Dugouts and Diapers

Jessica Starr Nichols


True Cellular Detox

Exercise, eating clean, counting calories, counting steps, and watching the number on the scale go up! Grrrrrr!!!!!! This has been my life for the past 5 years. I would lose 5-10 pounds but never anything more. I never had this problem until after I was on 8 weeks of bedrest during my second pregnancy. During this time, I gained 80 pounds, and after he was born, I was exhausted and was never able to achieve any real weight loss results. I've tried and given it my all for nearly 5 years. I went to my physician, and they would tell me I was an excellent candidate for weight loss surgery or would offer diet pills, which when you have epilepsy, do more harm than good. I didn't want a quick fix. I was willing to do the work. I just wanted to know why! Why, despite all my efforts, can I not lose weight, and why do I feel exhausted, ill, and just plain sick?

Fast forward to July 28, and I emotionally met with Dr. Bart Precourt and the staff at Balance 30A in Seagrove Beach, FL. Dr. Bart has helped my parents find an all-natural way to maintain their health as they grow older, and my mom suggested that he could help me too. It was emotional, because I had struggled for so long. After extensive testing, we discovered that my hormones were so far out of whack, which happened during the bed rest nearly five years ago, that my body was filled with inflammation. Dr. Bart explained that when the cells needed certain vitamins and minerals, despite my choice to eat healthy, the cells couldn't absorb the nutrients they needed because of the inflammation, and my body didn't know what to do with what I ate, except store it as fat.

Please understand that I, in no way, am saying that my weight gain was completely hormonal. I did make some poor choices, because I was so overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted with no results, despite my best efforts as well as dealing with the stresses and challenges life has presented us. Some of this was my fault. Everything is a choice!

Dr. Bart and his staff are so kind and compassionate. From the moment you walk in the door, you feel like these people genuinely want to help you. That was such a comfort as well as an answer to prayer. After my appointment, I told my mom that for the first time, I felt like there was actual hope for me to be healthy again. I cannot put into words what a comfort that is.

Two weeks prior to my appointment, I had made the decision to begin a morning exercise routine and revisit our previous clean eating habits. So, I was already headed in the right direction to prepare my body for the treatment. How do you treat this? Well, you rid your body and brain of all the toxins that have caused this inflammation and are keeping my body from functioning properly. For me, it's going to be at least a 100 day process.

For the first ten days, I continued waking up every morning at 5am to exercise and ate no gluten, no sugar, no red meat, no dairy, and drinking only water, which is all my family has drank for the last two years. So, that part wasn't difficult. I was also taking Standard Process supplements, which Dr. Bart sells at Balance, three times each day. Literally three days into this, I felt like a new person. I've told many people, "You never know just how sick you actually were until you begin to feel better."

The next 90 days will be divided into three phases: Prep Phase, Body Phase, and Brain Phase. These three phases make up the True Cellular Detox. You begin by completing an online training course, to familiarize yourself with the program as well as to explain what's going on in your body, and how each phase is going to affect your body. I began Prep Phase today. My morning was greeted with some of the suggested yoga poses, breathing exercises, and a burst workout, which is recommended in the training videos. I haven't been hungry or miserable at all, due to the filling Ketogenic type diet. I've felt satisfied, hopeful, optimistic, and excited.

Each phase will last 30 days, and I will consult with Dr. Bart at the end of each phase, where we will recheck my toxicity levels and progress through various testing and measurements. He and his staff have made themselves available at anytime to me, which again shows their dedication to helping people be healthy as well as their care and compassion.

I'm so thankful for not only Dr. Bart and the Balance 30A team but also for my incredible parents that are always willing to share their knowledge and wisdom as well as offer support in any way they can. If my mom had not told me about Dr. Bart and had I not seen the results she and my dad have achieved, I never would have gone. I am also so extremely grateful for a wonderful husband that is so supportive and has finally seen and understood just how sick I was for the last five years. I'm thankful for children that are not picky and eat anything that is cooked, because cooking two separate meals wasn't an option. Hahaha. I'm thankful for the perseverance and will that God has instilled within me to give my everything to this process. I've always been determined, strong, and a hard worker. I'm thankful He made me the way He did.

I will continue to update my blog periodically throughout each phase and post results as I see them. If anyone reading this has ever felt hopeless when it comes to your health, I encourage you to contact Dr. Bart and his staff at Balance 30A, because they can help you and want to help you.

Leave a comment

Taste for Truth- The Journey of Weight Loss

Well, as we completed the eighth and final week of Taste for Truth, we all shared our victories. Not one person mentioned how much weight they had lost as their greatest victory. Each participant was more grateful for the spiritual victories throughout these eight weeks. Praise the Lord! Among the four of us that finished the race, we lost a combined total of nearly 45 pounds. We have vowed to take a ladies trip to celebrate and continue to nurture this bond we have as friends. This study has also encouraged us to continue meeting on Sunday afternoons for a new Bible study beginning next week. Overall, God has done amazing things through this group of sinners that just long to do what is right.

In order to live in victory now that the study is over, we must consistently refer back to weeks one and two. We must pray for self-control, and we must continue to set boundaries for ourselves. We spoke a few weeks ago about failures, and we will have times where we break the boundaries, but we must not give up! Persevere through your future failures rather than allowing them to control your journey. If you give up on your boundaries, you’re only giving up on yourself! Continue to go to God for help during the hard times.
One of the greatest victories shared was that of peace. We all agreed that for the first time in our lives we are at peace with the weight loss process. That’s because, as a Believer, one of the fruits of the Spirit is peace. Our peace comes through Him because we now see ourselves as He sees us. As we continue to trust Him throughout the remainder of our journey, we see in Isaiah 26:3 that we have that perfect peace that only He can give by trusting in Him. 

As we continue to nurture our relationship with Jesus, the study encouraged us to pray with Thanksgiving. It’s an important part of our journey because if we fail to give Him the glory on a daily basis for the small victories, we have done this entire program in vain. Prayers of Thanksgiving are powerful! They rise up out of a person that has an intimate relationship with God, and they travel directly from our hearts and mouths to His ears. In Ephesians chapter 5, we are commanded to thank Him in ALL things! When your heart is grateful and full of Thanksgiving, you don’t have time to be anxious. Thanksgiving is the opposite of anxiety. That’s why He tells us to give thanks in ALL things and to be anxious about nothing. He always shows us the right path to take. It’s our own choice as to what we choose.

For me personally, I have a long road ahead of me to get the physical results I long for, but I’m so extremely grateful for a God that loves me and has equipped me with the tools I need to complete this journey. I’m also humbled and beyond blessed with an amazing group of friends that love and encourage me. I would not have completed this study or dropped a size in clothes or lost 11 pounds if it weren’t for them holding me accountable. I will continue to write about my progress from time to time, but beginning next week, I will go back to writing about all the AWESOME things God is doing with my precious little family. Thank you all for reading about my journey these past 8 weeks. I pray that other lives were impacted through the opportunity God gave me to lead this study.

Leave a comment

Taste for Truth-Spiritual Battles

Well, we have reached week 7 of our Taste for Truth study, and I can honestly say it has been life-changing. As we approach the final week of our study, we had a great discussion about how God has changed us in these last 7 weeks. Overall, we had more spiritual changes than physical changes, but that tells me that we were successful because change begins on the inside. We are all so thankful for the weight that we have lost and the healthy choices we are now consistently making, but the thriving friendships and the spiritual changes are priceless.

 Now that we know how to fight the physical battle of making healthy choices, we need to look at the spiritual battle. Spiritual health is far more valuable than physical health. This study shows that only two tools are needed for a Christian to fight a spiritual battle, and those are prayer and the Word of God. 

Prayer allows us to be completely reliant on the Lord, and because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we have this direct line of communication. The book hit on an excellent point that I’ve never really thought about, and that is to pray with Scripture. When the Word of God leaves our mouth and falls on the ears of the Lord, He is glorified. His Word is Truth, and when we pray using Scripture, we are praying with confidence.

In Sunday school, we looked at the subject, “That’s Who My God Is.” My God formed us with His own two hands. My God parted the Red Sea and led millions of Hebrew slaves out of captivity. My God turned dry bones to flesh. My God sent His only Son to die for me, and when my God is that great, how can I not trust Him with my physical and spiritual health. 

We are reminded in Ephesians that our battle is not with flesh and blood. So, as we make healthy choices for our physicality, don’t lose sight of the spiritual battle that requires everyday reliance on God to overcome. While physical health may render a nice, well-toned body, spiritual health ensures the promise of an eternity with our great God! So, enter everyday armed with prayer and the Word.

Leave a comment

Taste for Truth-Learning to Depend on God, Not Food

Week 6 of Taste for Truth was very emotional for each one of us as we realized and connected with the things that caused us to choose food as a comfort or coping mechanism. It was a beautiful picture of chains breaking as we sat, wept, and chatted with one another about the difficult spots in our lives. While recognizing these things was tough, it was an essential step in learning to choose God rather than food from now on.

  It’s difficult to give up over-eating as a coping or comfort mechanism in your life. You are basically trying to fill a void or longing somewhere in your life, or you may turn to food to overshadow an event or someone’s hurtful words from your past. It boils down to the fact that over-eating is an addiction, and as with any other addiction, there are triggers. Triggers can vary from person to person, because we each have a different story. An example of some triggers are: anxiety, depression, loneliness, past experiences or events, or even someone’s words or actions causing you to question your self-worth. Carnie Wilson, from the 1980’s duo Wilson Phillips, once said, “I used food as a coping mechanism for many, many years, and it was my best friend for a long time.” What if we chose to make God our best friend that He longs to be?
As with any dependency, obese people turn to food to mask our symptoms. Over-eating plays no different of a role than alcohol, prescription pain killers, spending exuberant amounts of money, or even illegal street drugs. Sure you feel better in the moment, because you got your fix, but it is soon followed by feelings of guilt and shame. It’s a revolving door. We never escape the addiction. Breaking the chains of addiction comes only through Jesus and our dependence on Him alone. 

  So many times, we tend to trade one habit for another. When losing weight, it’s very easy to trade your obsession with food for an exercise obsession. This solves nothing. Now, I’m in no way saying it’s bad to exercise, but what I am saying is that as a Christian, our obsession should be our relationship with Christ. The rest will follow. We learned in the first week that anything we categorize as “more important than God” is indeed an idol in our life. So simply call on Him. Trust Him. He will break the chains, and His love for us will overshadow whatever triggers us to eat in excess. Strength comes from Him!
  After such an emotional lesson, it ended with such Truth and comfort in overcoming our choice to over-eat. The God I serve is loving, kind, and compassionate. When I fall off of the wagon, He doesn’t tell me, “You’re a terrible person that is fat and worthless and will always remain that way.” On the contrary, He says, “Here, come cry on My shoulder. Tell Me what happened. It’s important to Me, because you’re important to Me! I will help you through this.” Our Lord is genuinely concerned with every aspect of our lives. He will help us defeat the lies of Satan, our past, the hurtful words and actions that others have caused us to believe about ourselves, and even the lies the world tells us concerning ourselves. We’ve already seen who we are in Him and what He thinks of us. So, forgive others. Forgive yourselves and move on. Leaving a hurtful situation, past, person, or words behind is healthy. You don’t get bit by a poisonous snake and tell the snake you forgive him yet continue to play with the group of poisonous snakes. You remove the poison, learn from your mistakes, and move on. The book touched on an excellent point at the end of this chapter by reminding us of Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” He created them too. “You don’t have to love someone that has damaged your self-worth by continuously making them a fixture in your life. The greatest act of loving them is praying for them everyday.” This is a volitile point for humans, but the gist of it was to remind us that everyone has struggles, and they need prayer to break their chains just like we do. The book was really bringing home the point of us refusing to believe the lies that have damaged us, because once you are a Christian, you are no longer damaged goods. You were bought with a price, and that same Savior that died for you, cares so incredibly much for you and every aspect of your life. So next time you are triggered to over-eat, close the refrigerator and open His Word and your heart to Him.

Leave a comment

Taste for Truth- Failure

Well, we have reached week five of our Taste for Truth study, and progress, motivation, and determination are all characteristics that seem to resonate among this group of ladies. We are all continually dropping pounds on a weekly basis, making healthier choices, and most importantly, growing closer to God and one another.

  One of the hardest things about trying to lose weight and KEEP it off is failure. Most of us have failed at keeping it off at some point in our lives. I’ve failed repetitively for the past 4 years. Each year, I lose weight then gain it right back (plus some) by the end of the year. It’s discouraging! It’s aggravating! It’s a continuous cycle of choosing to believe such lies as: “There’s no way I can do this.” “It’s going to take forever to lose this much weight.” “It doesn’t matter what I eat or if I exercise because I’m on vacation.” These are just some examples of the lies that we choose to believe, and we never get back on track, thus negating every ounce of progress we had made. 
We fail because we are weak, and we make excuses for our failure. The silver lining is that as Christians, when we are weak, He is strong. Despite all the grumbling and complaining by the Israelites, God never abandoned them. He provided exactly what they needed both by day and by night. Just as He provided for them, He will provide us with that extra ounce of strength when we feel like giving up. In Romans 5:4, we see that troubles produce endurance, and when we persevere, we please the Lord. Just as we talked about last week, we achieve this perseverance by the renewing of our mind. Trust Him to lead you to make right choices. Never grow tired of doing what’s right!

  We can overcome this pattern of failure when it comes to losing weight! Yippee!!! It’s really simple….keep trying! Failure only happens when we quit trying. Jeremiah 8:4 reminds us to “get back up”. Most importantly, learn from your failures and move on! Break the failure cycle! Quit doing what you’ve always done! Being obsessive isn’t the answer. Simply eating healthy and exercising isn’t the answer either. Choosing to be healthy for life must include renewal of the spiritual aspect of your life as well. So choose now to break the cycle of failure and remain healthy both spiritually and physically. 
One of the best ways to prevent failure and break the cycle is to quit anticipating and fearing failure! When your mind is set on failure, you are making the choice to be anxious, and the Bible tells us to “be anxious for NOTHING”. Instead, trust Him completely and set your mind on success! Psalm 40:2-3 reminds us that “He lifts us up out of the miry clay and sets our feet upon a rock,” and Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs us to “trust Him and He will make our paths straight.” So, as Christians, with promises like that, failure is no longer an option. Success through Him alone is our only option!