The light went on for Tyler one day in his mid-twenties. He stepped on the scale and was shocked.
Tyler had always been active, playing sports as a kid and intramurals in college. But now he had a desk job. He tried to run or work out a few times a week, but he often didn’t have the energy.
He never considered himself a glutton, but he ate whatever he wanted in college. He thought nothing of cereal for dinner or a second burger at lunch. Days could pass before he ate a green vegetable.
But the slower pace of life and the gradual accumulation of the years had the effect so many have felt. Tyler was 15 pounds heavier than when he graduated college, and he finally had enough.
Tyler plunged into the world of health and nutrition. He read dozens of books from his library. He investigated the latest fad diets and held them up to the closest scrutiny. Early on, he saw the change he had to make: he needed to eat better.
More vegetables. Fewer sweets. Better choices at the grocery store.
Tyler noticed a difference right away. He slept better. He had tremendous energy. He felt sharper and more focused at work. His weight was down, but that was almost irrelevant—every aspect of his physical and mental well-being was soaring to heights he’d never known.
He soon met others in his city who shared his new passion. As a result of this new friend network, Tyler’s social life exploded. There was the softball team, the weekend triathlon training, and the shared cooking nights. Tyler and one of the women in his group started dating. His calendar was bursting.
Looking back, Tyler would see this social uptick as the turning point.
Eating healthy food takes time. Imperceptibly, Tyler’s food preparation time got squeezed. It started with walking to pick up a sandwich at lunch instead of packing his own. As he stayed out later at night he found less time for breakfast in his apartment, so he’d hit the bagel shop. Pretty soon he was eating carry-out food as often as he was making dinner from scratch.
The transformation continued for several months until Tyler caught a cold. When he couldn’t shake it after two weeks, he went to his doctor.
This doctor had been impressed with Tyler’s health in recent years, so he was surprised to see the vital signs when he walked into the room. Tyler’s weight, pulse rate, and blood pressure were all up, much higher than at his most recent annual physical.
The doctor asked questions about Tyler’s sickness and current lifestyle. He gently probed at Tyler’s exercise and diet, and Tyler confessed to feeling lethargic even before catching this cold.
The doctor finished writing in the chart and leaned back in his chair with a smile. “Tyler, I’ve seen dozens of people with this cold in recent weeks. I’m not worried about it for you. You’ll bounce back within the next two or three days.”
“That’s great,” Tyler said.
“But a healthy young man shouldn’t get knocked so low by a simple cold,” the doctor said. “There’s something else going on.”
Tyler looked worried. “What is it?”
The doctor couldn’t suppress a small laugh. “After the health journey I’ve seen you take over the last several years, I didn’t think I’d say this. But Tyler, you’re not eating well.”
“Well, you have healthy friends. You read a lot about nutrition and even hang out in healthy places. Your influences haven’t changed.”
“But you haven’t noticed the slide. You might not talk or think any differently, but your diet right now is miles away from what it was a year ago. In order to be healthy, you actually have to put the healthy food in your body.”
And that’s when the light went on for Tyler a second time.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.