Before The Daniel Plan, I was living an existence that felt fraudulent and steeped in denial.  I was very good at appearing healthy because I didn’t need to lose weight. I could dress it up so that I had the appearance of being healthy, but inside I knew something was really wrong. I didn’t feel good. I was incredibly stressed out and really tired. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how to change it.  I was using medications to cope, taking sleeping pills every night and then taking things to help me stay awake during the day. I had pain pills for lingering pain from back surgeries. I felt like a ping pong ball, constantly reacting and not understanding what was happening inside my body. 

I was very excited when The Daniel Plan got introduced and quickly got on board. I wanted to be The Daniel Plan champion. I decided to lead my small group. This gave me an opportunity to really grasp the plan and see how it could benefit me and the other members of my group.

I started eating healthier and that helped, but I still wasn’t feeling quite right. I was tired walking up a flight of stairs.
I wondered if that’s just what it felt like to be in your 40’s. I felt like I was dying inside and I still relied on the medications. Finally, I went and got a blood test and I found out I was profoundly anemic and I had bleeding ulcers.  I was rushed into the emergency room for blood transfusions. This traumatic event launched me on the road to healing.

The Daniel Plan allowed me to start being myself again. God blessed me. When you try to do it with your own will power, you tend to fall back into your own patterns.  When you really give it to God and ask him to walk along side of you, you’re not alone.  With the support of my small group, I had the foundation I needed to succeed.  Through prayer and devotion, God lead me on my personal journey of recovery.

The truth is you are not ever alone, and The Daniel Plan is a lifestyle that you can keep for the rest of your life.  It’s not an eating plan and it’s not an interim diet.  It’s a practical program that helps you release the things that no longer serve you – they simply start to fall away.  Those days when you fall back, you simply make a U-turn and carry on.  It’s about progress, not perfection. You just talk to God and ask him to help you.  

One of the key elements for me was FRIENDS.  My friend Claudia and I became our small group champions and we immediately stopped bringing the unhealthy snacks that we used to serve. Instead we transitioned to fruits and vegetables and raw nuts.  We started making meals once in a while, where each of us would bring a different item and we would create community dinners. Then we decided to take it a step further and we started planning hikes for our small group. It was really cool to see people of all ages just getting out and hiking in the hills and really getting in touch with God, nature and community. 

Relationships are key. When you fall, you’re loved. It’s okay because there are no judgments. We love each other no matter what because we are here to help each other.  When we stumble, we help each other up. When we succeed, we celebrate. We are all in it together, because together we are better, all the way around.

I never took another sleeping pill and I am off all pain medications. I feel so blessed to have my health back and I want other people to experience this too.