Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ruth's House

Last night on the way home after a delicious Sushi dinner. Clyde and I were discussing our non-profit. We haven’t really shared a lot about it because since being founded in November, we got stuck with developing a business plan and found grant writing and fund raising to be a little overwhelming (to say the least). And then there’s life… busy jobs, busy kids. Plenty of excuses.

But a few weeks ago, Clyde separated from his job and we found that it was a perfect time for both of us to actually utilize his time off to work on our non-profit, Transforming Jax. Transforming Jax is an idea that I conceived on the commute to work one day last summer. My vision is that it can be way to help teach and inform people in the Jacksonville area about nutrition and dietary management of illness. We would also provide opportunities for fitness, of course. I want to address childhood obesity. I’d love to extend education and hands on help with children who are suffering from obesity.

So, that’s how our non-profit was born. From an idea. A passion for helping others that are in the same struggle I’m in. Only I feel like I’ve found an answer. Nutrition. Not the food pyramid bullshit that has got our country fat, sick, and nearly dead. Real nutrition. Real food.

Let’s face it. Sugar and refined, processed food is killing us. If it has a label, we probably shouldn’t be eating it. But this is knowledge that I’ve just really learned over the past few years. I used to think that dieting involved a 100-calorie pack or something that said “diet” or “low-fat” on the package. Lies, all lies. And the more I’ve researched, the more I’ve learned. Most of our diet dogma is based on old, outdated, inaccurate science. Food manufacturers and government hand-greasing dictated most of what our generation knows about food.

And it’s making us sick. Type 2 diabetes is out of control. Heart disease and other chronic illnesses are now also being contributed to poor diet. But doctors are still pushing pills. And nutritionists (using the outdated, manipulated science) are telling people that calories in/calories out is the way, and if they can’t do the SAD (Standard American Diet) way, they need more willpower. Or hell, sometimes it means another (diet) pill.

I’ve been on a diet since 2nd grade. I’ve tried everything except for weight loss surgery, and if my insurance covered it, I would have tried that, too. I’ve starved, I’ve lowered calories to just over 1000 a day. I’ve raised calories. I’ve ate 5–6 meals a day, I’ve went on green smoothie and juice cleanses. They all work for a time, and then they don’t. And I gain all the weight back and then I start over with something else. And I watched my mom do the same thing.

Which is where Clyde and my conversation went yesterday on our way home after dinner.
What would my mom’s outcome have been if she had been able to heal herself through diet?
It breaks my heart that she suffered through Type 2 diabetes for most of my life. Including wound care and hospital stays for complications. She also suffered from Alzheimer’s, also being called Type 3 diabetes. And even if you don’t believe it is (which I do), studies have shown that sugar and lack of dietary fat contribute to it.

What if I could have showed her the way? What if I could have saved her years of doctors visits and taking 10–15 different pills daily? What if I could have saved her from suffering before she died from sepsis, because of a bedsore that wouldn’t heal due to the diabetes?

“Let’s make it a goal to have a community center. Call it Ruth’s House.”

Yes. Because my mom's house was known in our neighborhood for being a refuge. And a community center could be the perfect venue to offer the services I envision this non-profit to provide. The ideas started flooding in.

Ruth’s House would ideally be positioned in a low socio-economic area that doesn’t have access to this type of services. This community-type center would provide:

  • fitness equipment
  • group fitness classes
  • nutrition support/education
  • healthy cooking classes
  • a fit camp for overweight kids
  • dietary management for type 2 diabetes
  • a community garden
  • weight loss support meetings
  • a weekly food distribution with HEALTHY food (no processed food or sugary snacks… whole, real food only)

Services would ideally be free. I think this idea could be life changing. You do NOT have to be sick and overweight. There IS another way. It’s time to stop the generational curse of obesity and related illnesses. 

I believe I’ve stopped the cycle in my family. I’m not perfect. I’m still working on myself and my family. But once you know better, you can’t go back. And I’ll keep fighting for my health every single day. One day soon I hope I’ll be able to inspire others to do the same. I want to to set a nutritional example and show everyone that I know that food can be medicine. And honoring my mom would do my grieving heart some good.