I promised last week a couple posts on personal and professional developments over the last eight or 9 months. Today I’ll try to tackle the personal stuff. Pray I get it right.
The single biggest change to my life this year has been my diet. I discovered a book called “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis and read it over our Vacation in North Carolina this June. When we returned I was determined to implement the wheat-free lifestyle and began doing so on July 2. Since then, with the exception of one mistake, I have not had a slice of bread, pasta, cake, cookies or any of the multitude of processed foods that contain wheat. And I haven’t felt this good in 4 or 5 years. I have lost 24 pounds WITHOUT EXERCISE, and while having ice cream, chocolate, potato chips and other “goodies” that are wheat free.
As Dr. Davis explains, wheat is not necessarily the problem, modern, genetically modified wheat is. The constant genetic manipulation of wheat that has occurred over the last 50 or so years has produced a short, fat, pesticide dependent product that causes severe gastric distress, manipulates the chemicals in the brain to desire food constantly (that’s right, bread makes you even hungrier!), and stimulates the production of visceral fat (belly fat).
I didn’t understand all the technical stuff in the book, but got enough to convince me to try a wheat-free lifestyle. I went three weeks without wheat until a family reunion in Pennsylvania for my wife’s family. There I absent mindedly ate a chicken leg that was battered and deep fried. Within 20 minutes I had stomach troubles, dizziness, nausea, etc... Patty seriously thought of taking me to the hospital. I pulled up the book on my IPad and sure enough, all the symptoms matched what he said happens to those who “detoxify” from wheat and then re-introduce it. I laid down and was better in a few hours.
Now let me clear something up. Many think I am doing this because I am gluten intolerant. I am not. I do not eat Gluten Free, only Wheat Free. And I was not allergic or otherwise aware of any problems with wheat before I started this regime. But the elimination of modern wheat from my diet has had some very profound effects, all for the good, on my health.
Of course there is the weight loss. The reason is that without the wheat, I have eliminated a major source of sugar in my diet. That’s right, sugar. wheat metabolizes into sugar faster and more efficiently than nearly any other food source. Without this source of sugar, I am not experiencing the spikes in blood sugar that caused me to enjoy brief periods of energy followed by a “crash”. My former routine was to work for a few hours, crash, eat, work a few more, crash, then just give up on the day. Seriously, 10-12 and 2-4 each day were absolute busts. Nothing got done during that time. Now I have a steady energy level all day long.
Also, I have been COMPLETELY FREE of any indigestion since loosing the wheat.
I haven’t needed a Tums or Pepcid since July.
Most importantly though, I am not obsessed with food anymore. I can sit for long periods of time without food and don’t think about it. Sometimes I slip back into a habit of snacking, but its on almonds, fruit, and vegetables.
I still have a long journey ahead of me. I recently started working out two or three days a week, punching a heavy bag. Years of neglect and years since my birthday have left my body a bit more resistant to exercise than in the past, but I’ll slowly work up to it.
Pray for me that I keep moving forward toward a healthy body weight and fitness level.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and for the first time in my life, I will not be eating my Mother’s Turkey Stuffing. She and my sister are trying to make it from wheat free bread just for me. They don’t have to bother though, I really don’t think I’ll miss it. I’d rather give up what I want at this moment for what I want the most.
Next time I’ll give you another personal update, then on to professional matters.