Whenever I ask someone who has lost a lot of weight: How did you do it? I get lots of responses: Atkins, South Beach, the Dukan Diet, Body for Life, Weight Watchers, etc… All of these have there merit and I’ve tried most, some for longer stints than others, but I’ve yet to hear someone of my faith reply, “I section 89’ed it.”
For those of you not LDS, I’ll briefly explain. “Section 89” refers to a chapter of scripture outlining our religious code of health. It is the reason we do not drink, smoke, or touch coffee or tea. You are welcome to read it (it’s not long) by clicking here.
Now, if you look closely, you will probably conclude that Mormons are generally really great about avoiding the bad stuff like alcohol and other harmful drugs. But what about those fruits, veggies and herbs mentioned there? And the meat? What does it say again? That we should only eat meat sparingly and then only in times of winter, cold or famine and to do so with prudence and thanksgiving? As a people, there is definite room for improvement.
I’m not cold. It’s July. And I live in “the land of plenty” so why on earth do I feel like I should be preparing, cooking and eating meat all the time?
I gained 55 pounds with this last pregnancy. In fact, I’ve spent most of my married life either gaining or loosing those same 55 pounds. (Hence, 5 children.) Loosing the weight and getting back in shape is never easy. I need a game plan. So this time around I am looking to my religion to help me out.
According to section 89, I should be eating lots of fruits and vegetables “in the seasons thereof” and wholesome grains. Meat, sparingly. Very, very sparingly.
If you want a little push to get you off of a typical American diet, may I suggest reading “Fast Food Nation,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and “In Defense of Food.” Or rent “Food Inc.” to scare you straight. (I admit, I avoided watching that movie for a long time, knowing it would mean more social responsibility on my part, but it was time.)
So the game plan for me and my family is to shop at farmer’s markets, eats lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains, buy local and/or organic when possible, save the meat for blue moon splurges, winter and famine, and do all of the above with prudence and thanksgiving.
Eating healthy can get pricey, it’s true. This has got to be the only civilization in the history of the world where obesity is a problem for the poor. So it must be offset by not buying any chips, cookies, crackers, snack bars, fast food, etc…Treats? Homemade. (And that means no using boxes.)
So wish us luck. I’ve been eating this way for a couple of weeks now and I’m slowly getting the rest of the family on board (they finished up the last of the frozen meatballs the other night and I’m not buying more.)
And a year from now when I’m back in my jeans and somebody asks me what I did to loose the baby weight, I’m gonna tell ’em, “I section 89’ed it.”