In scripture, Nehemiah was called to build a stone-wall, in record time, without enough people or resources. He called upon the townspeople to build a stone-wall right where they are.

It got me thinking about this week. We just completed a 3000-mile road trip, ending in a family reunion built mostly around the food table. I come from a family of wonderful people who LOVE to eat BIG.   The reunion started at 2pm, and by 2:10 most people had plates and were eating, and made trips back frequently to get more food, or dessert, or the dessert they didn’t have the first time. That is the foundation of my food philosophy.

When I committed to a lifestyle that’s different from the norm – rooted in recovering my health, and protecting my family from illness, I realized I was going to have to build some walls.

  1. Wall 1 – I don’t have to eat what others eat – I started bringing food to functions. I became OK with saying no, and I even said no to the “you must have some cake at a wedding or it’s bad luck superstition.
  2. Wall 2 – I don’t have to feel bad for saying no to other people’s food. People tried to talk me out of it, they tried to tell me “it is only one day” and other coersions. None of them did that to be mean or disrespectful, or to try to trip me up. They all did it because they want me to belong, or to have fun. I had to redefine fun and reward to be about something other than food.
  3. Wall 3 – the goal is bigger than the short term. The thing about chocolate cake is that it tastes good for a minute – then it begins the damage for hours. You just don’t see it right away. So when I would be tempted by a trip for ice cream, or a piece of my favorite pie, I took a breath and remembered that I like feeling good. When I cut out dairy or tomatoes, I remembered that the pain and stiffness that slowed me down and stopped me for so long was not going to win.

The walls I put up are to keep the world out, not the people, but the influences of the world on my health – food, drink, and medications.

I have no shame for saying no to food offerings, and I have no judgement for those who choose them, I know the burden of sugar addiction, and the desire to be a part of the group.

I have joy in knowing that by building those walls, I can emotionally be stronger and there for my family when they want to climb a mountain or take a strenuous hike, and we can do it together. When my kids want to do something physical, I can be there for it.

For those of you who have wondered or struggled, keep at it, be persistent and don’t be hard on yourself.   Over time, your walls built will be wonderful and show you the path to freedom. They become bumpers to keep you on the path to feeling great, looking great, and being young, and HAVING FUN!

There is an emotional component to these breakthroughs we will talk about later. Sugar is a potent emotional hostage. It’s no joke.

I give God the glory for staying on me, keeping me straight and showing me the way.

God bless you on your journey.

Julianna Sauber, ND, CNHP





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