Did God really mean for us?

During the last couple of months, I have been doing research on diets and lifestyles.    I am really interested in the Paleo lifestyle.   This isn’t the first time I have thought that we should eat like the caveman.

Throughout my teens and early 20s I researched nutrition and the best way to lose weight and keep it off.   Now I will admit back then it was for purely vanity’s sake.  I wanted to be skinny and attractive to the opposite sex.    And what I found out back then is holding true today–fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does.   So many of the “functional medicine” diets are actually what most nutritionist back when I was a teen were saying.   I can remember thinking then that we should eat like a caveman.

Unfortunately, the pull of sugar and its addictive factors has been too much for me and I didn’t adopt a healthier diet.   I did the calories in calories out and continued to eat my sugary processed foods.    Now that I am over 50 and more than 100 pounds overweight, I am doing the research again.   And guess what keeps coming up as the way to eat?

Only now I don’t necessarily consider it the caveman diet.    I consider it the what God made diet.    And it can go by many names–Paleo, Caveman, Real Food, but basically it is all the same.  You eat what God put on this earth for us to eat in its natural form.

I really have to wonder what God thinks about man’s attempt to redesign our food sources by genetically modifying them.    And I have noticed that I tolerate a lot less grains these days.   I’m not sure my body ever really liked them since most grains are grass.   Grass is the only allergen that shows up across the board on all allergy tests–back pricks or blood tests on me.    So, I can remember symptoms back when I was a kid.   And now that they have bred them to so many other grasses, grains just don’t mix with my body.   But just like sugar they are addictive because of the sugar release and insulin spike.

Now, they are coming  up with GMO bananas that have vitamin A in them.   Really?   Don’t you think if bananas were supposed to give us a blast of A instead of potassium God would have put it in them to begin with.    Why do we mess with perfection?   Oh yes–the almighty dollar to be made.    And unfortunately it seems the dollar trumps people.

As for me, I am going to continue to try to eat what only God made.    The other day, I was at the store with my mother who was getting 2% milk.   I asked her why?   She said because that is what they say you are supposed to drink.   I asked, where are the cows that produce just 2% milk?    I told her that when cows started producing 2% milk that was when she needed to drink it.   After all, God put fat in food for a reason.

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Character or Standardized Tests?

Another school year is passing.   There will be a whole new set of Valedictorians and Salutatorians presented in a few days to a few weeks for the whole world to see.   In thinking about past high achievers in my children’s classes and our family members, it occurred to me that being Valedictorian or Salutatorian is not a sure fire way of being a success in your life.   In fact, I can’t even say that it means you will be able to hold down a job or provide for your family or many of the other things that we as a society consider a success.

Along with all the issues that occur at our school and from what I hear to some degree at every school, I am wondering if we have it all wrong.    Schooling didn’t start as a way to be competitive with other nations or to be the biggest and brightest new star at whatever endeavor.   It started as a way to teach children to read the Bible.   So they could grow up with God’s word and learn all of the character traits of Jesus and other Biblical figures to instill into our children a sense of worth and character.    To learn how to live in a community and to share the work load for the survival of the community.  To learn what it meant to be generous, honest, kind and loving.    To learn core values for the betterment of the community and the world.

But look at school now.   Each and every year there is some problem with the financing of the school system.   Changes are made to the accountability of the schools not to see what character has been developed but to see how well our children can do on standardized tests.    Standardized tests that show statistics on how our school systems compare to other states and the world in what knowledge we teach our children.

What good is knowledge if children aren’t taught the character traits to put this knowledge to work.    How will a good dependable work force be developed through school if we leave out character building?     How will our children learn proper conflict resolution if we take away recess and sports?    What will happen to the workforce if more emphasis is placed on testing than on actually what it takes to be a team or to be honest or kind?   Knowledge is a great and wonderful characteristic to have but it cannot stand on it’s own.   Do we not also need to produce in our children–

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

What’s more important for our school systems to teach character or standardized tests?   I can tell you that I know and can handle as much as any college graduation or any person with a formal education yet I only have a high school diploma.   Why?   Because I have character development and I continually seek out learning and self improvement.   So my vote is character building is more important than any statistics that can be gleaned from standardized testing.

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Where are you going to live?

I was looking at Facebook and ran across a quote from 21 Day Sugar Detox–

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are your going to live?”

It really hit me that most of us in some way or another do not take care of our bodies.   Right now in the season of my life I am in, I can truly say that I can see the future for me if I do not really get serious about my diet and exercise.    My parents are in really bad shape physically and mentally as they near the end of their lives.   And I can say that a majority of the reason why is due to their diet and lifestyle choices.

In Proverbs chapter 5, we are given a warning against an immoral woman namely a prostitute.    This is actually a symbol of illicit sex.    However whether it is illicit sex or lack of exercise or incorrect diet, food addiction along with alcohol and drug addiction, verse 11 can apply to my life choices as well as those of my parents:

In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.

That is where my parents are at right now–groaning in anguish.

It occurred to me that once again the Bible is our manual for living.    I know there is some verse in the Bible that tells us to take care of our body for our body is our temple.    So when I read the quote above where will we live if we don’t take care of our body, I was amazed at how once again God knows before we do that our actions will render us without a place to live.

The next couple of verses in Proverbs also so aptly describes what most of us have a problem with when it comes to our lifestyle choices.

You will say, “How I hated discipline!  If only I had not ignored all the warnings!   Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?  Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?

I can hear my mother now telling me that she didn’t know any better, no one had told her it would turn out like this.    The reality of it is that my mother came of age during the time of the food revolution after World War II and packaged food was easier and more convenient.   It required less discipline.    And my mother was like so many others in that she chose ease and convenience over health and discipline.    She taught me to do the same thing.    There are no excuses for any of us though.  Are there?   For the Bible has always been there and it hasn’t changed.    It gave us the instruction.

So I ask not only you but myself–Where are you going to live?

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As my husband and I were investing in our children’s future by attending the Sports/Academic Banquet and their induction into the National Honor Society, I was dumbfounded by what the adults expect from our children.   Why was I dumbfounded?   Because the adults at my children’s school do not seem to think those standards apply to them.

The first thing that I went uh what? was when the superintendent/principal stood up and said how he appreciated us parents sharing our children with them.   He continued to tell us how other schools talked more about our kids then their own because of our children’s behaviors.   It seems our children behave really well when at other events which impresses other administrators and teachers.    He, of course, took credit by saying that the kids get frustrated with him for not letting them wear their hats backwards, etc.   He went onto say that deep down he really thought the kids wanted those boundaries.

Then today at the National Honor Society induction, a description of leadership was being read.   It basically said a leader looked at what was the best for the group despite what they wanted or needed.

Recently the superintendent and I had a disagreement about 8th grade graduation at the school.    He made a decision that it was going to be at 11 am on the last day of school instead of as it has traditionally been held at 7 pm that night.   He didn’t want to do it because it was too much trouble to have it at night.   After all the other school in the county had it during the day and it wasn’t a problem there.    My argument for having it at night was it made it better for parents and other family members to attend.   He thought parents could just take off work and go.   And the rest of the people our children want to see them go through this right of passage?   Oh well they could just take off work also.    The fact that our school is in the middle of nowhere and no town is close.   Well, hey they can just take off work.    For me to attend my children’s events, I have to drive for 40 minutes round trip.   I work at home and live in the district.    So for me to attend a 30 minute event, I have to take off work for an a hour and a half– 40 minute driving time, 30 minutes for the event, another few minutes for talking to my children, getting back in the house and getting things started again.    If a parent or someone works out of town then the least amount of time they have to take off is 2 to 2-1/2 hours.    Oh and did I mention, the school provides him with a place to live right behind the school so his commute is 2 minutes.   But I think I’m getting off subject here.

I was asking the 8th grade sponsor if they were going to have snacks at graduation just this week.   It has traditionally been done each year that there is a little celebration after graduation.    Parents typically supply the cookies for the celebration.   I was going to make a cake with all of the kids names on it as I had done for my other children.   I was told that it was too much trouble and if the parents wanted to do it off campus they could but the school wouldn’t sponsor it.   Since she’s one of the parents, I am supposing that if we did have it that she wouldn’t attend.

Then I am talking to my daughter last night and she is telling me that the teachers and school cancelled an event all of the junior high and high school kids enjoyed because parents got on the field and it was too much trouble.

So if what a leader does is what is best for the group and not what he does or doesn’t want to do, then how do you think our teachers and administrations are doing as leaders?      I know there are a lot of good teachers out there.   I also know that most of those teachers don’t think it is too much trouble to spend the extra time on their students.

For many years it has long been said and understood that teaching is an underpaid profession.   And I really do believe that is the truth for most teachers.   However the atmosphere that has become pervasive at our school makes me wonder if our teachers aren’t overpaid.    Wonder if really all they need is some boundaries?   After all I bet they really want them deep down.

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Is it an imbalance?

This past week I have been listening to The Diabetes Summit.   It has been a really interesting set of interviews.   I have learned a lot.

I guess you could say that I am on a new journey once again to redo my health and diet and exercise habits.   My female hormones once again got totally out of balance and I have been having all kinds of problems so I began looking into the internet to find different ways of coping with the emotional roller coaster that I have been on.

In the course of trying to discover how to balance one set of hormones, I am discovering that I most likely have a whole host of hormonal imbalances with the biggest one being my insulin being out of balance.   In all of the years that I have been getting diabetic education counseling not one time have I heard any of the mainstream talk about an imbalance of insulin as being a cause of diabetes.

After having my first bout of gestational diabetes, the endocrinologist I was seeing put me on metformin for my PCOS.   It was a way to keep me from getting full blown diabetes.   (Didn’t work.)   At no time when discussing the emotional roller coaster I have been on most of my life did he mention that diabetes was an imbalance of insulin.   The reason for that is most mainstream doctors believe we only deal with the symptom—high blood sugar.   And for many years, I really have thought it was high blood sugar that I should be looking at and the imbalance from PCOS was a whole separate issue.

However listening to this summit and doing some other reading, I have since changed my mind.    For one thing, all of the hormones interact together.   And the fact that my insulin is too high and my body now resists its function creates more imbalances.   Now, it seems I could be leptin resistant as well.    Which might explain why there are times when I am always hungry.

Here’s the question I have to ask myself is it my diet that has created this hormonal storm?

As a child, I ate a high carb diet.   In fact when I was 5 years old, I was hospitalized for a kidney infection.   The doctor told my mother that it was due to her letting me have nothing but cinnamon toast and chocolate milk for breakfast.   Or at least that is what my mother took from the conversation.   He also told her I needed to drink more water.   That didn’t really occur.  My drink of choice growing up was Dr. Pepper.    My sister and I could go through a 2 liter in a short time after school each day.    By the time I was 14, I was chubby.   I didn’t do much exercise during that time.   At least not set aside exercise time.   I rode my bike, climbed trees and stairs through the school year.   So at this age, I decided that I was going to lose weight.

So I did some research.   I found out that it was sugar that caused you to be fat, not fat.   In addition, that it was calories in and calories out that caused you to be fat.   So I began to strictly reduce my caloric intake.    There was a formula I used to calculate my calorie needs for my height and ideal weight.   However, my research showed that anything less than 1200 calories per day would cause your body to go into starvation mode.   So I ate 1200 calories per day.    Now if I decided to eat those in the first two meals of the day, then there was no third meal.    In fact, I tried to eat most of my calories in the first two meals of the day with no supper.    After all the research showed that eating after 7 pm was really bad for you.    And I was going to be skinny.   I accomplished my goal.   I became skinny.

When I went off to college, I began a more concentrated form of exercise.  Mainly because my best friend was an aerobics instructor.    In addition, I went dancing a good 5 days per week for a minimum of 3 hours per time.   So needless to say I did a lot of excercising then.   I no longer counted my calories per se.    I would tailor my drinks and diet to the least caloric choices.   In addition, I had discovered that in order to maintain a weight it was best to chew your food 15-20 times with each bite, to put your fork down in between bites and to sip your drink in between bites.   These were my new ways to control my weight.    And it did.   I generally weighed around 115 pounds up until I got pregnant with my daughter.

Now at no time did the affects of my hormonal imbalance go away.   I still had the emotional roller coaster.   In addition, during this time, I developed stomach pains and really bad eczema.   The skin on my legs was so dry that I would take a hairbrush to it and scratch sores on my legs.   In fact, I showed so many signs of hypothyroidism that I went to the doctor.   My levels were normal.

When I became pregnant, I was in a really bad marriage and my then husband was determined I wouldn’t get fat so there were times I wasn’t allowed to eat because my stomach was getting too fat.   So I would eat during the day so I would get enough food for my baby.   And since I was eating for two, cinnamon toast and chocolate milk were back on my plate.  For heartburn, no meds for my baby, just cookies and cream ice cream.   Each and every time I went to the OB, I had to have my urine tested for sugar.   I was eating so much sugar that I had to have a diabetes glucose test.   It was around this time that I left my then husband and the stress in my life increased.  I became borderline pre-eclampsia.    My feet retained so much fluid that they jiggled when I walked.   And, I gained 75 pounds   I now weighed more than I ever had in my life.    I was devastated.

So when my daughter was born and I moved home to my parents, my only focus was losing weight.    My Mom had a friend who had been diagnosed with diabetes so she gave me a copy of her diet and that I began eating in accordance with the diet.   Which by reason improved my diet for the first time in my life.   I actually had to eat some vegetables.   I still didn’t eat real well and it was still a high carb diet.   In fact even to this day, the diet for diabetes is a high carb diet.   I also had realized that exercising was something that I missed and wanted to do.  Again I began researching diet and exercise.   It was during this research period that I discovered that exercise alone was enough to make you lose weight and keep it off.   So exercise became my focus.    I walked 3 to 5 hours per day.   It worked really well until I had to go to work.    My weight was back down.  Not back to 115 but between 120 and 130 pounds.

Then life happened again.  I went back to school at a commercial college and went to work.   However, I kept the exercise habit.    Since I had moved into town, I joined a gym and exercised three days per week doing step aerobic exercise.   The other nights I walked with some other mothers around the neighborhood.    And after all my previous research showed that exercise would keep weight off, I really didn’t worry about my diet.   I did notice that the more I exercised the better the foods I craved.  However, during this time, I was eating a whole can of icing by the spoonful and just happened to go to a health fair.   My blood sugar was over 400.   I thought the nurse pricking my finger was going to call an ambulance.   She relented after I told her that I had just eaten icing.    However, I was advised to go and get a glucose tolerance test.   I did.  It was normal.   It was suggested that I could be becoming pre diabetic since there was a family history.

I gained weight again after I quit smoking.   And used exercise to lose it.   Fortunately instead of sugar, I did choose sunflower seeds and it was at this time that I tried to get back into the whole holistic movement I had once been in.   It didn’t really stick.

Then, life happened again and I got married, moved to the country and began life with three kids instead of 1.   Life got really busy and the hormonal roller coaster continued.   Making it worse, I had problems getting pregnant and began fertility treatments.   I gained weight with these hormones and became pregnant with twins.   And my first bout of gestational diabetes.   Now, I was overweight, had 5 kids and no sleep.  Sugar became my go to perk me up drug of choice.   The hormonal roller coaster was in full gear now.    Moodiness, crying jags, irritability, anger, rage— you name it, I had it.   My cyclic migraines got worse.   And then the hives set in.   And the ride got wilder.

I became pregnant again.   (You know the one the infertility doctors told me I couldn’t have.)    The hives went away but the gestational diabetes came back.   Once again nutritional counseling about carbs and fat.   How to spread the high level of carbs throughout the day and get rid of the fat.   Once again, I lost some weight following the diet strictly and stringently.

After this pregnancy, the digestive issues really became bad and the hormonal roller coaster daily.   I did have hives again for awhile.    I started Metformin at this time.   The hives went away.    In addition, I tried different ways of eating–South Beach, Atkins, etc.   Nothing would stick because my body refused to reduce the carb level.    So my diet is now still pretty much high carb and I am on a high hormonal emotional roller coaster.    In fact the roller coaster has gotten so bad I am on a new research cycle.    So how does diet really affect our hormones and how does our hormones affect our obesity?

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Two Extremes

There is this little girl who her mother and father works. Mom changes her cell phone number and doesn’t give it to the child. The school needs to get hold of the mother but the little girl doesn’t know the cell phone number.

There is this grown 50 year old man who has gotten in trouble. He has made mistakes and has signed an agreement that he made the mistake. His momma comes to the office and starts yelling that her son didn’t understand the agreement.

These are the two extremes. One, a child, left to fend for herself. Another, an adult, not able to fend for himself. Which one actually does more damage.

I don’t think it’s a matter of more as to the different damage. The little girl will grow up to depend on no one. She will learn that the only person you can trust is yourself. That you have to be responsible for everything.

The man has and will continue to be a burden to society because he is responsible for none of his actions. He has learned that he can feign not understanding and Momma will go right on down and scream and yell. Sometimes that works for him. Sometimes Momma gets him off and he no longer has to be responsible.

Both extremes interfere with a person’s relationship with God. The little girl will never totally trust that God will love her and help her and be responsible for her. The man will not want a relationship with God because God requires us to each be responsible for our own actions. And this man does not want to be responsible for his actions. He wants someone to magically rescue him.

So when you are raising your children and/or dealing with your adult children, make sure that you aren’t encouraging too much responsibility or encouraging too little responsibility.

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Do you ever wonder where God is?

I do.   In fact for the past four years I have been wondering where God was and why he continually fails to let us know where and what we are supposed to be doing to earn a living.    I have prayed.   I have applied for jobs.   I have marketed.   I have done and done and done.    And all that seems to happen is that we keep getting knocked back down each and every time it looks like we are fixing to be able to turn it around.   Someone or something knocks us back on our butts with us trying to dust ourselves off, stand up and start over again.   The last knock down was yesterday.    And now….

I’m not dusting myself off.   I am coming out fighting.   I will fight as hard and fast as I can to get me and my family out of this county to where we can make a living.  I really hope God is standing beside me on this fight.   But if he has decided not then He best get out of my way.    I am not waiting until I lose everything for God to work.    I’m tired and I need rest.   If God isn’t going to make this happen, then I will.

And there enlays the cruxt of my problem with trust.    I wait and wait.  I try to go by the rules.   I try to live a good life.   I try and I try and the struggle continues.    I literally do not remember a time in my life where I was not struggling in some way.   It could be emotionally, physically or financially or sometimes all three at the same time.    And I will keep getting knocked down and knocked down until I have had enough then I come out fighting.   Katie bar the door because I’m not taking it laying down no more!!!

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