What you are about to read is incredibly inspiring. In fact it is so inspiring I had asked someone to write a guest post for me to reveal the amazing changes that can take place by simply taking a leap of faith to change for the better. I am so excited to be blogging about this right now I can barely stand it! Of course, this blog post won’t be about my random rants about Pittsburgh or quirky YouTube videos. This blog is different, because for the most part, I won’t even be writing much of it.
For those of you who follow this blog (but all of you all should be following this blog! 😉 ), I want to first direct your attention to an earlier post I wrote dedicated to a very sick friend. It was called “Burgher Has Brains: Diet, Disease, and the Skew in Our Food System”. If you haven’t read that one yet, please check it out here. I wrote that post specifically for a friend struggling with familial hypertriglyceridemia/
Now, I am not a nutritionist and his inquiry had me contacting EVERYONE I could think of in the paleo community via email and twitter quite late one night (side note: Major thanks to Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites for speaking with me about hyperlipidemia late night a few weeks ago. I greatly appreciate your help!). After rounding up some documents and posting my blog post for my dearest friend, we set up a meeting to discuss the Paleo Diet. I had referred my buddy to some awesome Paleo nutritionists for the future, should he ever need additional help.
Guys! What you are about to read is his current success! AND OH MAN! THIS IS AMAZING! Without further adieu, I give you Zechariah Johnson, my dearest friend and bro for life! (note: Zech is experiencing some pretty dramatic results already, so his results are not typical. HOWEVER, I am truly inspired by his progress thus far!)
“Hello everyone. My name is Zechariah (Zakk for short) Johnson, and I am currently a youth minister and worship leader at The Father’s House Fellowship in Blairsville, Pennsylvania.
Over the past few years, I have suffered from a condition known as familial hypertriglyceridemia/
of severe pancreatitis/pancreatic failure, which hospitalized me for 2 months and required heavy medications and surgery to correct. Ever since then, I have suffered from numerous health problems, such as muscle and joint pain, chronic abdominal pain, inability to lose weight, and flare-ups of pancreatic problems.
My good friend Janelle Pica, who I have known for years through youth ministry, gave me a call recently. She and I are good friends (we consider each other siblings) and when she called, the concern was clear- she didn’t want to see me in the hospital anymore. So she invited me to a meeting where she would educate me on the Paleo diet, something of which I knew nothing about. She was convinced that by dieting this way and doing proper exercise could reverse many of my health issues.
I am not a nutritionist by any means, and for that matter, neither is Janelle. She recommended that I read “The Primal Blueprint” by Mark Sisson and “The Paleo Diet” by Loren Cordain to educate myself on this style of eating. She also told me that eating the ways outlined in these books helped her overcome her own autoimmune problems. I know only what I’ve learned through reading about nutrition and by experiencing what certain diets do to my body. Nothing so far had worked, so I figured it was well worth my time.
When Janelle and I had met, she educated me on the Paleo diet, which basically means eating before agrarian society was formed- no grains, wheat, or processed dairy. No processed foods or refined sugars. No artificial sweeteners. This is a hard thing for me since I love the occasional soda and I definitely enjoy my artificial sweeteners in my coffee. But I figured that this was worth trying despite the hardship.
Since I have begun dieting this way (and bare in mind, I’ve been doing this LESS than a week) I have had nothing but great results. Due to walking quite a bit and eating the way I should according to this diet, I have lost 6 pounds and have so much more energy than I did a week ago. I NEVER have energy to do much of anything- that’s part of the reason exercise was always so hard for me. But now, exercise feels good! I have not experienced this level of energy since before I was diagnosed with the genetic disease in 2008. I look forward to the rest of my life while living primal; finally, a light shines upon my physical well-being.”
Get inspired people! YOU JUST READ THAT! Mr. Zechariah is on his way to paleo wellness and I AM SO PROUD OF HIM! This just goes to show you that when you take a step of faith and believe that your life CAN change for the better, life most certainly WILL change for the better! Please keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers as he continues this journey! And if you, yes YOU, are reading this and think you’re incapable of changing your health, may this story inspire you to think differently. Never stop searching for answers to your problems, and always be willing to try something new. Don’t let anyone tell you you cannot achieve wellness and never let anyone stop you from living life to the fullest!
Guys, that’s all I have for yinz! I wish you all the best on your own fitness journeys and I hope this story has inspired you to step out in faith and change your life for the better! Be on the look out for more primal fun on this blog and be sure to tune in for some pretty insane posts that are just around the corner (oh yeah, I have A LOT up my sleeve! And yep! I’m keeping you all in suspense 😉 ) As always, remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!