I think one of the best things we can do as men, both for ourselves and for our families, is to stay healthy and care for the body that God has given us. I believe that when it is my time to go, God will take me, and there is little I can do to prevent that. But at the same time, until he chooses to do so, I have to be as effective as I can be here on earth. That means that I need to care for this body so that I can be as effective as possible. Being sickly or in poor shape or poor health won’t allow me to be or do all that he wants of me.
I have focused on two areas in my life to be a better man, when it comes to the physical side of my life. One is maintaining my fitness, exercising and keeping my body fit. We have already discussed that idea. The other area is what I put into my body, the stuff I eat. That’s my focus in this post.
Once again, as with the area of fitness, I am not an expert in this area. All I know is what I have experienced, and since these actions have helped me, I wanted to share them. Maybe they will help you as well. I have made a few significant changes to my diet, and they have resulted in some incredible changes in my life and body.
Stop drinking soda
This is the first thing I did, and I did it several years ago. Soda is full of stuff that isn’t very good for you, and eliminating this from my life was a great first step on the road to better health. You can do the research about the effects of corn syrup and sugars in the body on your own, but it’s enough to state that when I stopped drinking sugary drinks, I lost several pounds almost immediately. I will occasionally drink a soda, maybe every few months, but I try to select those with cane sugar over fructose or corn syrup.
Stop eating wheat
This was the biggest change in my life, and the hardest as well. Wheat may not be all that healthy for us, and we ingest it with almost everything we eat. An extremely large percentage of the grocery store contains wheat in some form, and we take it in without even knowing it most of the time. Wheat has been genetically modified from its original state, and has become something that may not be as healthy as we think it is. Again, I won’t get into all the specifics of the science or medicine; you can dig through that if you want to. But I will show you in a moment what the benefit has been for my life. However, if you want a place to start, I highly recommend that you grab the book Wheat Belly and give it a read. It’s pretty technical in places, but stick with it and you will be amazed at what wheat can do to a person.
I made this change because most wheat products, or starches, convert to sugar in the body, and sugars have a large set of problems that come with them, including the possibility of feeding various cancers.
Stop eating dairy
This is the third change I made to my diet. The reason I made this change is because of all the additions, including steroids and hormones, that dairy products contain. Along with this, dairy products were designed by God for calves, and not humans. There is a lot of debate along both sides of this topic, and I don’t know all of the details. What I do know is that cutting it out of my diet has made a significant difference in my health. And if I do inadvertently eat some cheese or something with milk in it, I can feel it almost immediately. I suspect that there was some level of lactose intolerance in my body that I was not aware of until I eliminated dairy products.
These are the changes I have made in my eating habits. Now let me share with you what the effects have been.
The first and most obvious change was the weight I began to shed. I knew I had a few pounds to lose, but when I made these changes, within the first few months, I dropped almost sixty pounds, and have hovered there ever since. Upon checking, I am now at my “ideal” weight according to all the charts in comparison to my height. But more importantly, I feel good about myself, and I feel good in general.
Before these changes, I felt like I needed a nap almost every day, and I slept a lot. But now, my energy levels are much higher than they have been in years, and that affects almost every area of my life.
My sleep apnea has disappeared. I sleep better at night, and don’t feel the need for naps all the time. But the sleep I get is much more sound. My wife tells me that I don’t toss and turn, and I’m not as restless as I used to be. And I now sleep through the night instead of waking multiple times a night. The CPAP is gone for good!
It makes sense that what we put into our bodies has an effect on our minds. I have dealt with serious depression for a long time. Making these changes has improved my outlook on life, reduced that depression, and sparked my ability to have a greater joy in life.
I have been on blood pressure medication since before I was 30. My doctor just took me off of them permanently, because my blood pressure has dropped to levels that no longer require medication to sustain. And it has been rock solid ever since. That may excite me more than almost all the rest of these benefits.
This is the big one. My dermatologist has been unable to find the spots he had been watching on my body, after discovering skin cancer a few years ago. Reducing foods that are either sugar themselves, or convert to sugar in the metabolism has been the likely cause of these cancer spots disappearing. Paired with the power of prayer, they are gone. That isn’t to say that they won’t return… they might. But for now, I can celebrate that they are gone.
I don’t know what may or may not work for you as you strive to be a healthy man. What I do know is that these changes have made a major impact in my own life, and I am thankful for that. Hopefully, they can help or encourage you as well.
Be deliberate, men!
How healthy are you when it comes to what you eat? What changes do you need to make in this area? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.“