How to Turn Your Health Around

A few of you have recently asked me how to get my sugar levels either lowered or how to keep my A1C results in the normal range.  I am going to address this as best as I can.

 

I begin with the following three facts:

  1. I have struggled with my health for the past 31 years and most of these years, I have been out of control and my diabetes has been unmanageable. I know your struggle.
  2. I have made excuses for cheating on so-called diets that in all honesty last for short periods of time. They do not work and yes, you can lose weight, but more often than not you will gain it all back (with additional weight).  Diets will never work, nor will they sustain you permanently.  Our bodies do not respond effectively with this.
  3. This is a lifestyle change and must be looked at as such. Temporary changes lead back to future failures and a very vicious cycle that will eventually kill you.

 

I am going to be brutally honest here, for that is what finally sunk in for me and out of respect for others, I am prepared to present this the same way.  It will be honest and very harsh.  You may get angry with the advice, or get angry enough to make these changes.  I can only lead you to the solution, but I cannot make you follow the advice.  You have to do this.

 

I state it this way because I, for so long, have refused to listen, thought I knew more than the doctor, and was painfully oblivious at playing a fool.

 

Ask yourself this question:  How important is food in your life?  Follow up with this question:  What is your highest priority?  Is it following a fleshly desire (pleasure) or is it being obedient to God?

 

Take a moment and absorb what I just asked and then make a decision.  When these questions were posed to me, I was frankly, taken aback.  However, it really woke me up.  I draw my strength from Him and from there I try to live as a humble, good servant for Him.  I was moved to tears by this because when confronted about my addiction (and yes, for me, this is an addiction), I was placing food ahead of what I claimed to be – a Christian.

 

I have been in the hospital fourteen times in the past 28 years.  Every year something new would happen and I would need medical attention for multiple conditions.  One-half of my lifespan thus far, was being in the hospital and this last time I knew that I was at a crossroads.  I also knew that if I didn’t make a change now, I would not get another chance.  Believe me when I say I take this issue very seriously.

 

After much thought, and a reshuffling of my priorities, I made a change to fight for my health.  I chose God first, and food had to be modified and in some cases, given up.

 

My first step was to get off of all pop (diet and regular).  I was averaging 2 liters a day of regular pop.  Was I insane?  I am a diabetic after all.  So as of this past 4th of July, I gave up pop and have not had one taste of it since then.  On November 5th  I will be 4 months pop-free.

 

It just wasn’t pop kiddos!  I had all sort of goodies that I cajoled myself into buying and gorging on.  The person who shed light on this change for me told me to toss anything that was bad for me.  I tossed all sugary foods, chips, and highly saturated fat products.  I did give some away, but the doughnuts etc., I decided to toss in the garbage right away.

 

As I was setting new priorities in my life I had to take a long hard look at my actions.  First of all, was I a glutton?  Yes, I was.  I chose to feed off of self-love, comfort food, and demanded to be in control over what I ate and how much I ate.  No one would tell me what to eat!  That was my former train of thought.

 

In order to clean my house and refocus my attention on God, I had to admit this was an idol in my life.  I had built everything around food:  meeting friends, all get-togethers, and entertainment revolved around food.  I was very good at controlling my environment and management of my time, but “so clueless” as to how “not in control” I actually was.

 

I decided to build a strong defense, so I turned to Scripture to do this.  I know how to defend myself and how to cover my bases, as well as, justify my actions.  But 1 Corinthian 6:12 gave me quite the perspective on this whole matter:  “Some of you say, ‘We can do anything we want to.’  But I tell you that not everything is good for us.  So I refuse to let anything have power over me.”  It is true, we think we can do any and everything, but not all is beneficial for us, so I needed to relinquish whatever power I thought I had.  I had to make a sacrifice.

 

Once I learned to lean on this wisdom, I also came across 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 in which we have to take a deeper look at ourselves once we invite the Lord into our lives and heart:  “You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives.  The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God.  You are no longer your own.  God paid a great price for you.  So use your body to honor God.”  Wow!  That verse hit me hard.  My disrespecting myself is one thing, but if God means anything to me, then I do not have a right to disrespect the very tent He gave me.  It served as righteous motivation to stay on this path toward my new perspective on health.

 

Philippians 3:19 warns us about our obsessing over, abuse of our fleshly desires (such as gluttony) when it states:  “They are headed for hell!  They worship their stomachs and brag about the disgusting things they do.  All they can think about are the things of this world.”  Face it, my mind was on food 24/7.  I lived, ate and dreamt about food.  I had to change my behavior in order to succeed.  Food was no longer going to monopolize my time.  I wanted and needed more out of my life than just food and the next meal.

 

In order to be faithful and to encourage me to press on, I cling to the following verse in Romans 13:14.  “Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear.  Then you won’t try to satisfy your selfish desires.”    Remember He promised to get you through the storm as He states in 1 Corinthians 10:13 when the temptation arises:  “You are tempted in the same way that everyone is tempted.  But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and He will show you how to escape from your temptations.”  He does provide a way!

 

My greatest weakness is my lack of discipline; thus lack of self-control.  Once I decided to change my eating habits and patterns, I prayed on it.  I asked Him to remove the “delicious taste” I held for certain foods:  pizza, chips, pop and chocolate.  I prayed to enjoy other foods instead:  kale, all vegetables, and yes, even tofu.

 

I knew in order to be successful at this, I first had to pray on it and wait for things to kick in, so to speak.  However, I needed to make smart choices in what to purchase, how to prepare healthy dishes, and how to measure my progress.  I chose to buy healthy foods and would not purchase any “junk” food.  I bought the necessary tools (cooking pans, measuring cups, and whatever would aid me in this new journey – all the way down to lunch bags for storage), researched the proper diet nutrients, and tested out my theories.

 

A good friend made the suggestion of a documentary that I looked into.  It was called Forks over Knives (on Netflix) and I highly recommend it to all who want to make a change.  I cannot speak about how this will impact you, yourself, but as for me, it moved me to go ever further into researching alternatives for healthier eating regimens.  I have perused over 15-20 documentaries and did some trial and error experimentation.    I charted my sugars every day, the calories and fat content of my meals, and logged all that I ate.  I said all – you have to be willing to be brutally honest and faithful to this or it will never work.

 

After all of this research, I was led to my desire to become a vegetarian.  Believe me when I say I was shocked.  I used to love all meat (okay not liver)!  Once I changed my eating patterns and included most vegetables and fruit I decided to cut back on meat (it was a process not an overnight accomplishment) until I eliminated all red meat, pork and poultry.  At this time I am eating some fish a few times a month, but mostly existing on nuts, fruit and vegetables.  I eat a wide variety of vegetables to get the proper nutrients and I am loving it!  I do not desire pizza or pop and I refuse to eat foods I consider to be a gateway food that would lead me back to my old habits.

 

You need to decide where you want to stand, and then make a decision to not look back and keep on moving.  I now am full on much less food, healthy food that I actually crave, and I do not desire the food that was literally killing me.  High processed food does so much damage and you need to read the labels very carefully.  Sugar is in everything and after much research I found that there are 61 different names for sugar that is put into processed food.  Foods can be labeled low-fat or low sugar, but sugar can be hidden in the ingredients under another name.  Also you need to dispel the myth that sugar causes diabetes.  High fat content foods, processed foods cause obesity and diabetes, sugar in and of itself, does not.  It does however, cause issues for you once you become a diabetic.

 

In short, do your research, decide if you desire to change, plan everything out (progress/measurement charts, meals, exercise), and hold on to the Word as your foundation and support, and then take a leap of faith.  Since March of 2017, I have lost over 81+ pounds, my sugars are low enough in the morning that I do not have to take my sliding scale insulin, and my recent blood work shows I went from a 12 point A1C down to a 5.9 A1C.  It does work, but you have to work it as well.

 

So grab a tissue and cry over the spilled milk one last time, set your mind on a new perspective, and be determined to do this.  Please think this over and once you’ve made the decision, stick to it.  You will not regret it.  I do suggest that you have a strong support system:  God, family, friends (in that order).  Best wishes and God bless.

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