The Joy of Living is Greater Than the Joy of Eating
It is now more than four-and-a-half years since the Lord helped me make a radical change in my lifestyle, and I can honestly say that I have never felt better in my life. In fact, as I approach my 64th birthday on March 16, I can attest to the fact that I am feeling younger every year. I say that without hype or exaggeration. It is an amazing thing to experience.
A Radical Change
It’s true that I’ve had none of my old favorite foods since August 24, 2014.
Not a piece of chocolate or a dish of ice cream.
Not a slice of pizza (as in, real pizza with real dough and real cheese).
Not a chicken parmigiana dinner.
Not an expensive steak smothered in mushroom sauce with a baked potato on the side, loaded with butter and salt.
It’s also true that I have not had a headache since August 2014 (whereas I used to have several headaches a week).
And it’s also true that I have not had lower back pain (which used to be fairly constant and sometimes severe).
And that my blood pressure dropped from 149/103 to 98/65.
And that my cholesterol went from around 200 to 123, with the good cholesterol going from low to high and the bad cholesterol going from high to low.
And that my weight went from 275 to 180, staying within 10-15 pounds of that ever since. (I’m 6’ 2”.)
And that I haven’t had to use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea (which makes a massive difference when traveling around the world).
And that my energy level is massively better and my immune system massively stronger.
And that I haven’t felt stuffed and that I rarely feel really groggy — and again, I’m talking about since August 2014.
In short, the goal is not only to live longer but to live better — much better! — while alive.
Food is the Fuel for a Healthy Life
As for the old foods, first, I don’t miss them, enjoying my massive salads and healthy meals. Second, I’ve found workable, totally healthy substitutes that approximate pizza or chocolate. Third, food doesn’t play the same role in my life anymore.
Food is the fuel for a healthy life. Food is not the purpose of life or the goal of life or the center of life.
And what I’ve discovered is that the joy of living far surpasses the joy of eating. Truly!
Nancy and I talk about our journey in the book Breaking the Stronghold of Food: How We Conquered Food Addictions and Discovered a New Way of Living, being candid about our struggles and laying out clear, scripture-based guidelines for lifestyle change.
We don’t believe in dieting but rather in making a sustainable lifestyle change, and we personally follow the guidelines of Dr. Joel Fuhrman (a heavily plant-based diet). And we started a Facebook page where people of like mind can encourage and support one another.
On a regular basis, we read amazing testimonies like this, from Charles:
So I need to brag on my God and my wife a bit. In October last year she was over 240 pounds and today by God’s wonderful grace she is 183. 3 pounds from the goal she set! We decided by much prayer to not just make a diet change but a lifestyle change to completely change our relationship with food forever and by God’s grace it has been truly going quite well (better than I thought it would). Not only has my wife lost weight but her energy level is up a lot (like no coffee most mornings and if you know my wife that’s really is a miracle) and the daily headaches have stopped and the weekly migraines have changed to only monthly right now and her blood pressure that was dangerously high is significantly lower and hopefully soon it will be in the normal range all this by just changing what we eat! It has truly been awesome to see how the lord has helped and guided us through this so far! He really is breaking the stronghold of food in our lives.
If God could help my wife and I do this and actually enjoy it God can help anyone!
And this, from Heidi:
Hi everyone. Just joined the group and thought I’d introduce myself by sharing the incredible results from eating a whole food plant-based diet. I started eating a WFPB diet in November 2017. I was so sick and unhealthy. I had high blood pressure and cholesterol and was on medication for that. I was on migraine medication for chronic, incapacitating migraines. I was caught in the mental health system with multiple diagnosis and on 4 psych meds and a sleeping pill, and still depressed. I had debilitating side effects from the psych meds. It was awful.
I knew I had to get off all the medications and started doing research. I read that I would need to slowly taper off the psych meds as there are dangerous withdrawal symptoms. I also knew I had to eat healthy to have the strength to do this. After a lot of research, I decided to go WFPB.
My psychiatrist wouldn’t help me get off the meds, said I needed to be on them for life. I found a holistic doctor who was willing to work with me and monitor my blood and vitals while I went through this, and also prescribe just enough meds to taper over a year. I jumped right into a plant-based diet. Tapering off psychiatric medication was horrific. I had debilitating withdrawal symptoms with even small dosage cuts. I don’t think I would have mentally or physically made it through the psych med withdrawal if I hadn’t been eating so healthy.
Eating this way, I lost weight quickly and within 2 months my blood pressure normalized and I got off the meds. I haven’t had a single migraine since I gave up animal products and did not renew that prescription. My cholesterol is excellent. Best of all I managed to get off all the psychiatric medication and have not had mood or mental health issues in 5 months. I no longer take a sleeping pill and am able to sleep fairly well. I praise the Lord every day that He led me to this way of living. I turned 57 last week and feel better than I have in years! God is good!!!
God Can Help You
No matter who you are, I want to assure you that the same God who helped me, who helped Nancy, who helped Charles’s wife, and who helped Heidi, can help you.
Although I was not so much a glutton, I was the poster boy for unhealthy eating, having Oreos for breakfast as a boy, being a lifelong chocaholic, and having at least 3,000 (big) slices of pizza over one four-year period.
Yet at the age of 59, after much prayer and crying out to the Lord, and with critically important help from Nancy in the early weeks, I was able to make the change.
But you have to make the decision that it’s time for change.
So, what will it be? Will your stomach be your god, or will you break free from the deadly food addictions and rediscover the joy of living?