Before / After
Explain one or two of your primary health and/or lifestyle challenges prior to the Daniel Plan.
Prior to The Daniel Plan I struggled with diets. I went off and on the low carb diets and kept gaining weight because I could not maintain it. I could always lose 5 -10 pounds fairly easily but would end up gaining it back and gaining more. I always tried to diet on my own and always with a goal weight in mind and never with an attitude towards good health. I almost reached 250 pounds.
Why did you start the Daniel Plan? How did you hear about it?
My doctor warned me that I would soon need to go on blood pressure medication. I had enough buildup of plaque in my arteries to require cholesterol medication.
I struggled with working out, I would always push myself really hard and either burn out or injure myself and stop exercising. I tore my meniscus in my left knee and had a hernia which kept me from getting the physical exercise I needed. Surgery was required on both injuries and I gained weight while recovering.
I know I used food to medicate my feelings…I would keep eating until I was felt emotionally full. Chocolate shakes, cheese burgers, and rib eyes were my feel good foods if I was stressed out. I would especially over eat at night while watching TV. Television and food seem to go together so easy.
My wife and I started The Daniel Plan on January 15. The buildup and excitement Pastor Rick generated made it easy to get started. After the event we headed straight to Trader Joes and made a healthy grocery trip. We cleaned out our kitchen and fridge of the stuff we are no longer eating. We did our supplemental vitamin research and found the best deals. I began a regular exercise routine focusing on core conditioning. I made an appointment with my doctor to get my baseline results. Because of travel, I was going to be on the road for two weeks and my appointment was not until the end of February.
While I was traveling, I read Dr. Daniel Amen’s book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Body.” Dr. Amen’s explanation of my brain activities came in real handy as I was on the highway stuck in traffic…
I had moved less than a mile in 2.5 hours. There was a McDonald’s at the next available exit and as my stress increased, the Quarter Pounder w/Cheese and chocolate shake was where I was going to find comfort. As this trigger was taking place, I remembered what Dr. Amen said about the hard-wired response I was having to this situation. I visualized the electricity in my brain sending the signal to my mouth and taste buds. This happened even though I had an apple right next to me that I had planned to eat. I picked up the apple and chose to eat it. I remember kind of meditating on it as I tried to connect my feelings to eating this apple. I still want to have the Micky Dees fix at times, but I recover from the desire much quicker now and a Granny Smith apple has become my “quarter ponder” of choice.
What has been the most significant changes and things you have learned, since getting on the Daniel Plan?
I am more committed to the program, than treating it as a diet. I realized the most significant changes were my attitude towards food and having a team of people who are stake holders in my health.
What results have you experienced?
After I returned from my trip I had lost three pounds. I had always put on a few weight when I traveled and never lost, so this was a big deal for me. When I got my blood work done, after just six weeks on the plan, I had dropped my cholesterol from 220 to 157.
The Daniel Plan gave me real motivation to get healthier...serving those who are close to me and service in my ministries. I have more energy to accomplish both! In six months, I have lost 38 pounds, 8 inches around my waist. my blood pressure is 114/69, and my cholesterol is 152. My doctor is taking me off my cholesterol medication when I reach 200 pounds which is only few more pounds to go. This is not a quick fix diet plan. It is a lifestyle change that helps me look at all aspects of my life so I can make healthier choices.
What advice would you give to others to get started or continue?
My wife has been the single greatest supporter. She always prepared healthy meals before we started the plan. Now, she has just made a few tweaks and her meals are still tasty but adhere to the plan principles. I have support from a group of exercise instructors who have encouraged me as I have made progress in weight loss and strength conditioning. I have shared my story with co-workers and small group and they are monitoring my progress. When my supporters say that my change is “inspiring,” it motivates me continue.
If I go back to my old habits, I will be letting down a lot of people. This is a good kind of peer pressure for me.
I know my schedule, so I plan food in the schedule…I have the right food on hand when I know I am going to be away. When I travel, I plan when and where I will get my food.
It is still a struggle, but over the past 10 years I have given up control of my finances, relationships, hurts and hang ups to Jesus…and with great results. In the past six months, I have also given up control of my body to Jesus.
I still stumble and eat too much, but I am eating too much of the right foods. So, it makes it easier to keep eating the right foods when I resume eating the amount I need.
God has given me the freedom to choose, and choosing to take care of my body is one more way I can honor Him.