Monday, January 30, 2012

Battling Demons -- Faith Based Post

I am a Christian believer.  I always have been.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I believe that I am never alone and am being watched over even when I am struggling -- especially when I am struggling.  The thing that I am not, however, is a good listener.  I am not talking about listening to my hubby or my children or my grandchildren, I am talking about listening to God.  Maybe I don't sit still long enough, maybe I am not quiet enough, maybe I am just looking for somebody else to fix my problems. However, this weekend, something changed.  I think God must have been screaming at me because I finally heard the answer to all the prayers, begging, and pleading of late.  I don't "think" I heard it, I know I heard it.  This has happened before so I know what it feels and sounds like. 

For a while now, by "while" I mean about five or six years, I have been battling several demons and they all seem to circle one central theme -- my health and my weight.  In the course of that time I have had heart palpitations, some bouts of what I feel are afib, anxiety, depression, low self esteem (ok, this has been all my life) and severe allergies. It all pretty much began when my parents got sick, I nursed them and then they died -- I am only child -- very traumatic.  Then, it all got significantly worse when my husband had quadruple bypass surgery in 2005.  He got well, I got sick.  Top this all off by the fact that I have a horrible phobia about doctors due to my parents experiences and you have a pretty miserable person. 

So, as per my usual method of operation, I went to God in prayer first and, as usual, didn't listen.  I figured I could take a supplement -- lots of them, in fact -- and somehow override the copious amounts of trash I was eating and somehow be saved.  Well, I couldn't even take the supplements on a regular basis but I could devour tons of sweets and soda and just junk on a regular basis  with no problem.  I sit and wonder why my hair is falling out, why my fingernails peel off, why my joints ache constantly, why I have no energy, why my heart flops around erratically from time to time.  So, the other evening, as I am want to do, I was surfing around the internet researching "symptoms" and found a few things that quite honestly, scared the life out of me.  (WebMD is evil, I have decided).  But, somewhere in my reading there was a voice in my head -- yes, an audible male voice -- that said "plant based".  As I read on in whatever it was I was reading, it said how many symptoms or ailments could be treated and, sometimes, even reversed by being vegan or vegetarian.   Now I have tried this before with absolutely no conviction and, clearly, no success but somehow I was compelled to read on.

I prayed. I said that, as always, God's will prevailed but if it was his will that I get better just show me the way -- again, "plant based".  Had I heard this before and just not listened?  Probably. 

So, the next evening Hubs and I went to Zoe's -- a health related restaurant new to the area and I had some lovely soup and slaw -- neither vegetarian but clearly more "plant based" than the cookies I usually eat.  We then went to the bookstore across the street and I walked straight to -- as if being led by the hand -- to this book

I came home, read the book -- not in its entirety as yet -- there is a ton of information -- and I decided I could do this.  Why?  Well, "plant based" was still booming in my head and I was kinda tired of being yelled at and I figured I could do it because there are large amounts of food involved.  Whole foods, mostly raw, and the promise that the cravings would be gone and I would not be hungry.  I mean, there is something compelling to be said about eating all you want of something, even if it is kale.  I don't like kale but I am going to give it a go again.

So, I began on Friday.  According to Fuhrman salad --  and a lot of it -- is your main dish for lunch and supper and you should eat a cup of beans a day.  This is not a problem for me as I love that sort of food.  Hubs looked at me as I sat down to these meals -- he laughed.  He also said he was going to read the chapter on diabetes.  After eating these meals I had the oddest sensation.  I was full -- trust me -- I was full but.....I didn't have that feeling that I couldn't walk across the floor.  I felt light.  I haven't felt like this in .....well, I don't know that I have ever felt like this.  I feel "clean".  Now I know the meaning behind one of my favorite magazines about clean eating. 

I get it -- I GET IT!!! I feel like I am one of those people you hear about -- overweight yet starving to death.  I get it.  I listened.  Do I think that I was given a divine directive?  You betcha! And, when I get that sort of directive, I pay attention -- I am just sorry that I have been a defiant child -- I could have been doing this a long time ago.

I have been exercising as well.  I have one of those Tony Little Gazelle things that are supposed to be gentle on your knees -- well, maybe if you are IronMan but me, yeah, not so much.  But, thirty minutes a day -- thirty five today.  I am not going to try to kill myself but stay consistent.  Another thing that helps -- I am accountable to my daughter.  I am not writing any of this down but I am reporting to her what I am eating and how I am feeling.  A support group is important.  I think she is giving consideration for herself what I am doing.  Hubs even said he was going to read the chapter on diabetes.  Now, THAT is a breakthrough!

I figure after possibly six months to a year of this I will be able to say that some of my "issues" have left me.  I am hoping so, anyway.  I can't imagine that this life plan will be detrimental as I have been led here by the One who loves me the most and has never left me. So, I am back with a new vision and a new goal -- to be healthy so I can get on with what I need to get on with because I am pretty sure that I still have purpose and need to be able to fulfill that purpose.

So, as an appropriate project to go along with this stage in my life I am stitching this

I think it is adorable -- more difficult than it looks -- and is sort of representative of my "demons".  When I am done I am hanging it where I can see it on a daily basis to remember to stay vigilant in battling my demons.  It also helps that I am of Welsh ancestry and I just love little dragons!