Sunday, September 14, 2014

He Doth Nourish Them and Strengthen Them

Have you ever had a sudden flash of perfect understanding? When all the things you've studied and read about a particular subject suddenly come into focus and you know exactly what is right for you to do? The spirit works this way with me sometimes. Because of my struggles with weight over the years, I have read many, many books and articles that have to do with health, dieting, fitness, and nutrition. Sometimes having an obsession with one subject can lead to a lot of confusion. I'm reminded of the words of Joseph Smith in his history, chapter 1 verse 5. Read it here. He is talking about the religious tumult in the region where they lived that was causing divisions among the people, some crying, "Lo here!" and others, "Lo there!" That's exactly how it is when it comes to the subject of good health, nutrition, diet, and fitness. People develop a religious fervor about whatever ideas they have espoused. Try telling a vegan that you don't agree with their choice of diet for yourself. Any valid reasons you offer are quickly discounted and discarded and you are left feeling like a lesser mortal who's intelligence and ability to reason things out for yourself are wanting. Some even hint that you are not quite righteous! Try telling a runner that, that type of exercise actually causes you constant injuries. They will extol the virtues of their lifestyle and the benefits of "the runner's high" until you feel quite ashamed that your own joints won't allow you to partake of that particular "drug." While I am thrilled for people who have found the thing that works well for them and brings them the health and happiness they desire, that religious fervor can actually lead the hearer to feel cynicism, anger, confusion, and guilt. (It actually makes me want to do the opposite! Am I rebellious?)

While I was praying for direction for my food plan, I had one of those flashes of perfect understanding. The prescription that would work for my obese, middle-aged, insulin resistant body was a very simple diet consisting mainly of protein and high water content vegetables. This doesn't mean that there aren't a host of wonderful nutrients in fruits, nuts, grains, and starchy vegetables. It means that for my particular health issues, it is best for me to leave them alone during this phase of my journey. If I get a kidney infection, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic for me to take for a specified period of time to clear up the infection. This does not mean I should take that antibiotic forever, nor does it mean when my neighbor comes down with an earache, I should insist that he take my prescription because it "worked so well for me!" I CAN however, refer him to my doctor who took such good care of me. That is what I'm doing. I'm referring you to the Great Physician to help you with your own unique and personal health issues.

Call the doctor! I need help!

As I prayed over the inspiration I'd  received, specifics began to be revealed to me. I was led by the spirit to read Ether, in the Book of Mormon. Read it here. In Ether, Jared, his brother and their families and friends are spared having their language confounded during the time of the tower of Babel through the fervent prayers and faithfulness of the brother of Jared. God tells the brother of Jared to gather his family, friends and all their supplies and head to the valley northward and he will meet them there. Once there, the Lord talks to the brother of Jared in a cloud and tells him that He will go before them and show them every thing that they should do. This struck me so powerfully, I began to weep. I knew the Lord was telling me that he would lead me along. I may not know the course of the journey I was taking, but He would lead me and I could put my trust in Him. When I want to talk to God, I pray. When I want to hear his voice, I read the scriptures. It always works. I find the greatest strength and help from reading and pondering the scriptures. As I feast on them, my need to feast on food disappears. Anger and confusion disappear, obsessive thoughts disappear, and I am left with a deep and abiding peace.

After the Lord leads the brother of Jared and his family and friends through the wilderness, they arrive at the seashore. The Lord tells the brother of Jared to build 8 barges to carry them across the waters. He shows him exactly how to build them so that they will be tight and so that water cannot get in. As I pondered this, I thought of Nephi and his family and their journey into the wilderness. Their experience was very different that the Jaredites' experience. Nephi's family went through rebellions and hardships and actually took twice as long to reach the sea. Read it here. (1 Nephi 2-4, 7, 16-18) The Lord commanded Nephi to build a ship and He instructed him exactly how to build it. It was nothing like the brother of Jared's barges, yet Nephi's ship took his family safely to the promised land, just like the barges safely took the Jaredites there. I realized that we all have our own journey. It will not look quite like someone else's. If I turn to the Lord, he will show me the way and will help me to build the perfect ship to carry me to my promised land of health and wellness. All I have to do is trust Him and be obedient to His commandments and follow the promptings of the Spirit.

He keeps me safe from misplaced enthusiasm to try everything that worked for someone else. This also saves me a great deal of money! I have noticed that for me personally, if it comes from Heavenly Father, it is not expensive to do, and the plan is quite simple. I am urged to beware of  'evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the latter days." (Doctrine and Covenants 89:4) People seem to want my money all the time! Being overweight for a good number of years has made me the target of those who earn a living selling promises to the desperate and heavy. I'm sure many of them have good intentions, and if you can afford their product, I wish you well. However, I know that the Lord has the perfect plan for each of us and we can save ourselves a lot of pain and disappointment if we will only listen to Him.

I buy the best quality food I can afford on my budget and I pray over everything I eat. I am reminded of something amusing my sister Debbie's friend told her. She prays, "Heavenly Father, this is the best food I can afford. Please bless it to make us healthy and strong anyway!" The majority of my food is in as natural a state as possible and I try to avoid much processed or packaged foods. I use mainly fresh produce, but occasionally frozen. Obviously, I buy meat in a package because I'm not a hunter, fisherman, or rancher with a talent for butchering beef and chickens! I have prayed and been inspired over all the vitamins, minerals, oils, and herbs I take. Each one was specifically revealed to me and in a way that is easy for me to get hold of. I use Active Vitamin Packs, Flax Seed Oil, and another vitamin D capsule every morning.  I use Metamucil Fiber supplements every morning and night. One half hour to two hours before every meal, I take one garcinia cambogia capsule and one green coffee bean tablet. Every morning and afternoon I drink a Zip Fizz. All of these supplements I purchase at Costco. (No, they are NOT paying me to say that.)

I eat 3 small meals a day consisting of about 2-5 ounces of meat and a cup or two of vegetables and I do not snack between meals. I use butter salt, pepper and spices and a little dressing on the side. I eat very slowly and listen for the very subtle internal voice that tells me I've had enough. This takes a while to cultivate, but it does come and is a very useful tool and guide. I was amazed at how much less food my body became satisfied on. I really ate a lot before, even when I thought I was eating "right." Because studies show that middle aged women are perpetually in a state of slight dehydration because of leaky cell walls, I alkalize all the water I drink. This has been shown to help heal these cell walls. I cut lemons and limes into quarters and squeeze one quarter into every glass of water I drink, in my Zip Fizz, and my fiber supplement. This allows my body to drop fat more easily.

Please do not think that I'm advocating my food plan for everyone. I'm absolutely not doing that. Heavenly Father may show you a completely different plan for your "ship." Don't be afraid to come unto Him and do what He inspires you to do. He loves us all. We are His children and He desires to bless us.
"Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."


  1. This is so inspiring Sara! Bless you as you bless others...including me.

  2. Good for you Sara... I am sure you are feeling as great as you look. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.