Archive for food cravings

“Not being ruled by sugar is greatly freeing!”

Jane GolsonBy: Jane Golson

Because I was having babies and nursing for the bulk of 10 years, my body was in constant change. I was always feeling tired. I had minor abdominal pain, low-grade back pain (kidney), headaches, insatiable sugar/carb cravings, sore joints, nighttime urge to urinate frequently, occasional mucous-looking discharge, and a myriad of other low-grade symptoms. Because those were the years of bearing children, I put aside my symptoms as part of my “baby body.”

To keep up, I fed myself lots of quick bowls of sugar cereal and milk, or grabbed a cookie, granola bar, or king-size candy bar at the gas station. I didn’t give a lot of thought to what I was eating. I didn’t give a lot of thought to the signals my body was sending me either. I just knew I NEEDED that cookie or candy bar!

Occasionally, the soreness in my lower abdomen would flare up, and I was CONVINCED I had a UTI (urinary tract infection) so I would go to the InstaCare and insisted on an antibiotic. My urine sample was always clear, but my symptoms matched the UTI symptoms so exactly they always prescribed me the antibiotic. I also had seasonal allergies that usually turn into a sinus infection about once a year, so my doctor would prescribe strong antibiotics (augmentin) for that. This cycle went on for 10+ years!

I had a vague idea that antibiotics can disrupt the body’s flora, creating yeast infections, and that eating yogurt helped that, so I also was eating lots of sugary yogurt and taking probiotics thinking that was taking care of the effects of antibiotic use. (What I didn’t realize is that our body’s microbiome is so much more complex and plays a role in so many other health factors.)

After having five kids, moving multiple times, and never really thinking much about my health, my health MADE me start paying attention. I finally went to see my OB/GYN. After reading the lab results, he said something that made a dim light bulb go on in my mind, “Jane, you have NO good bacteria in your system.” It dawned on me that all the antibiotics I had been treated with earlier had killed off all my bacteria. Basically, I had a very sick microbiome!

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“The Gospel is not weight. It is wings!”

The Gospel is not weight—it is wingsToday I’d like to share the story of one Mormon mother. This person represents many others: good, faithful members of the Church who live with a certain misery and despair over their weight, their health, and the impact it is having on their families. Almost weekly, I hear from such a person seeking for help and wondering if there is still hope.

I’ve received permission from this person to share excerpts from her emails to me last year. I have left out some details to protect her identity and shorten the story. (Note that I responded to every email she sent me, but I do not include my emails to her.)

I hope her amazing story of transformation will inspire everyone who reads this!

August 26, 2015

Dear Jane,

I have been following your comments on Meridian Magazine for some time now. I am writing to you in a bit of desperation. I am over 60 years old, about 5 feet tall, and about 100 pounds overweight. I have always been active in the church, have a strong testimony, love the Gospel with all my heart. I am only saying these things to help you understand my situation a little better. I was usually a little chubby, but since my marriage, I just got bigger and bigger and bigger. I have not been good at serving healthy, nutritious meals, as the cheaper “casseroles with cream of soups” were always my go-to. I love cake, cookies, brownies, candy, homemade ice cream, chips and dip, homemade bread, etc. Sadly, I raised my children the same way, and now some of them struggle with weight issues. One day a while ago, my daughter said to me that she felt that I didn’t understand the atonement, because I tried so hard to live every law perfectly, and repent for the tiniest mistake, yet in some areas (I know she meant weight) I was not following the commandments. Though it was a bit painful, it was truly a needed wake-up call, but still I have not taken the steps to change.

One day a few months ago in my personal prayers, I said that I really wanted to get my life in order, but I just could NOT be obedient to healthy eating. I knew I was sinning because of my refusal to humble myself and control my eating. I have felt badly since admitting to the Lord that I just wouldn’t do that, but I really believed it was true! It makes me disgusted to think that terrible food means more to me than eternal life with God! And in reality, it doesn’t, but I knew I couldn’t lie to Him, when I wasn’t willing to change.

Two years ago, I had been eating more healthy for quite a while and had lost some 66 or so pounds, though I was still at least 50 pounds overweight. But I went on a trip, and we celebrated with foods I hadn’t tasted in a long, long time. Coming back home, I just went wild and eventually gained almost 45 of those pounds back. It has now been two years, and I am still here, almost 45 pounds heavier, and just hopeless. I really am huge, and it’s terribly noticeable being so short. I know through the years it’s been awful for my husband to drag around a gigantic wife, and it has been extremely embarrassing for my children. What is wrong with me!!!! I honestly sometimes wonder if it is just too late for me—kind of the mentality that this is who I am, who I’ve always been, who I always will be, and that there is just no hope for me. I KNOW that is evil thinking, but I honestly feel so overwhelmed at this point in life that I don’t know if I even want to change. How could I really give up the foods I really like—FOREVER?

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Duffy’s WFPB Journey — July 2014

keep-calm-and-eat-plants-2

Note from Jane: This is the latest in a monthly series by Duffy, who went whole food, plant-based late in 2013 with the goal of losing over 200+ pounds. To see previous posts, choose Duffy Chronicles from the Stories menu.

 

This month’s post is a little bit painful for me to write. This is the second month that I don’t have any significant weight loss progress to report. In fact I’ve gone up and down the scale by 6 lbs, most recently back up again, as I struggle with the pleasure trap.

Last month I wrote three goals for myself. Here is how I did: Read More→

Duffy’s WFPB Journey — June 2014

Duffy-RaindropsNote from Jane: This is the latest in a monthly series by Duffy, who went whole food, plant-based late in 2013 with the goal of losing over 200+ pounds. To see previous posts, choose Duffy Chronicles from the Stories menu.

 

We’re now officially halfway through the year, my friends! Can you believe it? My summer has been made many times more pleasant than in years past by the recent addition of my window air conditioner. #moderndayblessing!

Yes, I use a measuring tape from my sewing basket as a tie-back. It’s the only ribbon the cat’s never tried to avenge!

Yes, I use a measuring tape from my sewing basket as a tie-back. It’s the only ribbon the cat’s never tried to avenge!

Two of my favorite things are cloudy, overcast days and rain. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, a.ka. The Valley of the Sun. We heated burritos and chimichangas on the windshield of our truck while waterskiing on the lake. We bought sunscreen in gallon jugs. We used water in our radiators (FYI: this was a really BAD idea when we subsequently drove our cars to northern parts and they FROZE). We complained that if the rest of the country got “snow days,” we ought to get “hot days” off of school.

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Duffy’s WFPB Journey — May 2014

ThermometerNote from Jane: This is the latest in a monthly series by Duffy, who went whole food, plant-based late in 2013 with the goal of losing over 200+ pounds. To see previous posts, choose Duffy Chronicles from the Stories menu.

A few weeks ago we had a sudden jump in temperatures from mostly 60’s to 88 degrees Fahrenheit! Personally, I prefer 65 and below as my ideal temperature. For as long as I can remember I’ve dealt with excessive sweating, especially on my face/scalp but also on other parts of my body to a lesser degree. The condition is known as hyperhidrosis and mine seems to be a less common variety than those who sweat excessively from their underarms, palms of their hands, or feet. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, I can tell you that this was miserable. In recent years I’ve looked into a few different treatments and started taking an oral anti-secretory agent. I would also sometimes use the product Sweat Block, which is not recommended for facial use. Ooh, it itched like crazy while it dried!! Both of these things helped a little, but only a little.

About three weeks ago when we had the first temperature spike, I was standing in the hallway outside my classroom after teaching and thought man, its getting hot in here! I am uncomfortably warm right now. Even now it is a difficult sensation to describe as it was brand-new to me. I felt like warm air was pressing against my skin, like being inside an oven on low heat, and it was uncomfortable—but not to the point of distress. Most startling of all, I was not sweating. I wondered if this is how most people experience being hot? I cannot remember a time when I have experienced being hot without also being uncomfortably and excessively sweaty.

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“I just wanted to feel normal” (Long Version)

Kevin TunstallNote from Jane: I also published a much shorter version of the following story. I’ve always wanted to share the original, long version, so I’m happy to do so here. The entire story is well worth reading, but if your time is limited, you may want to read the abbreviated version instead. Either way, this is a remarkable story!

By: Kevin Tunstall

My journey to a plant-based diet began soon after my diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, to begin fully, I should probably start earlier than the diagnosis as a series of events that some could call miracles led me to review my understanding of the Word of Wisdom and renew my understanding of the gospel, a journey that is still evolving.

My grandmother passed away from cancer after being terrified of dying of the big ‘C’ from a young age—she was in her eighties when it caught up with her. My mother passed away from lung cancer on my birthday in 2002, then a few years later my wife’s only sister developed breast cancer, which was aggressive and had started to move through the lymph nodes. She ended up having a mastectomy and her ovaries removed due to her age. This was followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

I had been called as bishop of a very busy ward here in New Zealand just four months earlier and ironically one of my first challenges was dealing with a single sister in the ward with two teenage children who had breast cancer but refused to get treatment or let me tell anyone.

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“Learning to master our appetites brings us closer to God”

George FamilyBy: Rebekah George

My plant-based journey started the summer I turned 25 (2002), when my mom called and said Dad had been diagnosed with diabetes and was going to try a vegan diet for three months. She thought he would have an easier time if his kids were doing it with him. My five sisters and I joined him in his three-month trial. I gladly jumped on board to support my dad, but I remember thinking, “How am I going to give up my cheese?!” I rarely cooked meat, but I had cheese all the time. As I cut all dairy from my diet, I was surprised at how quickly my cravings and taste for cheese disappeared.

During the trial period, I had many conversations with my mom, who had been vegan for several years, and I also started doing my own research. I read some of T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study and all of Food for Life by Neal Barnard. I also studied the Word of Wisdom with a new perspective, focusing on the verse that says the Lord is pleased when we do not eat meat.

By the end of the three months, not only were my dad’s blood levels normal and the pre-diabetic condition gone, but I was also convinced a plant-based diet was the way to go.

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Duffy’s WFPB Journey — March 2014

Yellow PotatoesLittle Wins

Along the way to achieving my ultimate weight loss and health goals, it’s important to celebrate the little wins….

  • My pants are looser. I noticed the change in my shirts last month, and this month my pants have felt looser and even started to ride a little lower so that I continuously have to pull them up and re-tuck in my undershirt.
  • I can reach the gas cap lever in my car! It was getting pretty dicey for a while there. It is located on the floor between the pedals and driver’s seat, and when I was at my largest weight, I’d have to hold my breath and lunge for it. Now I can reach down easily and without pain.
  • I’ve stayed 100% WFPB for ¼ of the year already!
  • A coworker noticed that I’ve been losing weight.
  • I reached and surpassed my first 50lb milestone; my visiting teachers took progress pictures.
  • I came home from an appointment last Saturday having put some potatoes in my countertop convection oven and then forgotten about them. My first thought as I opened the door was “Mmm, smells like brownies.” A few minutes later when I cut into one of the still-warm potatoes I thought, “This smells delicious!” Although I never before liked potatoes any way other than mashed with butter, I may be on my way to becoming a potato lover.

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Mormon Children Share Their Perspectives

Three SistersWhole food, plant-based eating is not just for adults! Children being raised in WFPB families have their own experiences with this way of eating and their own ideas about the Word of Wisdom. Here three young children from Oklahoma share their perspectives.


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Duffy’s WFPB Journey — February 2014

elephant_swimDear Reader,

Today is my 67th day eating of 100% Whole-Food Plant Based, Word of Wisdom diet. My official weigh-in day is Sunday, tomorrow, but unofficially, I sneak a peak at the scale once or twice more during the week. So unofficially, I can tell you that I’m down 44 lbs. (This includes the weight I loss doing less than 100% WFPB October-December.)

These two facts are significant because I have never before stayed on a diet longer than 3 weeks, and I have never before lost more than 28 lbs on a diet.

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