Lose to Win
Remove the blessing blockers and win big!
by Brandi Harvey
When I was a freshman in college, I had a professor named Dr. Lee. He was vegan, wore his hair locked, and was always eating fruit. I thought this man was the epitome of strange. One day during a class discussion, Dr. Lee talked about why he didn’t eat anything that had parents or any animal byproducts. He said he never chewed gum or used brand-name deodorant because they contained chemicals that were known to cause cancer.
I was sitting in the back of the class laughing at him, thinking he was a complete joke. After he completed his laundry list of things he didn’t eat, I raised my hand. Hoping to get a laugh out of the class, I asked sarcastically, “So, what do you eat?” His response was simple: “I eat food.” There I sat with the dumbest look on my face. The joke was on me.
I walked back to my dorm thinking this man was a complete idiot. I thought about all the ways I could withdraw from his class. Dr. Lee wasn’t equipped to teach me. I mean, the man didn’t eat meat, use regular deodorant, or chew gum. What was wrong with him? I would much rather die, gripping my box of Popeyes, than be subjected to the teachings of a man who had lost his mind and his taste buds.
Fast-forward 17 years. Here I am with locked hair, haven’t chewed gum in years, use natural deodorants, and don’t eat anything that had parents. It is incredible how time will teach us all the things we have to lose in order to win in our lives.
Dr. Lee and his beliefs seemed so foreign to me as a teenager. The more I became
committed to my health and wellness, the more I started reading about the effects of food on our bodies. I began uncovering all the dangerous chemicals and cancer-causing ingredients that were infiltrating our body products, toiletries, and food supply. Dr. Lee was right all along.
Often when I speak to groups, I get asked the same question that I asked Dr. Lee. Many people tell me all the things they will never be able to give up and let go of in their lives. They say they would much rather die happy and satisfied than live deprived. I smile and nod, thinking that I, too, shared those beliefs once upon a time.
Losing some of our beliefs doesn’t mean we turn our back on our family or all the things that have made us colorfully human. Losing some things means we are making room for God’s goodness in our lives. Losing doesn’t always mean defeat; sometimes it is the set-up for our triumphant victory.
Never in a million years would I have thought I would be living a plant-based lifestyle. When I started down the path over five years ago, it was rocky. I couldn’t fully commit and I fell off numerous times and thought I wasn’t disciplined enough to see it through. The more I felt I lost, the more I was pushed to win.
To win, you have to lose the story you keep telling yourself. Those stories usually begin and end with excuses. They keep us stuck at the intersection of stagnant and complacent. For us to have next-level blessings, we have to lose the blessing blockers in our lives.
Dr. Lee planted a seed in my life that day that took time to blossom. Over the years, I had to lose my ego, my beliefs on health, and the way I showed love to myself. Losing these things didn’t take anything away from me, they just added more to who God was calling me to be.
The journey beyond begins the moment we become okay with losing those things that no longer serve us. Be it food, relationships, or a career, our lives should be a reflection of our constant strivings to reach higher. Eat your fruits and vegetables, drink your water, and keep calm. Our greatness is just waiting for us to start losing, so we can start winning big.