[adapted from Michael H. Brown's The God of Healing]
You are not destined for cancer, or a heart attack, or dementia, or diabetes, or arthritis.
Or obesity, for that matter (by the way, there is often a connection between that and the above ailments).
And even if you've done damage, even if your lifestyle has contradicted all the aspects I list [in The God of Healing], for the most part, you can reverse or lessen it. God will help you -- if and when you start helping yourself.
By some measures, a quarter of the people in the United States are obese and seventy percent are overweight. That's incredible.
Just thirty percent are at their proper weight -- and excess weight, wearing on the body, depleting the immune system, putting pressure on joints, and providing fodder for tumors, causes all those degenerative ailments you see all around you, and perhaps in the mirror.
With a heartfelt prayer to God, you can change that.
Let me give you an example of how the Holy Spirit helped me lose weight and totally change my diet.
I'm no "diet guru," mind you; anything but. Nor am I a biologist or nutritionist. Far from those also. And it will always be a struggle to keep weight off, for sure.
But we live and learn and for me it started in 1999 when one day I put myself on a scale (for the first time in years) and was shocked to see that I registered at 202 pounds.
I'd never considered myself "fat." Growing up, in fact, I had been painfully thin. My mother used to make us drink milkshakes in an effort to fatten us. When I graduated from college, I was nearly five-feet-ten-inches and weighed 135 pounds.
Throughout my youth, you could count my ribs.
Years went by, however, and then more years. I never weighed myself -- never felt the need. Noticed a slight paunch, but only noticed it and gave it few second thoughts.
Meanwhile, my metabolism had slowed (as occurs with age), and I was eating anything I had the yen for, including ice cream and red meat, in whatever volume I fancied (which was: a lot). It was in this fashion -- through simple neglect, and some gluttony thrown in -- that I was suddenly on the brink of what is officially classified as obesity!
Stepping off the scale, and upset, I sat myself on the edge of our bed and called out to the Holy Spirit to help me lose weight.
Immediately -- and I do mean immediately -- I was infused with guidance.
It came not in the way of spoken words but in an instant knowing to limit portions (this we all know is a problem), get rid of salt from my diet, and drink water. Much, much water. I knew about cutting down on food, naturally, but never thought much about salt, which tells the body to both retain water (which is heavy) and eat more. Only the Holy Spirit knows the intricacies of your unique body.
I did as I was "told" (virtually eliminating all salt, and drinking up water), and in short order I was down to 190, and then 180, and 175! -- and soon 165 pounds, where I stayed for more than a decade.
This meant watching every single food label for "sodium" content, striving to stay in single digits, at the most. Anything above four to seven percent sodium will pack pounds on you.
Besides getting rid of most salt -- which causes the body to retain water and bloat you; nothing causes weight gain quicker; I began to cut down on red meat and eliminate fried food, processed meat, and dairy products.
I basically gave up dairy. (Cheese, unless goat, will also pile it on.)
I also increased the level of daily exercise.
I had been swimming most days, and now really went at it.
Years later, when I suddenly put on a few too many pounds, I went back at it, this time getting rid of all refined sugar and high-fructose syrup, both of which are present in a startling number of products at the grocery store, not to mention restaurants, convenience stores, and vending machines. I was drinking it with my Arizona iced tea each morning and all those Tropicana fruit juices I thought were healthy!
It's nearly impossible to avoid these foods while traveling (so prevalent are they) and it became obvious that our entire Western diet is way, way off base, driven by large corporations that use such ingredients because they thrill the taste buds and are cheap to make, as well as easy to ship and store. Mass production is a great unsung villain.
It was astonishing to me how I could put on three or four pounds overnight by simply eating something with too much salt or a dairy product in it.
Look around you and you will note that just about everything they sell has these two ingredients. These companies market scientifically (knowing what triggers our taste bud).
Not only does salt make food taste better, but makes you want to eat more, even the next morning.
Cereal can be loaded with salt, as well as sugar that has been refined and stripped of its natural ingredients. Watch out for white sugar and flour!
I had no clue...
I was drinking store-bought iced tea that I thought had healthy ingredients, not noting the level of high-fructose sugar -- which in a tall can of this beverage, my morning staple, contained what is comparable to about seventeen teaspoons of sugar.
The body reacts awkwardly -- to repeat myself -- with that which is artificial.
Anyway, by now focusing on sugar and white flour, especially high-fructose, I dropped my weight further, to the "ideal weight" (for my height) of 153. I fluctuate, a few pounds, and am always watching, and realize it will always be that "battle of the bulge."
But fight we must. the main key: discipline -- the same discipline that it takes to say a daily fifteen-decade Rosary.
Although my weight often fluctuates, especially when I travel, or go to a restaurant, I'm about or nearly fifty pounds less than I was when first I went to the Holy Spirit.
That's a decrease in weight of nearly twenty-five percent.
I now eat healthier than I ever did and enjoy food as much or more than I did before, and try not to overdo it (failing at times, to be sure).
But simplicity and naturalness is what now mainly triggers my taste buds.
They adjust, the taste buds. I love fruit and Nutri-Bullet juice. I enjoy things I would never have eaten before (such as raw vegetables; and any fruit).
My taste buds have been rebooted to like how God made things.
Illness can strike no matter what. Life is mysterious. But it doesn't hurt to do what we can to prevent it.
The rest is God's Will.
I can say this: Where I used to have a supply of antacids on hand -- next to the bed -- these are no longer necessary.
[resources: The God of Healing]