And if 80% of my success comes from diet, then the bulk of my effort should focus on what I eat. That thinking has led me to ponder the Word of Wisdom. I returned to D&C 89, and there I found a word to the wise.
Recognize how you think
Many of us are more familiar with the don’ts of this law of health than with the dos. And I’m sure many of us have also heard how we should emphasize the dos. But are you really living them?
I pointed that question towards myself. And I considered it seriously. I returned to D&C 89 with no agenda other than the desire to live my religion more completely. Instead of reading it passively and saying, “Yeah, I know I should eat my veggies,” or trying to justify the latest fad diet, I read it for what it was. I wanted to let the real meaning there on the surface speak for itself, to let it just say what it says.
And what I found floored me.
I saw that my weight loss efforts have never really succeeded because I never got my diet right. If diet is 80% of success, then you have to get it right to succeed. And getting my diet wrong wasn’t entirely my fault. I was simply responding to deeply entrenched ways of thinking — less effective ways of thinking that weren’t promoting my success. In short, I’d been raised to be unsuccessful.
Discover the truth
If you read D&C 89 looking to answer the question “What diet best promotes health?” and just let it say what it says, you can find the answer to that question very plainly evident.
What should we consume? Herbs? Yes, “in the season thereof” (v. 11). Fruits? Yes, “in the season thereof” (v. 11). Grains? Yes, for they are “the staff of life” (v. 14), principally wheat (v. 17). Meat? Yes, but sparingly.
Think about that word for a moment — sparingly. The diet I grew up on is the traditional American diet in which meat is consumed for three of the three meals every day. We have sausage and bacon and ham for breakfast. For lunch we eat meat in sandwiches, soups, stews, salads, pizza, and of course the ever popular burger. For dinner, all the traditional American fare centers on meat. Honey roasted ham. Fried chicken. Pot roast. Pork chops. Steak. That Thanksgiving turkey. Meatloaf. (Yeah, that name says it all!)
How can this be sparingly? I recognize the relative nature of a word like sparingly, but I don’t think any appropriate definition would get anywhere near 100%. The inescapable conclusion is then clear. The traditional American diet is at odds with the Lord’s law of health. The diet the Master Healer promotes is plant-based.
Align yourself with truth
Now don’t get me wrong. I love my bacon cheeseburger, my meat lover’s pizza, and my sausage biscuits and gravy. I have no intention of becoming vegetarian or vegan.
That said, I can’t ignore the inescapable conclusion from my latest reading of the Word of Wisdom. Sparingly doesn’t mean not at all, just not all the time. So I’m going to keep my bacon cheeseburger, meat lover’s pizza, and sausage biscuits and gravy. I just won’t be eating them all the time.
In their place I’ll be eating more meatless meals. This has led me to experiment as I search for a diet that promotes both health and enjoyable flavors, because no diet is sustainable if it doesn’t use real food that tastes good. And inasmuch as I’m not the only one struggling with diet, I’ll be sharing my successful recipes with all of you so you can have your own success.
We find a word to the wise when we consider what words mean. And we’re wise when we embrace that word and align ourselves with truth. When we do that in any aspect of life, we improve ourselves in every aspect of life. And that will bring us more joy in our journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show and podcast to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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