A little more than 30 days ago, right after I had my first In-N-Out Burger, I decided to try to go the month of July without sugar. It had nothing to do with the burger, or maybe it did.
I’d tasted fast food perfection and had an idea.
It was a simple idea, just a challenge, nothing more. I’d just slurped down a Dr Pepper with my burger, and thought, “Why not see how long I could go without the drink I love?”
Have you ever tried to give something up?
I’ve given up facebook, it was difficult and I reconnected after 47 days (I don’t regret it). I’ve given up bread, it has panned out fairly well. But I’ve never been able to give up sugar. I have a sweet tooth the size of an elephant tusk. But I knew if I wanted to truly live a healthy life, sugar had to go.
Sugar isn’t a bad thing, but last year my dad, Eugene Scott, was diagnosed with type two diabetes and well, it’s genetic. When he was first diagnosed I thought about giving up sugar with him, but I couldn’t do it. The month’s rolled by and I justified my sugar intake by how much I work out. But come this last June, I decided to make July a sugar free month.
July isn’t an easy month to go sugar free.
C’mon it starts out with 4th of July, the day it’s okay to say yes to all things sweet. I had to say no to dessert on America’s Birthday. I also knew I’d be saying know to kid’s birthdays and a wedding.
Once I made it past Independence Day the challenge was all a piece of cake.
Directly after the 4th, the kids I work with started bringing in tempting birthday cakes, doughnuts just for the heck of it, cupcakes, and brownies (I love brownies). But, because I’d said no to dessert on Independence Day I knew I could make it. That didn’t make saying no to wedding cake any easier, especially since the wedding was at the end of the month. I’d nearly reached me goal, how bad would it be to cheat just a couple days before the end of the month.
Last week as I adventured down to Crooked Willow Farms, I faced more dilemmas than being lost. Should I let myself eat cake!
Not only cake, but Skittle’s too. It was as if all of my friends had come together to taunt me with sugar. My friend Hannah, the bride, had set out small jars of Skittles in front of every seat. I had to sit there all night while my other friends devoured their sweet treat. I decided to take precautionary measures. I stuck myself on the dance floor all night and stayed away from all the sweets. I had a blast dancing and at the end of the night realized I just hadn’t had time for the cake. And I had a blast anyway.
Quickly one week became two, and then three, and before I knew it I’d made it. July was over. I’d said no to oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate cake, and every sugar filled chocolate chunk browny that haunted my dreams. Yes, my dreams were even filled with sugar. (Okay I might’ve had a dream or two where I gave into temptation and fed my sweet tooth, only to wake up with a sigh of relief.)
But now here it is August and I still haven’t had any sweets. As the month passed, I started feeling better. And so why stop a good thing? I don’t know when I’ll have my first Dr Pepper or piece of cake, but it might not be any time soon. ‘Cause what we consume affects how we live.
I never thought I could go a month without sugar, but I just took it day by day and now I’m having a hard time thinking about going back to the dulce vida (sweet life).
Plus, I gave up sugar for a physical gain, but the whole challenged seemed to have spiritual implications too. As I said no to sugar I started thinking about how I am living life spiritually. Life without sugar has made me feel healthier, but maybe when living spiritually, I don’t need to subtract from my life, but add too it.
I’ve spent this year journaling about what I am thankful for, how I’ve felt blessed, and how I’ve felt God. Like the sugar challenge, this has been a daily challenge. Each day I have to set aside time to read my bible, which can be as difficult as saying no to a bear claw doughnut, but it’s worth it. It’s become like spending time with my best friend each day.
Just as I have felt physically healthier without sugar I feel spiritually healthier and closer to God too, because I am actively looking for him in each aspect of my life. I’ve had to rely on him to make things sweet when I can’t just down a handful of frosting, and therefor I feel spiritually healthier.
Maybe that’s why I can keep on living without sugar, I’d rather have God meet my needs than a bag of Skittles.
Can you live without sugar and feel the true blessing of adding God into your daily life?
That’s the true dulce vida.