TLP Living: July 30, 2018

Your Body is a Gift from God

It’s true that our bodies are gifts from God, they are truly amazing in spite of the fact that we tend to focus on our flaws. It was crafted by the hand of God Himself, who placed His image within it. Most of us are ashamed of its appearance and society tells us to hide it from view; it’s bad. Yet we have a huge healthcare industry to care for it and “Health Care” is a huge political issue in our country. I’m probably weird in this, but that has always struck me as an odd contradiction.

Most of us don’t really understand our bodies and how they work, and as a result, we tend to abuse them, even in the most basic of ways, the way we fuel them.

I’ve long thought that one of these days I really should find a sustainable and sensible way of eating so that I can provide appropriate and responsible nutrition, and to do so in a financially responsible way. It just seems like good stewardship, and one of these days real soon, I’m going to get into it.

A quarter century, maybe more, has passed and one of these days still hasn’t appeared on the scene.

There’s no rush for me, I feel fine almost all of the time, I haven’t had a cold since… the Clinton Administration, and I’ve had the flu one time in 10 years, and a bronchitis episode once after sweeping up a dusty basement without ventilation: Not bad for an old guy. I still have a cast iron stomach and I can eat like a teenager, although I’m not as active as I was then so I have to watch how much I eat.

I have no prescriptions, I don’t take anything over the counter, but I do need to lose a few pounds. There isn’t anything new about that, I’ve been on this cycle for years: My pants get a little too tight and I lose 20 or 30 pounds and restart the process. Several years later, I do it again. Last time, I used the junk food diet (of my own creation). I ate anything I wanted: chips, hot dogs, burgers, processed junk of all kinds, but nothing after dinner. I lost enough weight doing that to drop a couple of sizes, and I’m still in those sizes, but I threw away all of the larger sizes, so it’s time to reduce again.

See, I’m doing great!

So why does this little voice in the back of my head keep saying, “Don, you know this is going to catch up with you, right?”

My answer is always the same: “Yes, but I’m not going to let that happen because one of these days I’m going to get this all sorted out and figure out how to eat properly and responsibly.”

That annoying little voice always wants the last word… “Don, didn’t you publish a post 3 years ago that said ‘tomorrow’ never comes because it’s always ‘Today’? Didn’t you also write that ‘one of these days’ is just like ‘tomorrow’, a philosophical illusion that never comes?”

“Shut up!”

“Didn’t you just say that your body is a gift from God and that you should take care of it as a simple matter of good stewardship?”

“I’m not listening to you anymore!”

Am I the only one who has to deal with such an irritating and contentious little voice in their head?

There is however, a catalyst this time around: My wife needs to follow a certain dietary course because of her health concerns, and since I’m the main cook around here, it might just be easier to consider doing the same thing she’s supposed to be doing. Yeah, sadly that would be more practical, but what she’s supposed to be doing, and which she sometimes actually does, is rather extreme; it’s called “Forks Over Knives” and was recommended by her Endocrinologist. On the other hand, we have friends who are doing the opposite and, actually, my daughter is as well, and they are reporting great results. The one they’re doing is the Keto Diet which to me, sounds like certain death.

They are complete opposites that appear to make the same claims about the results; who can make any sense about that?

So, here’s what I’ve decided to do: I will look into both of them and tell you what I learn.

Or I could just lose my pounds by my tried and true method: Eat less and move around more: 30 pounds, 30 days− easy money. I’ve done that at least a half-dozen times…

But then in a few years I’ll be right back where I am now, so I’ll look into the subject just to shut that little voice up.

All right then, that’s what I’ll be writing about this week in my second post: Stewardship and the Human Body. I’d be very pleased to hear any insights or experiences that you have had with this subject, or with either of the approaches I’ve mentioned already; see you next time when we’ll take a look at the documentaries for Forks Over Knives and Keto.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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12 Responses to TLP Living: July 30, 2018

  1. Jeanne Sawyer says:

    I too eat nothing after dinner, and try to eat dinner around 5-ish. It is not working as great as it used to. Now I need to cut my sugar intake in half, yes I am addicted! I will attempt to cook “healthier” dinners this week. More fruits/vegetables, less
    starch. I “need” meat & dairy in my life!

  2. Rebeca Jones says:

    It’s been awhile since I looked into the whole forks over knives bit, but here’s a couple of articles I saved in my ‘propoganda’ file. There’s a whole slew of cultists, oops, I mean adherents to some really, really bad science in my community and I began saving articles that confirmed my gut feeling that their claims may not be quite right.

    Now, understand that I have a serious aversion to this ‘diet’ and, in fact, all dietary claims which use fear-mongering to spread their message so I saved articles that support my own dislike of the topic. (Isn’t that what we all do though? Find ‘evidence’ to back up our own pet opinions?) All that to say, I hope these are of interest but take it all with a grain of salt, as my mama used to say. 🙂

    For what it’s worth, my bestie, who has a master’s degree in nutrition and did her internship at the prestigious Vanderbilt University, dislikes both diets. It’s her firm belief that there are no ‘bad’ foods. She preaches moderation in all things and focusing on small, sustainable changes with the goal of eating mostly a variety of veggies, fruits, and lean meats. In other words, using common sense and a bit of self control.

    On the other hand, I have friends who have had great success with the Keto lifestyle. Perhaps there’s wisdom to be found in both, or perhaps each of us must find what works for our unique physiology and health issues. I suspect the key lies in my friend’s emphasis on sustainability. No diet will work for the long haul if it makes life miserable!

    • Don Merritt says:

      It sounds to me like your bestie and I think a lot alike. In our house we have the issue of my wife’s heath situation and the fact that her Endocrinologist sent her to a class for diabetics that recommend this for her situation… and her numbers have been getting pretty dire- the doc says drastic action is required for her. But for me… I don’t have any of these problems, but have always intended to look into this tuff, so here’s a chance to do so fairly and make some longer-term choices, and maybe to help my wife stick to her diet at least until she is better. Anyway, I did the legwork last week, and I’m sharing what I found this week, and I think you might find it interesting by the end (I have a theory I think you’ll be interested in) so please stay tuned and let me know what you think. In the meantime, I’ll check your links… I think I read one of them last week…

      • Rebeca Jones says:

        Several years ago I was diagnosed as insulin resistant and my husband was a huge help in keeping me on track with my diet. We did the South Beach diet, per my Dr’s orders, and got my system jolted back to normal. Many of the things we learned then are still a part of our lifestyle, though we’ve gotten older and have slacked in some areas too, so we’d likely benefit from a few more deliberate changes. I look forward to hearing what your thoughts are from your research!

    • photojaq says:

      She preaches moderation in all things and focusing on small, sustainable changes with the goal of eating mostly a variety of veggies, fruits, and lean meats. In other words, using common sense and a bit of self control.
      I LIKE THIS ONE. Although I do eat dairy. I stay away from sugar as much as I can, and make sure I get enough protein. Have been maintaining my good weight for quite a while.
      NOTE: I tried to get on that KALE wagon, ate it in salads, cooked it and ate it… and ended up with a year of colitis. NOT WORTH IT!!!

  3. Tom says:

    I know I am in the place to need to lose a little weight. I eat pretty healthy good meals most of the time. My problem is I need to get out and be more physically active. My jobs are not very active anymore. For years I had to exercise (in the Army) since I got out—-I don’t because I don’t “have” to, but I need to.

  4. Patty H says:

    I question the keto diet. With such a low carbohydrate count, I doubt that endurance athletes would be able to perform well since the body needs carbohydrates for energy. For carbohydrates, I am referring to whole grains; not processed. I am an endurance bicycle rider and would not even consider cutting out the whole grains.

    For awhile I tried vegan, which is what Forks over Knives is about. I ended up craving sugar from lack of animal protein. I do like legumes and often cook them for meals, but I found I need some animal protein. I added eggs, yogurt, fish, and poultry back into my diet. Another issue with cutting out animal protein is lack of vitamin B12. I prefer getting adequate vitamins through nourishing foods; not supplements. I realize that sometimes supplements are necessary, but in my situation, they are not.

    I basically follow the Mediterranean Diet.

    The key to an effective diet is to find what works for you. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another. It will take a little experimenting.

  5. Beth Ann says:

    I have always been a proponent of moderation. Quite a few years ago I cut out my once daily Pepsi and mayonnaise. I lost 20 pounds, fast. Then I got gastro problems. I didn’t like the medicine, so I cut all spicy stuff out of my diet and didn’t eat anything 4 hours before bedtime (there went my nightly ice cream!!). Lost some more weight.

    Now, I’ll eat somewhat spicy stuff if I love it (I know I’ll pay for it!!). My full goal (like your’s, not there yet) is to eat sensibly, as natural (not processed) food as I can manage. Of course, I’m going to up the exercise as well. I don’t like the idea that you follow a “diet” because what happens when you reach your goal? If you go back to the way you were eating before, then you’ll gain the weight back. Keeping a sane diet, in moderation, is to me, key.

    • Don Merritt says:

      That’s my approach as well; moderation. Weight is about balancing the energy you burn with the energy you take in, and I’m more and more aware that I tend to go wrong by centering meals around the most calorie rich part of most of my meals, the meat. I’ve come around to the thought that I need to change my focus to do a better job of maintaining that balance… if that makes sense to anyone 😊

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