I’m in the middle of a 40-day spiritual exercise. I wasn’t going to mention it until I reached the end, but because of its profound impact already, I’ve changed my mind. I was blown away when I saw a friend of mine for the first time in almost a year. She looked like a different person, having lost weight and looking healthier than ever. When I asked her what she’d done, she referenced Wendy Speake’s book The 40-Day Sugar Fast – Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation, clarifying that the biggest help for her was turning to God rather than food by identifying her triggers and developing a strategy for dealing with them.
Since I carry around the same 20 pounds I fight with year after year, I figured why not try it? Besides, doesn’t the promise of a spiritual transformation make it sound more…spiritual? That way, if I don’t lose the weight I hope to lose, maybe it will be less disappointing…right?
I’m only on day 15 and I just have to tell you about the past two weeks. Flyboy thought I was nuts to start a fast right in the middle of the upheaval that has been our world this past month. I’ve come to realize there is never a good time to start something new. There is always a reason to put it off, and I just felt compelled to start now, no matter what is going on.
I’m so glad I did.
In a nutshell, here’s what I’ve learned so far.
- Sugar is in everything! So, when you are (willingly) forced to evaluate every bite, you might as well assess the need to eat anything at that moment.
- Why do I eat indiscriminately? My triggers are mainly boredom and stress. Why do I head to the frig when I’m bored or stressed? Because it’s a quick fix. Turning to God in prayer helps me identify the source of the feelings driving me to food and deal with them.
- This is becoming less about weight and more about relationship. Losing weight is not nearly as important as walking with God. And when I walk with God, he will take care of the rest. (But if you must know, I’ve lost 4 pounds in 2 weeks. Not that I’m counting.)
- Sugar is not my only addiction.
Today is day 15. And on day 15, I have been confronted with an ugly truth. Sugar is a struggle, but the real addiction is my phone.
There. I said it.
I’ve been horrified by the weekly report I receive (and where did that come from? I didn’t request it) detailing how much time I spend daily on my phone. It is too embarrassing to repeat aloud.
Author Kate Reid pointed out the Apple products logo – the apple with a bite – and likens it to the temptation in the garden of Eden. Good word picture for those of us tempted by our devices!
So, what to do about it? I am going to remove all social media from my phone for the remainder of my sugar fast, until November 15. I’m also charging my phone in the bathroom instead of on my nightstand to keep it from being the last thing I look at before bed and the first thing upon rising. Besides discouraging indiscriminate time wasting, I’m hoping it will also help me to pray through the real reasons I waste so much time on my phone overall. If you want to leave a comment or participate in the remainder of this fast, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I won’t be on Facebook.)
Plant your feet firmly therefore within the freedom that Christ has won for us, and do not let yourselves be caught again in the shackles of slavery. –Galatians 5:1 (PHILLIPS)