I usually try to keep this a rather spiritual blog. And it still will be, but I have a goal this year – to get back into my pre-preganancy clothes (yes…it’s been two years, so it depresses me). This is not a particularly spiritual goal. At least, not on the outset.
For me, this goal is actually extremely spiritual. You see, for some reason, my dissatisfaction with the way that I have treated my physical body, my temple, has kind of taken over my life and brain. It isn’t good. So…simple – lose weight, right? I wish it was that simple.
Last week, I fasted and prayed that I would be able to reach my goal this year. Losing weight is my only goal. And maybe that isn’t a great goal. Maybe i should state it in another way. I don’t know. I’m searching. But I do know one thing – in the past, I have been happy with myself physically. Right now I’m not. As I fasted, I felt hopeful – like, with the help of the Lord, that this goal is something that I would be able to accomplish – even though it will take self control and time.
Before I go on, you should know that in my patriarchal blessing, I have been counseled to keep the word of wisdom. It is funny, when I received my patriarchal blessing, I didn’t understand why this warning would have been given to me. I never had any kid of proclivity towards alcohol, caffeine, or drugs. As a youth, I kind of shrugged this counsel off. Of course, as I’ve gotten older, and have studied the Word of Wisdom, I realize that keeping the Word of Wisdom is way more than not smoking or drinking. It is a general health code, and a real blessing for our time.
So…why am I blogging about this? I think that it is so I can keep it in the forefront of my mind. I also think that I’m not the only one who struggles with health and weight issues. In fact, as I fasted last week, I also felt the reminder that the problem I struggle with – truly keeping the word of wisdom and being overweight – is not something I’m dealing with alone. It is, in fact, of epidemic proportions – and maybe even more. Interesting. So, hopefully, if I blog about this, I can be of help to someone else. Additionally, if you read this, maybe you can help me.
Last Monday (I think), I heard an interview with Doctor Robert Lustig about his new book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. I have read plenty of books about diet and exercise. I’ve read everything from books by Jillian Michaels and other famous “personal trainers” to books by Medical Doctors (like Lustig’s book, or other authors like Dr. David Kessler). I have also read books by Michael Pollan. They have been helpful. But this book by Dr. Lustig was just what I needed.
Two of the most profound thoughts I had while reading the book were:
Sugar is a poison – I don’t think that this means we can never have sugar. But the way we – I – eat sugar is harmful – to my liver, my hormonal system, my body. Sugar is truly addictive – in that it fits the criteria for addiction. Sugar raises insulin, causes Leptin resistance, numbs dopamine receptors, and raises seratonin. Our bodies love it even though it really isn’t that good for us.
Now, the thing is – we need energy, and sugar is a good source for that. Naturally occurring sugars (like that found in fruit) is nearly always found with fiber. When we eat natural sugars, we also eat a lot of fiber – causing less sugar to be absorbed, and more of the healthy signals (like fullness) to be sent to our brains – as fiber is very filling. Fiber keeps us regular. And less sugar keeps our other organs and hormones in check.
I need to eat less sugar. I am a sugar addict! I always choose sugary, processed foods over healthy foods. Too much sugar has interrupted my body’s ability to feel full and satisfied. And, I have no idea what it has done to me on a mitochondrial level. The effects of sugar can cause liver disease, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and cancer. I really don’t want any of those.
Yet…sugar beckons, and my desire for sugar often outweighs the desire I have to be healthy.
The Food Industry Knows that Sugar is Addictive The idea that kept going through my head was from the Doctrine and Covenants:
” In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—” – Doctrine and Covenants 89:4
I really think this is true. We have seen this before – with the tobacco industry. They knew that tobacco was bad, but didn’t want to hurt profits. They were in bed with our government, and kept pushing a product they knew to be both addictive and lethal.
I imagine it is pretty much the same with the food industry. Why would I trust them? I’m not sure that they are worried about my health, but their own bottom line.
I don’t want to sound all alarmist or conspiracy theorist, but those were the two thoughts that ran through my mind as I read the book. I need to trust God, and He has given us the best advice on health. I need to do better at eating plants and fruits in their seasons. That is the real place to start.
What are you doing to live a healthier life? Do you have similar New years goals???