I shared my journey and my husband’s at Eat Plant Based. Check it out here:
I shared my journey and my husband’s at Eat Plant Based. Check it out here:
Run Your OWN Race: “Run And Not Be Weary”
I started the virtual 2019 The Bible Series runs by doing the “Run and not be weary” 3.1 miles/5K. My husband also participated and as he’s training for the Boston Marathon, he did 11 miles yesterday with his guides and teammates. I’m much slower. They are much faster. They are increasing their mileage each week but with the vigorous running schedule and training they are doing, they also are getting faster and more efficient.
I finished in 49 minutes and 37 seconds and I am not concerned with speed and a time. I have a full-time job outside the home and a full-time job inside the home as a mom of three great kids who happen to have several disabilities and chronic health conditions. I’m not training for anything in particular. l’m exercising for my mental and physical health. And I’m supporting my husband in every way I can as he takes the many hours needed weekly to train for the marathon. I took care of my kids, got lunch prepped for when my husband got back from his long run, and started walking with several intervals of running. I ran and walked also to support a charity that receives part of the proceeds for each run and that helps hungry children globally. And I got a COOL eagle metal with the Isaiah 40:31 scripture on it.
So walk or run your own race. It’s not a competition with what other people are doing. The focus is on improving ourselves and nourishing our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible Series
Happy New Year!
And here’s some healthy inspiration for the beginning of the year and #TransformationTuesday!
Before Michael and I met over 20 years ago, he was morbidly obese at about 500 pounds. His heart kept “jumping.” He went to what was then called Boston City Hospital with a friend and said all the nurses and doctors were dismayed. The doctor told him that each time his heart “jumped,” he should thank God that he was alive because that was his heart wanting to stop with his weight reaching 496 pounds that day. His waist was 54 inches. His lifestyle included eating an entire large bucket of fried chicken and a 2-liter coke by himself for one meal. Soon after that doctor’s visit, Michael made the decision to throw out all the meat in his freezer and become pescatarian (including seafood but not other meat). He lost over 200 pounds!
When we met, he was around 280 pounds. About 7 years ago, we both lost about 20 pounds just by stopping soda and most juices. Then in July 2013 I went from a junk food vegetarian to a nutrient-rich WFPB eater after praying, having an epiphany and reading Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat To Live. That launched my health journey and I’ve learned so much since then. Michael supported me and ate what I cooked at home but didn’t make a big change. He lost about 20 more pounds “tagging along” with me and got to a 44-inch waist.
In 2017 Big Change The Film came to film me and my family in their upcoming documentary. I wanted to do it because I thought it would help people. I’m forever grateful to them because the first person it helped was my husband! Having the Kaufman’s (of Fatmanrants.com) visit us and knowing of the other remarkable people in the film really did something for Michael. It sparked something in him and he started to research more on his own. Around that time his blood pressure got to 184/111 (June 2017) and he got on meds and that was AFTER he had cleaned up his diet and went 100% Nutritarian WFPB and was feeling better so God knows what it was before. That summer we went to New Jersey to hear Dr. Fuhrman speak and also visited with friends Anthony Masiello and his family (Anthony was in the 2nd Edition of Eat To Live). Michael really related to Anthony who had lost a substantial amount of weight and was no longer hypertensive. AND he’s kept the weight off for over a decade. I joke that Michael must have finally realized that my journey wasn’t just a fluke.
Michael is now less than 180 pounds and wears a loose size 34 waist pants and medium t-shirt. (He’s around 5’9/10”). He was able to get off the blood pressure medication two months after starting it (got off it completely on 8/27/2017) because of the Big Change he made in his diet and lifestyle. Now he is training to run the 2019 Boston Marathon for a great organization called The Play Brigade that supports inclusion in play, recreation and sports for people of all abilities!
Since late Fall, I’ve personally been focusing on the spiritual work related to food addiction. The free app by Barb Raveling is very helpful. It’s called “I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies That Make You Eat.” Her other Bible study books about overeating and food addiction are also great. I recently started a 90 Day devotional to food freedom by Dr. Rhona Epstein to be completed on my birthday, March 21st. It is a Game Changer!! I really want to dig deep and embrace truth. I don’t want ANY food to be a stronghold—even an apple. I don’t want any lies or excuses for myself and overeating on “compliant” food because even IF I didn’t gain an ounce doing it (but we know certain healthy foods can still make us gain), that still shows a disordered relationship with food and food being a stronghold.
It’s more than just being slim or thin or staying my current size 6 for me. It’s a spiritual battle to be won with God’s strength helping me and by His grace. That’s where I am, humbly learning more, making deeper commitments, and hopefully getting in better spiritual as well as physical and mental shape.
I’ve had a very challenging and depressing year with an additional chronic illness for one of my kids who already has significant disabilities. So I’m grateful to still be here and leaning on God’s strength now instead of trying to still rely on my own and failing. Everything feels “lighter” and calmer even amidst the challenges life throws my way daily so my goal is to keep moving in that direction. New year, new spiritual you to finally change the mental and physical you to your best and fullest potential by God’s grace. That’s the new year, new you *I* want!
I encourage you to do this 90 Day Spiritual Journey Toward food freedom. Do it by yourself and keep a journal. Let go and let God. Lean into His strength. You won’t regret it.
“Why do you still hesitate? Because of the addiction! Even though you want to be free from the pain, the weight, and the insanity, you really don’t want to live without the comfort food brings from stress and anxiety. Food gives you something, and though it comes with grave consequences, you like the pleasure of a good binge. The excess food is there for a reason . . .
My friend, now that you understand how Jesus has personally invited you into divine healing, you may ask: “Am I really ready for this?”
Spend some time today prayerfully considering these questions: Are you ready to invite Jesus to participate in your journey from addiction to freedom? What does your food addiction give you that you cannot let go of? Why might you want to keep it around? Imagine life without your addiction, then imagine all of the obstacles in the way of that life. Spend some time in prayer over each item on that list.”
Dr. Rhona Epstein
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I reposted this video on health (especially with chronic diseases) and weight loss by Dr. Kerrie Saunders. Here are a few slides. You can see that a lot of times, we have muscles under the fat. But the excess fat is unhealthy in many ways and disease causing. I realized in watching this that the reason many of us eat/ate too many fats (even TOO many healthy plant fats) is due to stress and depression. In that sense, just as sugar is often used as a drug and can become a stronghold, fat can do the same.
If one is struggling with food addiction, Measure out omega-3 fats like walnuts, ground flaxseeds, and chia seeds as Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends to get the brain and body benefits but to help limit them for those of us prone to addiction and excess. “But I STILL overeat on them!” you may say. That’s where I think the Bible studies and devotionals I posted about the other day will be helpful. You KNOW what to do but still can’t do it? Do it with God’s help and strength for true, lasting success.
Today, December 27th, 2018 is my 5th anniversary of being free from sugar. When I started my nutrient-rich whole food plant based journey in July 2013, I had many successes but I had not fully removed sugar. It was a struggle for me being a sugar addict. Finally, on December 27, 2013, having lost some weight but still not feeling great due to the sugar-laden, floured vegan desserts, I committed to stopping sugar 100%. On my own, I am powerless to have been 100% abstinent from sugar since then. But by God’s strength and grace, I have been.
“I can do all through Him who strengthens me.”
As I continue this life long journey into greater health I recommit daily not only to continue to be abstinent against sugar (plus oil, salt, peanuts/PB, and flour) but to work at honoring my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit and to eat according to the plan that has improved my health. That means not overeating even on healthy foods. Being a food addict makes it difficult for us to always regulate the amount of food our bodies really need. But believe me, with God’s strength and grace we can recommit daily and do it!
This December I started the devotional “Satisfied: A 90-Day Journey Toward Food Freedom” by Dr. Rhona Epstein. I will finish it by my birthday on March 21, 2019.
If you have read all the books, listened to all the success stories, watched all the documentaries, have a clean food environment but STILL find yourself stuck or not reaching the health and weight loss goals you want and need, please give it to God. Use his strength to help you commit to health daily. Dr. Epstein’s book as well as Barb Ravelings books and free app “I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies That Make You Eat” will help tremendously if you make the promise to God and yourself to commit to a solid plan for your health.
We really have so much to lose in a positive sense and much to gain to help with the necessary losses.