Latter-day Saint Voices

Physical Health: Weight Loss and the Word of Wisdom

By Carol E. Wolf

Utah, USA

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In my mid-60s, it was getting harder for me to get around. I weighed almost 300 pounds (136 kg). I had low energy and stamina and even obtained a handicapped parking permit so that I could park as close to stores as possible.

I decided it was time to lose weight. I turned to Doctrine and Covenants 89 and prayed to Heavenly Father, “Help me to understand what this is really telling me.” Over time each verse, each word took on new meaning. Even though I don’t drink alcohol, tea, or coffee, and I don’t smoke, I hadn’t really absorbed the overall message. I knew the Word of Wisdom was a health code, but I had never before thought of it as a way of life.

For the first time I truly felt that I could change my lifestyle. I set a realistic goal of losing 50 pounds (23 kg) in 50 weeks.

I kept track of my calories and nutrients. I researched the health benefits of everything I ate. As I ate healthier foods, I felt satisfied. I had no cravings. My body seemed to know what it needed. Unhealthy food I used to enjoy lost its appeal. I quit eating sugar. Over time, I quit counting calories and ate plant-based foods, as the Word of Wisdom says: “that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground” (D&C 89:16). I met my goal and more. In just over 23 months I had lost over half my body weight. That’s 12 dress sizes smaller! I have now maintained that weight for over three years.

I feel healthy. I no longer have blood-sugar spikes when I’m hungry, and I can’t remember the last time I had a headache. I don’t have to take medications. While losing weight has contributed to my overall feeling of well-being, my new lifestyle does also.

Controlling the things I eat is part of overcoming the natural man (see Mosiah 3:19). In turn, it tweaks my spiritual discernment, allowing me to receive the promise that I “shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” (D&C 89:19). Giving up fast food for wisdom is a good trade-off.

I am most grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who heard my simple plea and gave me insight into the Word of Wisdom. I know the Word of Wisdom is revelation. I know it can change lives.