It is hard to communicate the love of junk food and meat I have maintained throughout my short 26 years. Because my mom was careful to ensure we had primarily healthy options at home, I frequently raided my cousins’ and friends’ pantry and cupboards when I was invited over for play dates or sleepovers. I relished the white bread and sugary cold cereal. I snarfed down candy bars and gobbled up anything with a hint of sugar. What a great treat after being restricted to whole wheat, home made bread, and oatmeal! For my birthday one year my mom got me a package of steaks, and a year later she gave me some beef sticks. She knew me well and was good enough to indulge me.
As a missionary my love of food grew. Serving in the U.S. I ate as much lasagna, burgers, and whatever I could each night and agreed to third and fourth servings of dessert. The members were always emphatic that “missionaries need lots of food!” and I was quick to agree with them. That was the life! Of course I gained 13 pounds after just 3 weeks in the MTC and nearly 40 pounds in the mission field. When I met and married my wife she often noted my funny way of choosing meals at restaurants. “How big is it?” was (and often still is) my primary question. While I had gained some weight, I wouldn’t say I was unnaturally big. Indeed I didn’t really even feel I had a problem. What I wasn’t as thoughtful about was how this way of eating might be influencing other aspects of my life, including my spirit.
Over a year ago, my wife and I made a drastic change (documented in a blog post, “Our New Diet”). My father had given us a copy of Jane Birch’s book, Discovering the Word of Wisdom for Christmas (2013). After reading it, we agreed to give it a shot for at least three months and see how it went. Remarkable things happened for me physically, including the elimination of headaches that were once prevalent, an abundance of energy, and a newly discovered joy in eating foods I had once considered beyond touching with a fork! I also continued to lose weight and settled down at a point that I was at in probably 8th grade. Often I would wonder, is this a good or a bad thing that I weigh so little?! I consider it a good thing since I have more energy than ever before, continue to exercise each day, and feel wonderful. I finished a triathlon earlier this year and have almost beat my mile time set my freshman year of high school. That is pretty crazy!
Beyond physical health, I feel closer to the Lord. I’ve learned to better manage my desires, and have come to rule my appetite rather than be ruled by it. To be a true disciple of Christ I feel it is essential for me to truly “lay aside every sin that doth easily beset me.” Eating meat, sugary junk, and other foods that are so common place may or may not be a sin in and of itself, but for me I felt like my addiction to those things was separating me from the Lord in a way I had not previously considered. While I don’t live this diet 100% (I use a little oil, have an egg once and a while, eat meat every blue moon, and have a piece of pie on special occasions) my 95% whole food plant-based way of life has brought me more in tune with my own body, and with my loving Creator.
When God, science, and logic all line up in a row, we should really pay attention!
(Here is a short video presentation on the Word of Wisdom Greg did for his speech class in 2014.)
Greg Williams is 26 years old. Jumping from education to video production with instructional design on the side, Greg is happily confused about what he is most excited about. He lives in Provo with his wife and son (with a daughter on the way!).