I have been praying over the timing to write this blog, and today is the day. Easter weekend. How appropriate. If you’re choosing to read this, please do so in its entirety….it will be worth it to see how things connect and how God is clearly orchestrating all of it. If you don’t have time to read, you might want to stop now…this one is going to be lengthy.
In late 1012, I started noticing some mild (very mild) chest pains. I didn’t think much of it, until it began happening more frequently. My grandfather, aunt, and mom, all died of heart related problems and at relatively young ages. Knowing this, I made an appointment with a cardiologist. My appointment was in mid February. Honestly, I expected him to tell me that all I needed to do was lose weight and get my cholesterol down, and all would be well. But, that’s not what he said. When I got there, they did a routine EKG and it showed two places that the doctor called “questionable activity”. He then took some blood and recommend that I come back for tests, soon. A million things were running through my mind. I didn’t share this information with my family, for fear of them worrying about the unknown. I scheduled my tests the following week, and they took the entire day. After much prayer, I handed the situation over to God and determined that I could give Him honor and glory through tribulations just as easily as I could through times of peace. That day, I scheduled another appointment to discuss the results…and that appointment was three weeks away. Three weeks! During that time of waiting, God began working on my heart in a fresh new way that I would have never seen otherwise.
The weekend following the tests, I watched a documentary called Hungry for Change. The documentary changed my life. It discussed the food we eat, and what it actually goes through by the time it gets to us. Unbelievable facts and information. As I sat on my couch watching, I felt God gently telling me that this is what I needed to do. Change my eating habits, and the way I viewed what goes into my body. At the same time this started making sense to me, the following scripture:
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
became real and alive to me. I used to think this referred to tattoos and piercings (both of which I have and felt no conviction either time), but it’s much deeper than that. I also realized that I have never really done this; treated my body like the temple of the Holy Spirit. So, that evening, I began a documentary of my own…..
With my hand held video camera, I recorded my fridge and my pantry. I went to Whole Foods and looked at organic foods to get an idea of how much more my grocery bill would be if I started making different choices. I made a goal of 4-6 weeks to get the crappy food eaten or thrown away from my home, and replace it with healthy things. During this same week, I started noticing more and more people talking about the Paleo diet and how they had noticed considerable changes in their bodies. So, I began researching as much as I could. I found testimonials of people that had been cured of various ailments, simply because they changed their diet. I bought a book called It Starts With Food along with a Paleo cookbook. It seemed like this was clearly the path God wanted me to take. All this happened during the three weeks between heart tests and results day.
On the day I went to check on my results, I had a PERFECT peace. I knew the results, regardless of what the EKG showed three weeks earlier, would be fine. God wanted me to begin treating His body like He created it to be. I’ve wasted 44 years of wrong choices, He is giving me a chance to live the remainder of my life healthy. I’d be a fool not to see this. When my doctor came into the room to go over my results, he said exactly what I expected. Everything looked fine…..except my cholesterol, which was well over 200. He was ready to put me on cholesterol medication that day. I refused and told him about what I had been researching, and that I felt God was clearly telling me to do….did I mention his name is Dr. Shalaby and he is Muslim? What a perfect opportunity to share the love of God with an unbeliever! Anyway, he said that if I did this, my cholesterol would indeed go down, and I would see overall improvements with my health….but it would take work and wouldn’t be easy (is anything worthwhile easy?). He agreed to meet with me in 4 months and take more blood tests, if my cholesterol was where it should be doing it “my way”, I wouldn’t have to be on cholesterol meds. So, my next appointment is July 8th.
Monday, April 1st, I will begin a month of detox called the Whole30. This is a month of Paleo eating and exercise. I am convinced that as long as I stay focused on this:
I see nothing that has happened as coincidence, and I know I would have never gotten this serious about my health had the chest pains not occurred. I see it as a blessing in disguise. As I said above, I’ve never viewed my body like a temple like I am right now. So with that being said, these two things will help aid me on the road to better health:
I am extremely excited to see what God has in store for me as I begin this new adventure. Oh, and did I mention that I haven’t had a single chest pain since I went to the doctor? I haven’t…not a one.
I hope this post has encouraged you, and if you would like more information on the Paleo diet, or the Whole30 program, just ask.
Blessings, and Happy Easter!