One of the highlights of my year is Christmas. As many of you know, we have four grown children and nine grandchildren. Everyone comes home for Christmas and my home is full of the pitter-patter of little feet, lots of noise and much laughter. I’m not sure how the others would describe it, but to me it’s magical.
I spend much of my time in the kitchen, as you can imagine. I want to be sure everyone has what they need. I love drinking coffee with the adults in the mornings, making cinnamon rolls with the grandkids, and the pure craziness of 19 people opening presents all at one time. I’d like to think that the whole family enjoys it as much as me.
Two years ago, I was over 50 pounds heavier than I am now. I wasn’t eating healthy. Life and circumstances were dictating to me what I would become. My body felt the effects of my poor food choices. I’m not sure how I got there, but I was about as miserable as I have ever been.
I noticed that particular Christmas I was so tired every day while the family was here. I noticed that my back and my legs hurt every day. I couldn’t pick up the grandkids without my back “going out”. You know the type of “going out” I’m talking about? The pain hits and you almost drop to your knees. It was miserable & it was ruining my Christmas cheer.
As I look back in my journal from that year (2019), after everyone left, I wrote:
“For the first time in getting together with our grown kids & their families for Christmas, this year I felt old. The schedule completely wiped me out. The combination of little sleep & poor food choices made me feel badly. Because of my extra weight, my back hurt every day. I couldn’t even pick up my grandkids. I don’t want to be in this kind of condition. It was so depressing.”
That was 2 years ago. Last year, I had been eating plant based for several months prior to the Christmas season and I was committed to make this way of eating not just a diet, but a way of life. I had already brought my blood pressure and cholesterol down & I was determined I was in it for the long haul. This was my entry from my journal after Christmas 2020:
“I stayed on my whole food plant based eating routine all during the holidays, so I didn’t feel crappy & miserable from junky food this year. I still stayed up late & got up early every day, but didn’t start getting tired until day 4 or 5. I feel I’ve made great improvements this past year and I can tell it has made a huge difference.”
What a difference food makes. We just don’t realize what poor food choices are doing to our body until the doctor says, “You have high blood pressure” or “You have diabetes”. I don’t want to accept that there is nothing I can do about my health and that aging will “naturally” bring about heart disease and other common western diseases. I want a good quality of life, as long as possible. A lot of that is determined by what I eat.
Holidays, birthdays, bad days, any day we can find the excuse to eat junk, we do. To what end? There is a cause and effect here. Don’t let life & circumstances dictate who you will become. You be in charge of what goes into your body and do everything you can to have better quality of health and life. Not only do you want to feel good, but I'm sure you want added years with your family.
Here’s to a healthy, nutritious, fun-filled holiday season. May the Lord bless you this Christmas with a heart of gratitude for all He has done for us through Jesus.