One of my goals this year is to lose some weight. Slowly through the years, I have put on some pounds. A pound here, a pound there and BOOM!, it’s too many pounds. I’m not getting any younger and things tend to wear out with age and I’m noticing a few aches and pains that weren’t there before. My first inclination is that if I lose weight, maybe some of them will go away leaving only legitimate concerns. ( I would rather have my eye plucked out with a stick than go to the doctor. Can you tell?) While researching weight loss, I soon discovered that what one “expert” advocates, another one opposes and I ended up frustrated and confused. So I did what any normal Christian would do…I prayed. Well maybe a normal Christian would have prayed first, but I tend to think that God gave me a brain and I was just trying to put it to good use. Shortly after I prayed, my company which has a bang up wellness program made us an offer. If we wanted to join weight watchers for 17 weeks, they would pay for all but $36.00 of it if we met our weight loss goal. Since I like a challenge, I jumped right away!
I soon came to realize that my problem was portion size and making wise choices. Weight Watchers is a proven lifestyle change diet program, so I thought that I would learn a lot. The first meeting was highly attended. When the instructor asked how many people had done weight watchers before ¾ of the room raised their hand. That sent up a red flag for me because I was wondering why, if they had done it before that they had to return, obviously needing to lose more weight. I was further disappointed when I saw what they wanted you to eat. I cook for a family and they either can’t or won’t eat what Weight Watchers was advocating.
First, I am not going to eat ANYTHING no fat for two reasons. I would rather die a slow death than eat that awful tasting, textured stuff and it is well known that what they put in non-fat foods is worse for you than the fat is. So that was immediately out.
Secondly, as if I don’t already have enough to do, they want me to track every single thing I eat all day. While I understand the concept, I am not going to spend the rest of my life counting points. If this is about lifestyle change, I should be able to get to the point where I don’t need to be so anal about food, yet a lot of people who have been using this program for a long time still faithfully track their points everyday. I was starting to have second thoughts and almost walked out, but decided to stay and give it a try. I’m so glad that I did.
Even with my reservations, I figured that I had 17 weeks to “experiment” with my eating/exercise program and could probably figure out in that amount of time how to eat and lose weight. I have to admit that I have learned a lot about food, when I have the tendency to overindulge and on what and quite honestly just checking to see how many points that brownie has is enough to make me lose my appetite before I eat it. The best thing has been that I’ve learned about making healthy choices and I find that the more healthy food I eat, the more awful processed or junk food tastes! Except for ice cream, of course! I added some distilled water to my diet as well to clean out any leftover metals that might be hanging around in my body and I can notice distinct improvement in how sensitive my taste buds are. When you really think about it, God probably never designed our bodies to digest a lot of the stuff we eat on a daily basis, which may be why cancers and certain diseases are on the rise. Furthermore, we really don’t know what’s in a lot of food we eat. We learned this the hard way.
As some of you might know, our family experienced severe food poisoning in February of 2014. As a result, my poor husband got sick after almost every meal. After months of weeding out foods that we thought might be causing it, we finally realized that he had a yeast intolerance. Now the doctor tells us that there is a lot of literature on this phenomena but no science, so doctors kind of poo-poo the idea of its existence. Well, let me tell you something Dr. Skeptical, when you are hanging over a toilet day after day, when your wife is one second away from driving you to the emergency room because, in 36 years, she has never seen you in such bad shape, that is all the science that I need to determine that this yeast intolerance is real. Because he is so sensitive to it, we have discovered that there is yeast, MSG, and yeast extracts in things that you would never dream! For instance, I fixed a meal for my husband. It was all whole food, or so I thought. He got sick. I cried. I couldn’t imagine what in the world could have made him sick. All that was in the meal was fresh vegtables, butter, and chicken. I slowly went through all the ingredients and ruled everything out. Then it occurred to me to check the chicken packaging. Sure enough, they inject their chicken with chicken broth. Chicken broth contains yeast extracts! For fear that we would have to become vegetarians, I called a local grocery store that is known for having good quality food and said, “I am looking for chicken breast that has been sliced off the chicken and slapped right on that white styrofoam plate without having anything done to it in the process. Do you have something like that?” Fortunately, they do so they now have a new customer and I don’t have to cry after every meal. And oh yea….my husband doesn’t have to be sick every night. :-)
I don’t know why I waited so long to think about all this and make these changes sooner, but guess better late than never applies here. So I’ve lost 20 lbs. I have hit a plateau though, a whole new experience for me. But I just keep plugging away, exercising at least 4 times a week and trying to watch what I eat, but allowing myself some simple pleasures-like ice cream- along the way. I don’t want to become a food nut. Those people have just switched the object of their obsession. I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in real change and developing habits that will last a lifetime but not have to be tended after all the time.
This idea applies to us spiritually as well. As you allow the Holy Ghost to change you, spiritual, Godly habits will be formed in you and they will become 2nd nature and not something that you have to police or patrol. That doesn’t mean it won’t require effort at first. They will! But as you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to change you and rely on His power in those times of temptation that will come along the way, it will happen. “Old things will pass away and behold, all things will become new!” It’s His promise. He wishes us to have joy and freedom in life, not to do whatever we want, but to enjoy living within His guidelines. As He changes our hearts, our hearts delight to do His will and we truly find the Bible kind of freedom working in our lives. That provides a level of joy the world can only begin to understand. That is what I love about serving God. Living in a realm outside of the natural world is truly an adventure and always a pleasure!