Someone dear to me had the term “diabetic” heaped on him after elevated blood sugar was discovered in his system. With the diagnosis, a switch flicked on and he set about making changes to his diet and lifestyle. Within a month, he has melted away some of his “heart attack belly,” added notches to his belt, and increased his energy. His wife, startled by the significant changes in such a short time, grew concerned. I advised that his body has taken control in his healing after years of craving this and noted that such changes, when the body is given the space, can come quickly.
Three thoughts on how he chose to thrive:
1. No scales: They’ve considered purchasing a scale. Because I was a prisoner to a number for so many years, weighing myself five-to-ten times daily, I know the tyranny of the scale. We supplant the embodied experience within our skin with an externally targeted number. Wonder why “the last five pounds are the hardest?” Perhaps because the body needs that weight to maintain health. Connection to our bodies will dictate what works for us, rather than obsession with numbers.
2. Added nourishment: Years of bowls of ice cream, handfuls of bite-sized candy, or sleeves of cookies can add up. When the news was broken, my friend worried that he was going to starve to death because he was used to his time-tested patterns. Once he got his mind around the fact that plenty of foods exist that will ensure his survival, he made wholesale changes. Goodbye processed foods and refined grains and sugars. Hello real foods – the ones with one ingredient, the food itself – and slower burning carbohydrates. Instead of removing a macronutrient and viewing all carbs as the same, he sought out complex carbs that don’t take as great a toll on the pancreas. Since he eats meat, he has replaced high omega-6 grain-finished animals with pasture-finished foods rich in omega-3s to reduce inflammation.
3. Some movement required: Lucky that his job doesn’t require him to sit at a desk for eight hours, my friend achieves a lot of movement at work. With Spring’s arrival, he plans to be outside much more than usual, too. He has seen his overall energy levels increase despite the demands of his work, thanks likely to the quality of his food.
With the good fortune of having a spouse who has made the changes with him, my friend has the at-home support that complements his health overhaul. Instead of fighting about what to buy, they agree that they will maintain wellness as a team. His wife has seen her own benefits from these changes, too.
We all have choices in life. Sometimes the awakening comes when we receive a diagnosis. My friend has regained health and increased vitality, not through reliance on a system and pills (though it’s great that he had the good fortune of health insurance to bring his issues to the foreground), but by allowing his body’s wisdom to dictate his path to wellness. This former anti-salad man now downs his greens and throws the ones he still can’t really stand into smoothies.
The results speak for themselves and his outlook has become much brighter. No longer in a conversation of deprivation, life beckons with abundance – not the least of which is time not spent in waiting rooms.