Raw Reflections from the Journey

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hope If You're Feeling Unhealthy

My favorite story in the Bible is about Peter and John being warned by religious leaders to be silent about Jesus because they were causing upset to the status quo, "We can't help but tell about the things we've seen and heard" they replied.  Their experiences were way too remarkable to keep to themselves, and their relationship with Jesus was something they wanted to share with others.

Well . . . I can't help but testify to the miraculous changes that I've experienced by following a plan to establish optimal health; significant weight loss, disappearance of emerging health concerns, improved energy, sleep, a sense of well-being and consistently stable mood.

Maybe you'll tune this out, just as I tuned out many such testimonies over the past decade, but I hope I have your attention, especially if you're feeling desperate, hopeless, embarrassed and/or a myriad of other unpleasant feelings.

My long story told briefly is that a decade of professional and personal stress contributed to weight gain and a host of other emerging maladies associated with it; borderline high blood pressure, acid reflux, IBS, snoring, lethargy and fatigue; difficult symptoms for a once vibrant athlete to tolerate.  The summary is that 2003-2013 was a slippery slope toward unhealthiness.  Psychologically, I denied it because in many ways I felt hopeless to reverse the process.  How exactly does one stop self-medicating with comforting food and drink?

Since I'm probably going to be writing about this a lot, I'm not going to try to tell the whole story in one blog.  Suffice to say that I've moved from hopelessness to hope as all of my symptoms listed above have disappeared over 6 weeks, and I'm down 35 of the 50lbs that I added over a decade.  I feel better than I've felt in ten years, and feel hopeful for a healthy future!

How did it happen?  The first and foremost factor is spiritual.  Once again I surrendered (for those not familiar with our marriage story, surrender was key to saving our marriage and family in 2008).  "God, I can't do this and don't know how to do this.  I've tried self-discipline, starvation and other 'white-knuckled' approaches to weight-loss and health recovery and they haven't worked. If it's going to happen, it's going to have to come from you!"  Related to this were many prayerful pleas for grace vs. self-willed discipline.  Thank you Rob Rue for testifying about this and maintaining a hopeful posture of prayer that I might enjoy the grace that God gave to you!

The second ingredient was a proven program.  Hang tight, this really isn't an infomercial.  Understand it as my best effort to responsibly represent something I'm excited about (think back to Peter and John).  "Take Shape for Life" is a program of medifast that has a track record for safe healthy and sustainable weight loss as the first phase in a life-long pursuit of optimal health.  And my experience has been the average (yet exceptional) experience.  I've lost weight quickly and felt great while doing it!  I've rarely been hungry, and mood/energy have been mostly very positive throughout!

How does the program work?  Basically, you eat one lean and green meal per day (very filling and satisfying), and five meal replacements that put the body into a fat burning state very quickly.  It's simple, cost effective (what you pay for the meal replacements is probably equal to or less than your current daily food budget), and sustainable (I'm going on my seventh week, and don't have far to go to establish a healthy weight!)

Full disclosure:  It took me three years of watching a trustworthy friend getting and sustaining results from this program before I pulled the trigger.  So, if you're feeling anything close to what I was feeling before I began (hopeless, skeptical, embarrassed, etc.) you might scoff.  But again, I can't help but share what I've experienced  because the results have been almost too good to be true.  I feel reborn, and hopeful with anticipation for the rest of my life instead of hopeless and defeated.  And odds are, it will work for you (it's been studied and recommended by Johns Hopkins University).

If you're intrigued, google Take Shape for Life. Or better yet, call or write to my coaches, Tom and Susan Patras, and tell them Jeff sent you.  Click here for their webpage and contact information.

Blessings and Godspeed!


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