This week marks the one year anniversary of life change for me and my family. I have been “into” organic for many years, but April 29 is the day the contest started that changed my life (I believe) forever! I am so grateful to God for all the ways He is giving me the tools and blessings to do “the natural”, while He takes care of the “supernatural”. And note that I said “do”, knowing I have a part in this. This lifestyle requires choices and discipline and some sacrifice. God blesses me with untold blessings, that far outweigh any sacrifice I am making, but the two work in synergy to create change. Every breath I take comes from Him, so I want to take this time to be grateful for my good life. Very good life. If you want to read a long list of specific ways my physical body has positively responded to removing grains and sugars and only eating “real food”, here is the link. But I want this post to be more about how I’ve changed on the inside, and how my family has changed. The good stuff.
There seems to be a new girl in here who is quite happy to cook up these amazingly healthful meals, from scratch, almost every day of the week. I am blessed to live in a house with a functioning kitchen, and be able to buy the food we eat. I don’t take any of it for granted. Amazingly, we rarely want to go out to eat anymore. And I’m not a great cook, people. This is new (and still learning) territory for me! I’m embarrassed to tell you I’ve had to watch a You Tube video this past year on how to boil an egg properly. For real. And that’s part of what I mean by God giving me “tools” like YouTube and other foodie’s blogs, some caring people, my iPhone, computer and internet! I have had to learn so much! And there have been sacrifices: cable tv and home phone to name only a couple. But I look back with great joy over how I’ve changed and how these changes have affected my family.
We didn’t have sickness this past year. Maybe a sniffle or cough during flu season, for a day or two. The hubs made it through his company’s “busy season” in November and December without missing a day, when everyone (in close contact) around him was getting sick. My kids are trying new foods they’ve never eaten before, and I am shocked at what I’m learning about them. For example, I never knew they love asparagus! My kids (and hubs) are proud of their “weird” lunches at school (and work), and they’re very aware of how differently our family eats. My kids probably know more about grass-fed beef and hormone filled milk than most adults do. They’ve “bought in” to this lifestyle and really do believe me when I say “it’s good for you”. They’re seeing results like feeling great, no more belly aches, clear skin, etc., just like their mom. We’re all much more conscious of what we’re putting in our bodies and how it makes us feel. It’s been an “awakening” of sorts. I’m shocked we didn’t make the connection before. The kids have responded well to the change. The challenge has been on the other end: teaching them how to show grace, and when to “backoff”, so as not to sound judgemental about other’s choices. (I may want to re-think telling them, “we don’t eat crap like that anymore”. They tend to repeat it.) And of course that fine balancing act of knowing how to handle all of this with extended family who may see things differently. That’s always a fun one.
The hubs is thrilled with his cooking-like-a-maniac wife, of course. Being the Eater he is, this new life suits him just fine. He has seen results similar to mine, so the “sacrifice” is worth it for him too. He’s behind me 100% in this, so that makes it much easier for me to keep going, and it’s another thing I’m thankful for! Our only real challenge in doing this now is the budget, because I want more appliances, gadgets, and expensive specialty food items! In fact, I’d like a whole new kitchen, thank you! I’m still learning contentment (remember that whole “journey” thing I wrote about?). This last year has brought tremendous change for us. More than I ever thought could happen, actually. And we weren’t obese, nor did we have major health problems or food allergies before we started. We were just a “normal” American family. And that’s the part that’s strange to me. I thought we were doing pretty well. I had no idea all those things were symptoms that something was wrong with me, us, and could be changed with our diet (and a few adjustments). I had no idea how much better things could be.
These last couple months seem to have plateaued for my weight loss, so I need to decide if I want to turn it up a notch to lose more, or keep happily doing this and maintaining where I’m at just fine. We shall see. I like where we’re going. I see all areas of my life improving along with my physical self. I am happy to know I can still do a lot of changing at 44. I am encouraged that my “best days are ahead”. I know they are. I am filled with more purpose than ever before, ready to tackle what God has next for me. I can feel Him preparing me for what He has prepared for me. All of this physical, mental, and spiritual change has been supported by some very special people who I want to thank here. My Pastor, Steven Furtick, for creating the contest and more importantly for teaching us every week how to implement change in every area of our lives; Buck Buhler for implementing the contest; Dr. Tony Hyser for taking good care of me and my family and showing us the way to true health, and Susan Black for training me in how to run (which gave me the confidence to even enter the contest). God’s been good to me, and I’ve made changes to improve my health, so I’m thankful for my “good, good life”.
I encourage you to just take that first step, whatever it is for you. Let me know what you’re doing to change, or what’s holding you back from doing it. Writing it out may be the first step towards your good life.
Dana, the Organic Eater
I promised in an earlier post that I would show you an “in process” picture. Here’s One Year ago, and April 2012 (I’m still not ready to call it the “after” picture)