The Standard American Diet was the only diet I knew for most of my life. While sedentary and pudgy when very young, I became more lean and active in high school and college. During the final year of my residency in anesthesiology, over working got the best of me. Frequent trips to the medical center cafeteria for calorie-rich, processed foods became the norm. Twenty extra pounds appeared out of nowhere. This is the point where my meandering journey of yo-yo dieting began.
While reading a newspaper, my wife learned about a diet that eliminated all refined carbohydrates (white flour, sugar, etc.). It was a sort of “sugar busters” diet. Without getting any books or outside help, we tried to apply it as best we could. The twenty pounds vanished and my energy level increased. For the first time since Physical Education, I began to exercise. We did well with this make-shift program for about three years.
When we were taught the missionary discussions and the Word of Wisdom was introduced, we embraced it. In high school and for a couple of years in college, I had smoked. Committing to avoiding tobacco forever made a lot of sense. As young as I had been at the time, I would get bronchitis each winter that lasted for months. Eliminating alcohol has also been a blessing. That is something that harms so many people in so many ways. We were also coffee drinkers, but willing to give that up.