I always wonder why I ended up with this passion for nutrition that started three years ago. It was a 90 degree, maybe even a 180–but since a medical doctor SHOULD be interested in all that is health, I’ll say 90 degree— turn from my former path. It is not something I was ever interested in. I was interested in finding the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Truly. Truly. Truly. But it’s like God grabbed me, like we used to grab kittens we were housebreaking, and rubbed my nose in my mistake on the floor. Smelly.
When I was a kid, I had a dear friend who was always on a diet. Remember those tuna can diets? She exercised a lot too. Walking. Running. Aerobics. At home. At the Y. Exercise. She was a beautiful, active woman. Especially when she wore hats. When she wore a hat, she put movie stars to shame. Not a ball-hat. She didn’t wear those kinds of hats. Nice, church-like hats. I kid you not, one little boy looked at my friend when we were in elementary school and said, “Wow. She’s beautiful.”
As I grew with her, her weight increased. She kept dieting. She’d cook grand meals, and I wouldn’t see her eat. I could see just how important losing weight was to her. I used to always pray, growing up with her, “Please, God. Please help her lose weight.” I prayed for her weight for years. I prayed desperately. Pleadingly. The prayer of a child. The prayer of a friend. Despite her weight and her numerous diets, she kept right on being active. Her activity was an inspiration to many. Sometimes she’d lose 20 pounds, and I knew she was on her way! Then, she’d gain back 30. Over the years she finally gained back a lot more than 30 pounds. And we had to be worried about a lot more than just weight. So worried.
I’d Rather Be Fat Than Keep Trying
Food, which does deserve a high value, has become so cheap, so crappy, so disgusting, so pushed, it is killing us. Here, eat another cookie. Here, we don’t have much time, let’s run through McDonald’s. (Yes, I used to eat here weekly. And Chik-fil-A weekly. And the Mexican restaurant weekly.) And we sit there and ask why we feel so bad. (Yes, I used to feel exhausted every day with headaches every day.) We wear our health problems like a badge. We say, “I’ve tried that diet. I’ve tried that diet. I just can’t lose the weight.” It gets so hard. My friend told me, “I’d rather be fat than keep trying.” But consistency requires a lifetime of action. My house doesn’t stay clean because I clean it once. The baby’s diaper doesn’t stay poop-free because I change it once. I’m not a good mom just because I pushed my kids out of my womb one day.
Stick to Real, Whole Foods And Willfully Shun Any Foods Which Lead You Down the Wrong Path.
You do not deserve to hurt so badly from food. It IS hard. I know it IS hard. But keep trying. Don’t see your failure as an endpoint. See each day you try anew as a testimony to your stubbornness. Choose real, honest foods. Replace dry, hard foods with fresh vegetables and fruits. Fill your day and life with as many vegetables and fruits as you want. Even now, I am sitting beside a large tray of peaches and apples. Toss in some nuts for salt and crunch. Round out with some high-quality protein as fresh as you can afford. (I like wild-caught fish, pastured pork, and eggs from chickens who roam free.) Baked goods with sugar and/or white flour should be exceptionally rare treats. Baked goods with any kind of flour and sweetener should be non-daily treats. Root out foods for an undetermined period of time that cause you to over-eat inappropriately or bring you pain. Cut them off. Maybe forever. Maybe not. One day at a time.
One Good Life
We get one life to give. Every day I miss who my friend was. Slowly, she went from active to sitting. She’d choose not to go out and do certain things because it hurt too much. Yet, still, just about every day she made time for Dairy Queen or McDonald’s. My friend. One of the loves of my life. Hurting because food gripped her so tightly. It grips many, many of us tightly. I’ve learned in this journey the last three years, “You don’t mess with people’s food.” There but for the grace of God, go I. Each day I will choose to walk this path of real, honest food as fresh as I can. Walk with me. Let’s live the lives we are designed to live. Forget the guidelines, and just keep it, every bite, as fresh as you can. Every–darn—bite. Maybe my words fall on soil that is too hard, too dense to cultivate in my friend. But maybe not. Maybe my words aren’t meant for her. Maybe they were meant for you. Let’s choose to live. Try again. Today.
PS: Where I used to see the label as “bad” or “unhealthy,” I now see the danger that lurks behind the food and its effects on cells. For French fries from fast-food joints, I see destroyed oil getting incorporated into cells. For dry, processed foods like crackers and chips, I see no fresh source of nutrients and supplementation with vitamins not physiologically compatible with proper cellular function. I see FUNCTION (or loss of function, mo.re accurately) as the problem, not FAT.