“One Of The Greatest Gifts I Have Ever Received Spawned From One That I Had Given”
“The greatest wealth is health.” ~Unknown
I have been blessed beyond belief! I have been presented with a way to help save my parents’ lives, which means more to me than anything.
For as long as I can recall, my dad has had health issues and more recently my mom had began having them as well. The unhealthy way my parents ate had been an issue of contention between us for some time now, even after my parents bore witness to what eating healthy has done for me and others. Eating healthy cured my migraines! I couldn’t have asked for more of a blessed change in my health. During the years I suffered from migraines, I took two different medications (5 pills) every single night for 6 1/2 years just to prevent a migraine from occurring every day. My migraines would be so debilitating that there were times when I had to dial 911 to have an ambulance pick me up from my home because I couldn’t see or walk, much less drive… but I digress.
This past Thanksgiving I traveled home, as usual, to spend the holiday with my family. The food choices that weekend, well… I’m sure everyone could guess our Thanksgiving spread. I’m sure my family’s choice of Thanksgiving foods bore a similar resemblance to that of the food choices debuted in most American homes. There were a host of starches, sugars, A.K.A. a boat load of carbs! Yes, sweet potato casserole WITH the marshmallows and brown sugar most certainly had been included. Everything seemed as normal as most Thanksgivings with the exception of the Thanksgiving when my brother broke his arm, but something was noticeably different this Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving my mom was not around. Why? My mother’s blood pressure had risen earlier in the day to a point that had caused her to retire to her bedroom where she laid in bed for almost the entire time our visiting out-of-town family spent conversing, watching football, eating together, etc. That had never happened before. To be frank, it scared the absolute crap out of me. That’s not like my mom at all. She’s one of the toughest people I know and for her not to spend time with everyone lead me to the realization that without a doubt she felt absolutely terrible.
“That’s it! I’ve had enough!,” I thought to myself. I couldn’t sit here and argue with my parents over their choice of meals anymore. It wasn’t getting me or them anywhere. I had to do something more than just chastise their eating habits. My mom is much like me; she’s never going to admit that I know more than her about something and vice versa. Words were not getting us anywhere. It became time to take action. I knew exactly what I would be doing next.
Upon arriving back in Montgomery, I ventured online and bought both of my parents a 24-Day Challenge. The best chance I had of improving my parents’ health would be to actually help jump-start it.
Fast forward one month later to the Christmas holiday – my parents opened up their presents from me and in one of them they found two 24-Day Challenges and an “Everyday Paleo” cookbook. To my astonishment, they loved it and it showed with their smiles and hugs. I don’t know if it was the fact that my actions showed them that I deeply care about their health and wellness or that they knew they needed it. Either way, I know they appreciated my gift. Neither of them showcased that fictitious smile and fabricated thankfulness that some of us have flaunted when we had received gifts we were not too fond of getting. Come on, you know it’s happened before!
Before my parents began their 24-Day Challenge I let me mother taste some Spark. Her response was less than desirable. In fact, she told me it tasted like some “artificially flavored crap” (I believe were her words). I laughed and the reason I did was because I know everyone LOVES Spark. How can you not!? It’s a sugar-FREE, energy drink, packed full of vitamins, and has less caffeine than a regular cup of coffee. Not to mention, I think the Fruit Punch tastes exactly like or maybe even a slightly bit better than fruit punch Kool-Aid. She was lying to me and her reason was because “I” introduced it to her. She’s always been like that with me and it’s become quite comical. I knew what she was going to say before she said it. Here’s what is so hilarious – she actually asked me if she could have some more of it the very next morning! Now I was presented with a situation. That one question from my mom presented a pivotal point in what would begin changing her health. I’m not sure if she realized it or not, but she was showing her hand. She let me know that she liked Spark and what had transpired the day before had been a show. I had two choices. I could either rub it in and say something to the effect of, “Ohhhhhh I thought you didn’t like it. I thought it tasted like artificially flavored crap;” however, if I took that route then I knew that it would have turned my mom off of the whole idea of taking The 24-Day Challenge. THAT, I could not do. I decided to swallow my pride and instead said, “Sure! Here, I’ll mix it up for you.” My parents’ health is way more important than my pride. It’s not even a contest.
My parents began The 24-Day Challenge on January 2, 2013 and finished over a week ago. Their results? Both experienced healthy weight loss, slept better, had energy gains, but most importantly they felt better. What has transpired after they finished their Challenges has shocked the absolute crap out of me. My parents ARE EATING PALEO!!! It’s freaking amazing! It worked!!! The 24-Day Challenge is exactly what they needed to jump-start them into a healthy lifestyle! I continue to be perplexed by it! Words cannot even come near to explaining how happy it makes me to see them make such an enormous change.
Last weekend I went home to help present an AdvoCare informational mixer for my friends in Fairhope, AL and spent the weekend at my parents’ house. Not only had my mom been cooking Paleo, I overheard her on the phone talking about it and the 24-Day Challenge! In fact, the day before I came home my mom left this message on my voicemail: “Paleo. Pumpkin. Muffins. That’s all I gotta say.” I couldn’t stop laughing, but I almost got emotional at the same time because that message meant two things: first, my mom has embraced the Paleo lifestyle and second, she was cooking out of the Everyday Paleo cookbook I bought her. That means my parents are going to be around a lot longer and their health issues will begin to disappear.
All this came at no cost to me and I say that because there is no monetary value that can be placed on my parents’ health. That’s why I say that one of the greatest gifts I have ever received (my parents’ good health and from that the ability to spend more time with them on earth) spawned from a gift I gave them. The 24-Day Challenge has changed their lives, mine, and many of my friends’ lives. It has been an absolute blessing.