to,” Mr. Gander replied. “But I’ve been to the doctor again since I’ve last spoken with you and was told my cancer has come back. He says I’m terminal.”

I immediately switched gears and silently prayed. “Father, direct this conversation."

Since that call, my husband Bert and I have kept in touch with Rush Gander and his wife, JoAnn. You change a bit when you spend time with a Christian who’s been told he only has months to live.

Is Rush afraid? Not of dying itself because “I know where I’m going since I’ve accepted Christ as my Savior.” (John 3:16 ESV: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”)

But I wanted to get to know more about this man who (without a miracle) will soon be seeing his Savior face to face. I wondered how he spends his days, what he thinks about, prays about.

I wanted to hear from his devoted wife, JoAnn. How was she coping? What were her fears? How could we pray for her?

And when I heard that their grandson, Cody, stepped up to run the store during the time Rush and JoAnn were in Miami for chemo and radiation treatments, I was interested to hear his thoughts, too. (Cody is now training to fill “my granddaddy’s nice big shoes.”)

Then, after hearing how well respected Rush Gander is in the Carrabelle and surrounding communities, I figured others would want to know these things about him, as well. Thankfully, Rush, JoAnn and Cody agreed to allow me to record our conversation about those very issues.

This was the most poignant interview I have done since working for Wave 94. I hope it will bless all who listen to it. (Click the play button above to hear the interview.)

And if you’re ever in the Carrabelle, Florida area, plan to stop by Gander’s Gulf Supply Hardware at 90 Tallahassee Street, right across from the Carrabelle Post Office. They’re open Monday through Friday 7:00 to 5:00 and on Saturdays from 7:00 to noon. They sell general hardware supplies, including paint, plumbing fixtures, electrical and hand tools. Drop by to shop – or have a seat on a five-gallon paint bucket and visit for a while.

Candace McKibben, Director of Faith Outreach for Big Bend Hospice, on the subject of National Hospice Month

My guest blogger, Candace McKibben, Big Bend Hospice’s Director of Faith Outreach, shares a personal story.

National Hospice Month – Know your Options!

I thought I understood the difficulty in deciding to pursue hospice care for a loved one, but until it was my own sweet daddy, I vastly under-estimated the weight. It was not that I did not believe in the value of hospice care. After twelve years of ministry at Big Bend Hospice, I certainly have seen the difference our services can make for the patient and for the family during the time of illness, death and afterwards. It was not that I believed that accepting hospice services would somehow impact my father’s illness negatively; no imaginings that it was throwing in the towel and giving up on his life. I think it was that I did not want it to be true; that I could not bear the realization that my daddy who had overcome amazing odds in his lifetime was near death. Thank God for a few hospice friends who gently helped me realize it was time.

What we would have lost without hospice services was the comfort of expert symptom management in his last few days of life. What we would have missed was the opportunity to notify family in time to make the three hour journey to be present with him before he died. My mother would not have had a hospice chaplain, who was not her daughter, listen to her sadness over losing her husband of nearly 65 years. Without hospice services we would have missed the sacred moment as a family to be praying his favorite Lord’s Prayer as he breathed his last. We would have foregone the tender care of a hospice aid who gave my daddy his last bath and still, eighteen months later, inquires about my mother though she only met her once. Though daddy’s death was so swift that the family decided against the music therapist visit when she arrived just moments before his passing, she graciously waited outside his door in case we changed our minds.

Had we not chosen hospice services we would not have had monthly calls from a bereavement counselor and routine counseling sessions including helpful resources to guide us through our loss. True, we could have accessed Big Bend Hospice’s excellent community bereavement services even if we had not used patient services, but it was comforting to know that a skilled counselor was monitoring our well-being. What I learned from personal experience was just how compassionate and committed all of my colleagues are and what a difference the services made even though our length of stay was brief. I wished I had called much sooner.

There are many employees at Big Bend Hospice who work various shifts around the clock in all eight counties of the Big Bend to serve hundreds of patients, most of whom are in their homes. We employees go months at a time without seeing each other. Recently, I saw one of our amazing on-call nurses and realized that the last time I saw him was when he came to be with me after daddy’s death. He was sensitive to give us the space we needed as family and, when we were ready, to allow me to walk with him out of the door of his room at Westminster Oaks for the last time. He reminded me of our on-call services and how we could phone anytime night or day for support. It was the safety net we needed.

The theme of National Hospice month is “Know Your Options!” It is an important message. We health care consumers need to know the benefits and burdens of treatment options all along life’s spectrum. It is yet another service of Big Bend Hospice to encourage advance care planning on the part of all citizens in our community. Our Planning Early About Care at the End (PEACE) consult and community task force for encouraging advance care planning are but two of the ways we are helping you know your options. I know personally, I am so grateful that I took the option of asking Big Bend Hospice to care for my daddy. It made all the difference.

Rev. Candace McKibben

Big Bend Hospice, Director of Faith Outreach

Link to Candace’s blog: http://blogs.tallahassee.com/community/2016/11/03/national-hospice-month-know-your-options/

If you would like to request information about hospice care or have the Five Wishes (advance directives) document mailed to you, call 850.878.5310.

Or visit their website: www.BigBendHospice.org.

The service is free.

Your family will thank you.

A Ministry For Children of Incarcerated Parents

“Now I know who I look like.” 

These were the words of a seventeen-year-old young man after seeing his dad for the first time since he was a baby. He’s always heard that he looked like his dad, but he didn’t really believe it until he visited his dad at the prison where he’s been sentenced for all those years.

This “bonding visit” might have never happened had it not been for Living Stones International (LSI). Furthermore, to help make the scheduled visit a success, LSI counseled the dad on the best ways to connect with his son. Later, when Pastor Gary Montgomery (LSI President) checked to see how their visit was going, the son said, “Great!”

This is one of many stories about how LSI ministers to families dealing with incarcerated parents. LSI is a non-profit outreach ministry for children of inmates working with The Service Network. Living Stones is one of ten agencies working on behalf of children of incarcerated parents in the State of Florida.

Several weeks ago, I was very excited when Living Stones International agreed to sit down with me to record a Sheryl Shares program. Unfortunately, due to a family emergency, I was unable to meet with them. Therefore, my boss, Wave 94 General Manager, Doug Apple, kindly recorded the interview for me. (Click on the play button to hear the interview which includes information about a very fun event on Saturday, June 18!)

During the interview, LSI’s Josephine Gamboa-Montgomery (Executive Director) and Eddie Hadley (Director of Operations) discussed its mission to help moms and dads, who are in prison, stay connected with their children.

Mrs. Gamboa-Montgomery, who prefers to be called JC, said the reason she and her husband, Pastor Gary, believe so strongly in ministering to these children is because 70% of children with parents who end up in prison will follow the same paths of their incarcerated parent.

Therefore, LSI gets involved with these families by offering mentoring programs to assist parents (including the incarcerated parent) in developing effective methods of communicating with their children and to help the children learn social and life skills. (See LSI’s website for details and for other resources they provide: www.welivingstones.org.)

However, to keep providing these kinds of services, Living Stones International needs you. Here’s a fun way you can help:

Bring your families and barbeque grills to LSI’s 4th Annual Day of Fun. You’ll have a blast! See the flyer above for details.

For questions regarding Living Stones International ministry, including ways you can volunteer and give – or to learn more about the 4th Annual Family Fun Day, please contact them:

(850) 765-0320

(website): www.welivingstones.org

(email): info@welivingstones.org


Living Stones International P.O. BOX 6747 Tallahassee, FL  32314-6747  

President: Gary Montgomery Executive Director: Josephine Gamboa-Montgomery Director of Operations:  Eddie Hadley Social Worker:  Yang Dong Administrative Assistant:  Catherine Jones

Laura Forster, Women's Ministry Leader at Celebration Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL - Discussing the Priscilla Shirer Live Simulcast April 23, 2016

Pushing Back Against the Enemy and Moving Forward with Confidence

Have you been engaged in spiritual warfare for your family for some time without seeing any results? Do your prayers for your loved ones feel powerless? Well, here’s your chance to hear from Priscilla Shirer – the actress who portrayed the young wife who learned about the power of prayer in the movie “War Room.”

Laura Forster and Christy Treadwell, women's ministry leaders at Celebration Baptist Church, joined me for an exciting Sheryl Shares program in which we discussed a powerful event coming to Celebration Baptist Church:

Priscilla Shirer will be teaching about spiritual warfare via a live simulcast. Plus, her brother, Anthony Evans (from “The Voice”), will be leading worship! (Click on the play button to hear the interview that includes sound bites of Ms. Shirer’s message and Mr. Evans’ singing.)

This live simulcast is for you, ladies, who want to take your spiritual lives to the next level by learning what spiritual warfare is, why it is important for you and how to do it effectively:

The Priscilla Shirer Live Simulcast (with Anthony Evans leading worship)

Date: Saturday, April 23

Doors open at 8:30 a.m., program starts at 9:00 a.m., runs until 4:30 p.m.

Cost: $20.00, includes a brown bag lunch (from Connie’s Hams) and booklet for note-taking

They expect to sell out, so order your tickets soon!

Location: Celebration Baptist Church in Tallahassee

3300 East Shamrock St.

On the corner of Centerville Road and East Shamrock

For more information and to order tickets

On the church website: iCelebration.org 

Or call the church at 850-893-1709

“The event is a discipleship type of event for women which we hope will strengthen our relationships with God while helping our prayer lives to defeat the enemy through spiritual warfare,” Laura explained.

Priscilla Shirer is an author, Bible teacher and actress. She played the young wife who learned about the power of prayer in War Room. Anthony Evans is a singer, songwriter and worship leader. During the Sheryl Shares recording, Laura and Christy told me that Priscilla and Anthony’s father is the well-know evangelist, Tony Evans. Wow!

When I asked why Celebration Baptist’s women ministry chose to host Priscilla Shirer’s live simulcast, Christy explained how Ms. Shirer’s Bible study, “The Armor of God” changed her life. Then, after seeing War Room, she knew the women in Tallahassee and surrounding areas would benefit from a teaching about spiritual warfare from such a dynamic teacher.

Celebration Baptist Church is constantly seeking ways to serve the community, spiritually. David Emmert has served as the pastor for the past 10 years. His desire is all about connecting the people to God.

The church has seen a lot of attendance growth. In fact, beginning Easter Sunday, Celebration Baptist will expand to three Sunday services. Go to their website (icelebration.org) for their service times, and for more information about the pastor and their mission.

Before I go, there are two other Celebration Baptist events coming up:

David Platt “The Secret Church” Live Simulcast  

David Platt, the new president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, will be hosting an intense time of Bible study and prayer (via live simulcast) for those “across the globe who are facing persecution and for those who still have not heard the gospel” (Secret Church website). Laura explained that it is called “The Secret Church” for those who are not free to worship publicly, but must meet secretly.

Date and time: April 29, starting at 6:30 p.m. and it will continue until midnight

And for the men (and ladies) who love cars, mark your calendars and invite you friends to the:

Father’s Day Weekend Car Show!

Date: Saturday, June 18th

Details: Over 200 Cars Live Music Food and Fun!

For more information regarding Priscilla Shirer’s Live Simulcast, the churches expanded service times, other coming events – or anything else you’ve always wondered about Celebration Baptist, please contact them:

Website: iCelebration.org

Phone number: 850-893-1709

Tickets for the Priscilla Shirer’s Live Simulcast are expected to sell out – so call soon!


Thriving after Anorexia Nervosa

While people routinely seek medical attention for physical problems, many do not seek help for Anorexia Nervosa. Instead, they suffer in silence, wasting away.

If you, or someone you love, is currently battling an eating disorder, then you will want to hear Nicole Zema’s (Wakulla News reporter) interview with Jay Reeve, PhD (CEO of Apalachee Center) and me, as we discussed this topic in a recent special edition of Sheryl Shares.

Nicole Zema’s article, “Mind, body & spirit: Thriving after anorexia” which appeared in The Wakulla News in February 2016, can be read here:

Sheryl Boldt’s goal was to weigh zero pounds.

The aspiration spoke volumes on how she saw herself.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is Feb. 21 through Feb. 27. To further awareness of the issue, Wakulla News columnist Sheryl Boldt shared her personal story of struggle, redemption and triumph over eating disorders.

Boldt was only 15 when she saw a unflattering reflection of herself in a window while painting the house with family. The warped image marked the atrophy of her self esteem.

“I saw that and thought, how can they even love me?” Boldt said. “How can they love someone so fat?”

Boldt recalled what was happening in her teenage brain.

“I had dreams of running, and wishing I could skip a meal and lose weight,” Boldt said. “I was always thinking about how fat I was, but my weight was really nothing like I thought.”

Eventually Boldt married and got pregnant.

“The morning sickness was so bad that I lost a lot of weight,” Boldt said. “After having the baby, I weighed 10 to 15 pounds less than before. I thought, ‘that’s pretty neat.’ I didn’t want to gain back the weight, so I gradually started eating less and less. I got pregnant with a second one, and I didn’t want to gain too much weight. The consciousness of my weight increased from there.”

Boldt’s battered self-esteem, need for control and desire to be thin collided.

“My husband said something that hurt me,” Boldt said. “I looked at the kitchen and thought, ‘Why did I eat lunch?’”

At the time, Boldt did not know eating disorders existed.

“I wasn’t labeling it, because I didn’t know anything about it,” Boldt said. She started engaging even more restrictive behavior.

“Once I made myself (a meal) I loved, but I stopped eating it,” she said. “I wasn’t going to let myself eat it. I knew that meant something. I was starting to put rules on myself, and started restricting more and more.”

Control is key when it comes to eating disorders, said Elena Reyes, a licensed mental health counselor with Time to Change in Wakulla and Tallahassee. She has experience counseling numerous clients with eating disorders.

“It feels like they can’t control anything in life, expect their weight,” Reyes said.

Boldt’s mother-in-law noticed the unhealthy weight loss.

“She had this talk with me – she was on me for months, saying ‘I think you have a disorder, this thing called anorexia nervosa.’”

Boldt remembers a “not me” sense of denial.

“I thought she was just overly concerned,” Boldt said. “She gave me an article to read, and I could relate to almost everything this person was saying. But that’s when I found out about purging.”

The article educated Boldt on new techniques, though it was not the author’s intention. There is a phenomenon of the digital age referred to as “pro-ana” or “pro-anorexia.” Anorexics and bulimics post images and words of encouragement online to promote eating disorders, share techniques to advance weight loss, and demand respect for the “lifestyle choice.”

Boldt is a tall lady – almost 6 feet. At her lowest she weighed 117 pounds. According to the body mass index calculator, Boldt was seriously underweight.

Reyes said being underweight damages the heart and wrecks havoc on the metabolic system. The lack of nutrients leads to hair loss, dry skin and weakness.

The behavior is as destructive on the mind as it is on the body.

“I became competitive with myself,” Boldt said. “I had to lose a pound everyday.”

She competed with her mother’s lowest weight too. At 6’2”, Boldt’s mother weighed 98 pounds.

“I did the math all the time, knowing I was nowhere near what I needed to be,” she said. When someone explained it was impossible to weigh zero, “I thought I should weigh 85 at the most,” she said.

Reyes said she has witnessed similar competitive behaviors in patients. In therapy and group support, clinicians avoid using numerical figures to describe weight, so patients cannot compare those numbers.

“I was always a failure for not losing more,” Boldt said. “My entire self esteem was wrapped up in weight and losing weight. I was successful if I was the thinnest person in the room.”

Avoiding food was the one thing she could control. But still, Boldt would go on mental lockdown in some social situations, like the greeting time at Sunday morning worship.

“When someone gave me a hug, I would be mortified because they would feel so much fat,” Boldt said. “Instead of enjoying the fellowship and greetings, I would be absorbed in the thoughts: ‘They know I’m fat and horrible.’ There was no way I could convince myself otherwise.”

That’s the thing about eating disorders or habits, Boldt said – self-absorption. The obsession, behaviors and control become “an addiction” of sorts.

“As a person who loved God deeply and was born again… I would feel the guilt,” Boldt said. “I wanted to go to God in prayer, but I loved my behavior more than I loved Him.”

While the root of Boldt’s problem was mental, “It became a sin issue,” she said. “I knew I could lay it at Jesus’ feet and repent, but my desire to be thin outweighed my desire to please Him.”

Boldt was hospitalized a total of 28 times. She would get better, and then slip back into the old behaviors. The marriage was stressful, which was exacerbated by her food issues.

“(My ex-husband) got so angry with my eating disorder,​ which I could understand why​,” she said.

Boldt was rattled by the death of the famous singer Karen Carpenter in 1983, who died of complications related to anorexia.

“I was once again going back to it, and I ​hadn’t told my husband yet,” Boldt said. “But I knew it wouldn’t be long for him to figure out.”

By this time, Boldt​ was having trouble keeping up with her four little ones ​because she was growing weaker physically and emotionally. ​​She reached her breaking point,​ and pleaded with her truck driver husband to stay home with the kids.

“I can’t do this anymore​ unless you get a different job and stay home more​,” she recalls saying to him. “Unfortunately, the decision was made for us to separate instead. My last morning with the kids, I helped them get ready for the day, but couldn’t bring myself to tell them what was happening – that I was leaving.”

Her oldest was only 5 years old at the time.

“I still cry when I think about it,” Boldt said.​ “It was horrible for ​me – and must have been horrible for the children when they found out mom moved out.”

Her illness in combination with her ex’s negative comments made it worse, she said.

“I kept in touch and saw them when I could,” Boldt said. “But I didn’t get to raise my children.”

She had custody every other weekend. The goodbyes​ at the end of each visit​ were devastating.

“They would grab my leg​ and hold onto my hand​ when they knew the time was coming, hide or scream,” Boldt said. “The neighbors would put down their windows.”

Boldt said she did not abandon her children. They needed her, and she loved them so much, but it was not healthy for them to be in the proximity of her profound illness.

“​As painful as the goodbyes were, I knew it was very important for me to keep seeing them every other weekend,” Boldt said. “I wanted them to know that although I wasn’t able to raise them, that I loved them and haven’t abandoned them.”

The years ticked by. Suicidal impulses emerged, and her doctors were “throwing up their hands.”

“I was almost 48, heading toward the state hospital,” Boldt said. “I went through years of begging God to deliver me and feeling as if everyone – even He – was disappointed in me. Then one day I prayed, ‘I don’t think I can live up to anyone’s expectations, including my own. So from this day on, Lord, if I never please anybody else, I want to keep my eyes on You and please You.’”

The moment marked a positive turning point.

“​A short time later, when I was getting help at the Apalachee Center,​ I stuttered out that I needed to try something different,​” Boldt said. “They are very good people, but they didn’t know how to help me anymore, so ​during a roundtable ​I told them that I need to find my significance in Christ.”

The roundtable agreed it was a good start.

She took it one day at a time.

“Every thought of temptation I overcame with God’s help,” Boldt said, quoting Second Corinthians 10:5, “And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

“I spoke the truth,” she said, “instead of giving in to throw up, to not eat, or to cut myself. God loves me and I am not a farrier to that kind of stuff. I started imitating stable people, praying and believing and meditating on scripture.”

She slowly came off her medications.

“Why didn’t this happen sooner?” Boldt asked. “Of course I prayed all those times in the hospital. I guess I don’t have to understand it, but I rejoice that I am free today! I want to help others and show compassion for those who are still struggling. I am thankful for where the Lord has brought me.”

Now Boldt is 60, married to Bert Boldt, and is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and sales executive at Wave 94. She enjoys a great relationship with her kids and four grandchildren. She is also at a healthy weight.

Getting well does not mean her life is perfect. Boldt’s health was negatively impacted through her years as an anorexic.

“I do have consequences like low blood sugar, lupus, my bones aren’t healthy, and my metabolism is so bad,” Boldt said. Long-term medical implications can also include brain shrinkage, osteoporosis, heart failure, infertility and death.

Reyes added, “Most people think it’s female disorder, but it’s truly not, you see it in men, and even in young boys,” Reyes said.

Boldt’s doctor recently said it would be advisable if she did lose some weight.

“God delivered me, plus 20 pounds more than I wanted,” Boldt said, laughing. “But it’s good that I can laugh! I do struggle now at the weight I am, wanting to feel attractive. But now after 12 and a half years… I don’t fear going back. I’m wise enough to know that the devil will trip me up again. I take captive those thoughts, and choose not to fall into those behaviors again.”

For anyone experiencing a similar struggle, Boldt said she is there for support. Just email her: sherylhboldt.wave94@gmail.com. A Time to Change can be reached at 926-1900.

Feb. 21-27 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. To read facts, warning signs and statistics, visit: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org


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