Friday, July 13, 2012

Paleo, a hot bod and the Christian

Well, there's going to be more to this post than the Paleo diet, but that's what I really want to talk about today.  First, though, I should answer the question, "Why a post on nutrition on Biblical Christianity?"  I've been asking myself a lot of questions related to this, frankly.  Why more posts on something somebody else smarter than me has written about?  Well, two answers.  First, everyone has an experience that you can't replicate.  Two people eating the same ripe mango will have differing opinions on it.  Two people who read the same pericope (passage of Scripture) will apply it in vastly different ways.  Second, the book of Proverbs offers some great insight on this:  "Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed." Proverbs 15:22.  So, with that, here goes my post.

I'm not a great writer.  As Brian Regan would say, "I'm not even unilingual.  Well, I don't give myself enough credit.  I'm good enough to order ham in a restaurant."  While this post is not necessarily for those reading it, I hope you benefit from it, in Jesus' name.  This is for me.  A person writing in our local newspaper said keeping a journal is good.  And, for me, I can relate.  When I was finally to the point where I was ready to listen to God, I developed a LOVE for reading and a general appreciation for writing in a journal.  However, I'm also the most undisciplined person in the world.  Nevertheless, I digress...

So, last January, Crystal and I embarked upon a journey to get healthier.  Actually, this was another step in our journey.  See, I had always wanted a "hot bod."  I got interested in Body for Life, which led from one thing to another.  Call my journey "the YouTube of exercise" - get enough of the video to get the gist but not actually fully benefit from it before moving on to the next distraction.  Call it "squirrel."  During the last few years, Crystal also began running.  Between the two of us, we began being a bit more conscious of our eating and exercise habits.

Somewhere between 2005 and 2006, I started and completed a Body for Life 12-week program.  I dropped 25 pounds and wasn't looking too shabby...til my Dad had a stroke.  For the next 5 1/2 years, I went back to the same old lifestyle, only with the knowledge that my lifestyle was hurting me.  I also began to have other issues (some sort of scalp disorder, heavy snoring - sleep apnea, LOW energy).

Fast-forward to January 2012.  Our friend, Courtney, introduced us to the Whole 30 diet.  We were involved in a Dave Ramsey finance course with our small group and some people were talking about how this had helped them think about where they were spending their money in terms of food.  We simultaneously began this diet, unbeknownst to us that this was a form of the Paleo diet (more on that later), and this weekly produce co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  30 days later, I dropped 24 pounds, my scalp itching had subsided greatly and I stopped snoring.  Woohoo!  I hadn't felt this good in my entire life.

After a few weeks celebrating, I decided I wanted to start back up again, to no avail.  I'm not sure why that is.  I had, in the meantime, researched what this Paleo diet meant.  First, the diet is what everyone knows they need to do:  no grains, dairy (except eggs), or legumes. Only whole, natural foods including lean meats, veggies, fruit and naturally-occurring fats.  Crystal and I found that this diet is very doable long-term.  However, I later found that this diet is based in the presupposition of evolution, to a people that lived far more than 10,000 years ago, called the Paleolithic people, our supposed prehuman ancestors.  That might have put a damper on it, kind of like when a Messianic Jew finds out that the meat he just ate was sacrificed to idols.  The next visit, he might eat a bit before paying a dinner visit to his/her friends and politely refuse the food.

The only other issue...well, the real issue for me... is that I love food, and am a huge pushover.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I am enjoying life right now.  My wife and I are raising an almost 2 year old (see our blog, Sittin' On Go for more details), I'm not working or schoolin' this summer, and God is on the throne!  I just like eating grains, dairy, legumes and anything processed.  Since I'm not obligated to be true to a diet, I don't.  And, the Hartwigs (of Whole9 fame) make it clear that eating treats (not cheats) should come without guilt.  Sure!  I like that a lot!  And, for the most part, I don't feel guilty.  Tonight, I had some white potatoes with gravy and two small glasses of milk - yum!  However, I miss the higher energy, better nights of sleep and the no-brainer menu.  I know that it will take me, at least, two weeks to get back to that February feelin,' but I like the spontaneous visits to Taco Bell, Arby's and EZ Burger.

I think I'm above it all.  I'm totally not, is the problem.  And, frankly, I'm not so much feeling guilty as I am ashamed of myself for allowing me to be such a wuss about food.  And, my wife is confused out of her wits because I keep eating food from the "no" menu.  Poor Crystal.  She's incredibly patient with me.  Patience is one of her many awesome gifts from the Lord.

So, I'm reading C.J. Mahaney's Humility and realizing I need to step it up.  Now, not a lot of people will see this post, but those who do should know that I don't like being doted over.  I just want a place to converse.  So, I will end tonight's ramblings with the hopes of more to come.  I don't have an answer tonight, other than I need the grace of God through Jesus just like every other person in this world does, even when it comes to my seemingly petty issue about food and good health.

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