A Month Without Sugar

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.


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3 responses to “A Month Without Sugar

  1. Georgie-ann

    “very big Congratulations!”,… as they sometimes say around here!,…

    in the past I have gone sugarless,… and had some amazing concurrent real life dreams about very aMAZing chocolate, that I never expected to have — (I really thought God was being really really good to me!,.. with great taste & no calories!) — so I can relate to yours!,… the dream chocolate was way better than real, and even though I never dream about it now, I eat very little of the ordinary stuff, as a result,… I do have a favorite that I get about once a year, but I’ll refrain from saying what it is,… not to stir up temptation,… (-:

    physically speaking, I had to come to a balance for myself between sugar and caffeine, for the stress they put on the system,… and giving up some of my favorite sweet-caffeinated and easily-available drinks, in the whole world, has been much harder, and more greatly missed, than passing on second-rate chocolate,…

    now that I’m old, “moderation in all things” applies,… taste is an appreciated sense that God has given,… and at very wide intervals, I do like to indulge it and savor some of the special things, truly giving God the glory for all, and rejoicing with those celebrating,… I also maintain some chronic “bad dietary habits” that are probably just “built in” by now, as things don’t tend to go so well when sudden dietary change is enforced on an aging system!

    But the efforts of youth are so very much to be commended,… moving to better dietary patterns early and maintaining great habits of exercise and personal discipline, are helping to set the patterns you will grow into at a much better level later on, than not making any efforts or changes at all,…

    The Bible strongly commends the efforts of the “young men”:

    1 John 2:12-14 [Their Spiritual State]
    12 “I write to you, little children,
    Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
    13 “I write to you, fathers,
    Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
    I write to you, young men,
    Because you have overcome the wicked one.
    I write to you, little children,
    Because you have known the Father.
    14 “I have written to you, fathers,
    Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
    I have written to you, young men,
    Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
    And you have overcome the wicked one.”

    This is really very important.

    • Sure is amazing how much we love our sweets, but then how much better they are when we don’t over indulge.

      • Georgie-ann

        Hi, Brendan!,… some Biblical thoughts on “sweetness”:

        Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

        Deuteronomy 26:15 “Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey.'”

        But, just as you say, here’s the “problem” for us (and God):

        Deuteronomy 31:20 “When I have brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My covenant.”

        Our attractions and subsequent addictions (and resulting overuse), even to things that God means as blessings to us, can blind us and bring us to another path, different from the one God has intended:

        Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.”

        So, there really is a spiritual need to deliberately set aside some of the earthly attractions and distractions, and train our focus to be solely on God:

        Psalm 119:97-104 (edited)
        97 “Oh, how I love Your law!
        It is my meditation all the day.
        98 “You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies …
        102 ” … For You Yourself have taught me.
        103 “How sweet are Your words to my taste,
        Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
        104 “Through Your precepts I get understanding;
        Therefore I hate every false way.”

        And, I do believe that the “young man” phase (referred to in 1 John 2) is the perfect time to make some serious efforts in these ways, and that there is much to be gained thereby:

        1 Corinthians 6:19,20
        19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

        1 John 2:14 [Their Spiritual State]
        14 “ … I have written to you, young men,
        Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
        And you have overcome the wicked one.”

        This IS really very important.

        I, surely by this, don’t think that God intends for us all to strive to be physically Olympic champions, but to be able to be His spiritual champions instead.

        And in such a blessed condition, sweet things might yet taste even sweeter!

        God is THAT Good! (-:

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