ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Personal Health Information & Self-Help

With A Special Kind of Grace

Updated on October 22, 2013

“There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self.” Aldous Huxley

I'm Back

I went back and forth on whether or not to begin this article with a great big “I’M BACK”, and then decided to do it. I’ve been away from HubPages for a few months, not because I wanted to, but because I needed to help me get healthy again….body, mind, and spirit.

Blood Pressure Monitor
Blood Pressure Monitor | Source


A trip to the doctor because of a sinus infection revealed a much more serious problem--extremely high blood pressure. It was so high that the doctor turned to me and in a firm but very gentle and loving voice said “we have to take care of this problem, and we must take care of you. Any number of thinks can be causing your blood pressure to be this high. We will figure it out, but first things first. If we can’t get it down you may be dead very shortly.

Whoa! Scared me. If he meant to shock me to the core and get my attention, it worked. All I could see was my grandchildren somehow discovering my lifeless body. I couldn’t let that happen. I wouldn’t let that happen. A flood of tears came to my eyes temporarily blinding me. The doctor took both my hands in his, looked me in the eyes and said “you can do this. We will start with medication but you have to do the rest.” He didn’t say it but I knew just what he meant. Change the way you eat, and lose some weight.

Then Prayer

I really don’t know how I got home. The tears would not stop. My mind was racing with every kind of thought from “feeling sorry for myself” to “how did I let this happen”. Once home, I sat at the kitchen table for a long time. I cried until there were no more tears and then I prayed….a very simple. “Please show me what to do.”

It is so easy to slip into unhealthy habits. I have been, for years, a person who would rather have a slice of cake, a bowl of ice cream, a doughnut, or cookie--you get the picture--than to have a salad or vegetables. Now I do like salads and vegetables but I like the other stuff more. Looking back and with what I now know about sugar is that I had become an emotional eater and my body was addicted to sugar.

For most of my life I was able to balance all the unhealthy eating with moderation and a little exercise. After retirement I just, for lack or a better reason, stopped trying and the addiction became worst. There was no balance anymore. I was allowing the eating, especially of the sugary treats; to fill the void left by the way the company/organization chose to restructure leaving me with the feeling of not being wanted. I could say more but clearly this is a topic that needs to be explored more in-depth.

Retirement was truly not a choice I wanted to make--at least, not at that point. It was, more or less, thrust upon me. When we choice something---right, wrong, or indifferent--it is much easier to deal with. I consoled myself (although I didn’t think of it that way) by feeding the feelings with all the foods I liked. Foods with lots of sugar became my “comfort“ food, my “soul” food. I felt unwanted and so food comforted me, but my soul wasn‘t being nurtured. To a great degree I became depressed and the more down I felt the more weight I gained. I packed on the pounds…almost 70 of them.

As I thought about how far I’d allowed myself to fall, I did something that I really didn’t like doing…..I faced myself… the mirror. And, I to talked to myself, really talked. I’ve always believed that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. So it was with me and my rather interesting inner reflection. Something I’d read in “A Course in Miracles came to me---”The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.”


The Light Bulb Moment

I really think that, for a long time, I’d pretty much hated myself. I’d allowed the actions of some others to define who I was. I’d allowed my strength to be stripped from me because of what others were saying and doing. The answer to my simple prayer came as I looked at myself and said “you girl, have always been a fighter. Your faith and strength have gotten you through many challenges and helped you find many opportunities.” At that moment the love (for me) returned. Then another quote from A Course in Miracles appeared in my thoughts” all your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing.” I accepted the blessing and went into action.

I became more and more excited about my future. I powered on my computer and typed into the search “high blood pressure” and was immediately overwhelmed with the amount of information that came up. One of the first things I read was a fact sheet with a list of things that could cause high blood pressure. I made it into a checklist for reference and further research.

Too much salt in diet
I cook with salt but rarely use more at table
Too much alcohol
Rarely drink anything stronger than coffee, tea or soda.
Being Overweight
Yep....had gained quite a bit
Older Age
Getting there
Lack of physical activity
Does run in the family

And here was the kick in the head for me:

TONS! sugar was my addiction
YES, this is it

The Lethal Effects of Sugar

My next move was to look up the affects of sugar on the body. Again, I was met with an overwhelming amount of information

White death is what sugar was once known as. Did you know that? I didn’t. But I can definitely see why. Refined sugar is just as addictive as any legal or illegal drug. It is extremely easy to pour tons of sugar into the body/blood stream every day because refine sugar is in almost everything we American love to indulge in. Of course, there is the obvious which is the flavored coffees, teas, sodas, pastries, cookies, candies, but walk up and down any aisle in the grocery store and read labels. You will actually be surprise at the amount of sugar in most products.

The first thing I decided to do is give up sugar. I knew that I could not half-step this. It was all or nothing. I went cold-turkey. I went through my kitchen and got rid of everything, and I do mean, everything that had more than 5g of sugar. I went to the grocery store and restocked. For two weeks I ate a high protein, low sugar diet. Ate lots of vegetables. I became a champion label reader.

After about three days the sugar cravings, for the most part, went away. After about a week they were gone and the drop in pounds on the scale became my new reward. A trip to my doctor proved that the meds with the new diet was paying off. My blood pressure numbers were dropping. The doctor and I celebrated right there in his office. It was a good feeling. I knew that I could and would continue with the healthy eating. I was seeing results and was really beginning to feel better.

Surrender and Support

I drove home that day with a light heart as I begin to sing a favorite song from my childhood “I Surrender All”. Somehow I knew that I would not get the kind of support I needed. I’d learned something fairly early in life is that not all people who profess their friendship are actually your friends. There were three women I knew would be there for me, come hell or high water, were all in different States. I was on my own through this one so I did the one thing I knew would work for me. I said another prayer but this time in the form of a song.

After a couple of months my youngest son began to notice a change in my appearance and asked me what I was doing differently. I broke down and told him everything. The look on his face and sound in his voice said volumes--my confession frighten him. He reprimanded me for not telling him sooner, but said he was proud of what I’d done to get myself better. Then told me he would do whatever he could to help me

For Mother’s Day he surprised me with a gym membership so that I could add exercise to my routine. And then for my birthday he gave me a beautiful pair of gym shoes. He was more than supportive. I should have known that he would be but because of everything that had happened and the feeling/emotions that overwhelmed me after my retirement, I wasn’t sure of anything. I think in some way and because he is my son….I did not want to scare him with the news in the beginning. Don‘t care how old they get, you still want to protect them.

Now here we are today. I mentioned earlier that I’d gain close to 70 pounds and would have been happy losing that amount. Well, I am down 87 pounds and all my numbers…..blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are now within the normal range. The test had even shown that I was pre-diabetic…..not anymore.


A little side note: Remember me saying I’d gone to the doctor for a sinus problems….turned out to be a bad sinus infection. Prior to my visit I’d been using over the counter decongestants because I thought it was a cold. For someone with a blood pressure problem most over the counter meds are not good and might even be dangerous. Using the over-the-counter decongestants and other cold medicines made my problem even worst. So, be very careful about over-the-counter medications if you have or suspect you have a blood pressure problem.

Don't Take Anything Personally

Again, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. And, the teacher, in the form of a wonderful little book titled “The Four Agreement” helped me move pass the feeling that kept me immobile. What others do or say is not about me/you. And, it is not because of you/me. It is a projection of their reality not your/mine. If we allow gratitude to come to the surface it will drown out the negative and we might actually see a blessing in disguise. So remember this:

  • Never allow someone or something to define you. Never allow your strength to slip away because of outside actions.
  • Have a favorite poem, song, prayer, quote, affirmation to get your through tough days.
  • Give thanks everyday for giving you a chance to make life better. Give thanks for your favor and grace. Allow your heart to overflow with gratitude. .
  • And please, please don’t take your healthy for granted. Do something to show yourself that you care about you. If you know someone who needs a little encouragement….encourage---show them they matter. Show them that they would be missed.

Final Thoughts

This is a true story… story. My experience of how I came from being blessed with brokenness in body, mind, and spirit to blessed with joy and grace. I do believe that everything that happens is life is, or can be, a gift. Every struggle can be strengthening and preparation for another time. I have opportunities that I never thought would be possible. I now know…..really know that I am fearfully and wonderfully custom-made. I am one of a kind and one of God’s most prized possessions. I am back ….AND with a special kind of grace.

My hope is that someone will be inspired to begin their own journey to a different and much better place. There is truth, love, and joy inside each of us. It is a wonderful thing when we finally allow it to escape. I would absolutely love to hear from you.

Love to all,

Dee (aka Nonna)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      Thank you CraftytotheCore, it is amazing how much better I feel, and I know you do to. It's craziness what we do to ourselves just by eating the wrong foods.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      I just read your comment to my article about gluten, and I see what you mean about sugar. It's terribly addicting, because I too was addicted to it. Now that I've gone gluten free, I rarely crave sugar or carbs. I also suffered with stroke-level high blood pressure, but amazingly mine is perfect now after eliminating certain foods. Congratulations to you on your improved health!

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      ocfireflies. My mother once told me, and I took it to heart, that if we do something---smile, words, hugs---whatever, to encourage or inspire another we have done enough. I think you just encouraged me with your words "kindred spirits". I am drawed to the words that you write....and their is, indeed, a reason for that. "When the student is ready the teacher will appear....I need the words you write. Thank you. And, thank you for stopping by with a most welcome visit and most welcome comment.

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 4 years ago from North Carolina

      To say that you just inspired me is an understatement. We have so much in common, that we must be kindred spirits. Thank You! Thank you for saying things I needed to hear, for saying things I need to say, but have not out of fear. Voted Up all the way!

      Many Blessings,


    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      Thank you Billy. It will take me a minute, but I can do it. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful...I have read that book and it is marvelous. I am so happy you made the decision to take better care of you love you. :) Welcome back and well done.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      Thank yo Ruby. It was a tough road, and one that I would not wish on anyone. So happy I was forced to look at myself. Thank you for stopping by and leaving an encouraging comment. I appreciate you more than you know.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      So glad you took the time to take care of yourself and come back here and share it with us! Powerful message indeed. We cannot do the work we love if we are too ill. I have not been able to quit the sugar intake, so big kudos to you my friend, congratulations!

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      PegCole17. So happy to see you. Thank you for stopping by and for your well wishes. When I saw the Aldous Huxley quote I had to use it. I am happy you like it as well.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      LadyFiddler. I am, indeed, better. I leaned heavily on my faith in God. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Very much appreciate it.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank goodness you are doing better and well on the road to recovery. What you've shared here about your own experience will certainly help others. You are an inspiration to many. Well done! I loved your quote from Aldous Huxley. So very true.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      Hi thanks for sharing this interesting hub I do hope that you are much better by God's help.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 4 years ago

      Thank you tirelesstraveler. Your visit and your comments are very, very much appreciated

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Was hub hopping and feel like I need to make suggestions. Please delete this comment. You are a good writer, I think if you re-read your work you will catch some discrepancies in punctuation. Still going to vote up.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Dee , wonderful to see you again. This is a wonderful success story that needs to be told.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)