#5 In the Beginning

This blog is a way to express emotions and thoughts that are sometimes hard for me to verbalize face-to-face. I know it's time to write when something is tugging at my heart. I have been feeling that tug for a while now. I'm having a hard time moving forward on this one though. I have so much I want to say, yet I can't quite figure out what direction to take this. I have rewritten and edited this post multiple times now trying to capture my thoughts and what I pray will be a meaningful message for you. I hope this all ends up making sense and you get something out of it. So, here we go...

As I've shared, I wasn't feeling so great a few years ago. I believed I was feeling exactly the way I was supposed to feel at my stage of life. I wasn't facing any major health crisis, but I now know I was heading in that direction. It was inevitable. My low energy and physical symptoms were my body's way of telling me I needed to make some changes. For whatever reason, I started listening. And so, my journey began. 

Let's pause for a moment. Can you relate? Are you accepting the way you feel because you believe it is the way you are supposed to feel? Is your body sending you signals begging you to make some changes? 

I was certainly getting some signals, some warning signs, but I didn't realize it at the time. Again, I thought this was the way I was supposed to feel. My cousin shared with me that she had started doing something called intermittent fasting and she was feeling great. I had heard the term but knew nothing about it, and honestly, it sounded weird and unsafe. After a period of skepticism, I decided to give it a try, so I jumped right in. My understanding in the beginning was that this involved eating a lot less than I was accustomed to and only during a certain timeframe each day. Lo and behold, after a few months, I started seeing results! I had more energy, and my physical symptoms were improving. I was excited and motivated. Fast forward a few more months and I started noticing some negative side effects. I began to explore how this new lifestyle was affecting my body. Thus began my deep dive into learning about health and nutrition. I became obsessed. I soon discovered that while intermittent fasting, also called time-restricted eating, offered many health benefits, the way I was doing it was actually causing some damage to my body. I was unaware of some very important pieces to this puzzle.  

Even though I was seeing some positive results, I now know I was depriving my body of much-needed protein and other nutrients. I now have a better understanding of what our bodies need in order to work the way they were designed to work. Begrudgingly, I have accepted the fact that what we put in our bodies matters. I have also learned that I was not getting the right type of exercise in order to reach and maintain my optimal health. 

There is so much information out there about health and wellness. It is overwhelming and confusing and contradictory all at the same time. Some of it is good and some of it can be detrimental. Thankfully, I was led to some very well-respected and knowledgeable experts in the field of nutrition and functional medicine. I continue to learn more and more, and my enthusiasm has grown even stronger. However, I have reached a point in my journey that I can't stay silent and keep this information to myself any longer. It is life changing. I want to share with those who are seeking better health and looking for some answers. This is now my passion, my mission. 

A loved one recently asked me to write a blog about my why. She was curious about how I was staying the course. What was my motivation? She wanted to know how I continued to make healthier choices. On the surface, my answer would be so that I feel better and have more energy to enjoy my grandbabies. These are definitely good motivators. However, as I really thought about this, I realized it went much deeper than that.

Let's take another pause. Are you wanting/needing to make some lifestyle changes? What is holding you back? Are you confused and overwhelmed by all the information out there? What is your why?

Our bodies are extraordinary. They want to be healthy. They are made up of remarkable systems that work together to promote good health and self-healing. However, we live in a day and age that is disrupting, even destroying, these processes. We have moved away from eating whole, nutritious foods and have replaced them with highly processed garbage that provides little to no nutritional value. We consume way too much sugar and unhealthy oils, and not enough wholesome foods that support optimal health. And as if that isn't enough to worry about, our soil isn't what it used to be as it is depleted of much needed nutrients. Additionally, we have come to rely on medications to fix us rather than implementing more holistic approaches that address root causes. Our medical system is very equipped to treat disease but does a very poor job at teaching prevention. We have been led to believe this is all OK, but it is not OK. Like it or not, our health, and the health of children, are paying a very steep price.

Research shows that over 88% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy. What does that mean? That means that most of us are heading down a very scary road to some very serious conditions, such as hypertension, heart disease, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and more. It means that the majority of us are, or are becoming, insulin resistant. Over time this can surface in the form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cognitive disorders, Alzheimer's, dysbiosis (an imbalance in our microbiome), a damaging amount of visceral fat, and much, much more. These facts alone should be incentive enough for us to make changes. Yet, our society continues to move further in the wrong direction, resulting in higher obesity rates and more diagnoses of life altering diseases. Why is that? The answer isn't a simple one. However, I believe it is partly because we aren't being told the complete truth, and once we do know the truth, we don't know what to do about it. We need direction and we need a support system that encourages us and holds us accountable. 

At the time of this writing, I have several loved ones in the midst of some very serious health challenges. They are in my thoughts and prayers as they navigate treatment, healing, and their new normal. I always want to be mindful of those situations when sharing health information. Not only would I never want to lead someone down a dangerous path, but I want to be encouraging and supportive. If and when it makes sense to share, I will prayerfully do so.

The good news is there is hope. We can improve and even reverse many of these diseases. This is scientifically and clinically proven. We can regain control of our health. It starts with realizing we need to make changes. We then must commit. This isn't a game. This is about quality of life. We have to educate ourselves. We have to take a stand and refuse to be brainwashed by the so-called "food" industry and big pharma and accept the fact that they are driven by the almighty dollar, not out of concern for our health and wellbeing. This can be a lonely journey sometimes as I know all too well. I've learned the hard way that these types of conversations aren't typically well received by family and friends. There are a number of reasons for this, and I respect that. However, I also understand that unless we shift our course to a healthier lifestyle, we are heading for disaster. 

My mind is racing with so much I want to share. At the risk of making this post even longer and turning into a book, I will be writing future blogs addressing:

  1. What I've learned about intermittent fasting
  2. What we eat or don't eat dictates our health and wellbeing
  3. Food is medicine
  4. Tests we should be requesting from our doctors
  5. Gut microbiome
  6. Our mindset is a major piece to this puzzle
  7. My why
  8. And more.
Please know that I take this blog very seriously and everything I share comes from reputable and dedicated experts and not from fly by night articles voicing someone's opinion. I will always include my resources so you can do your own research and dive deeper if you choose to do so.

If you've stayed with me this far, thank you. I know it was long. My hope is that what I share motivates you to take charge of your health. My prayer is that you find the answers that work for you. I am here to encourage and support you in that process. 

If you feel this could be of value to someone you know, please share it with them. Also, I would love for you to comment or email me with feedback or questions. Hearing from you motivates and inspires me to keep at this. Thank you!

Here's to taking back our health! 

God bless,
Debbie

Check out these resources:
  • Why We Get Sick by Dr. Ben Bikman
  • The Doctor's Farmacy with Mark Hyman, M.D. podcast, #586.


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