I’m a very competitive person. I’m a Type-A all the way. I love trying new challenges to see how far I can go without giving up. I saw The Forty Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation pop up in my Instagram feed. This book is actually written by the author of The Forty Day Social Media Fast, another challenge I tried. I really enjoyed what I learned and how I felt during that fast, so I wanted to try this sugar-free one as well!
Now, I don’t really consider myself a “sugar addict”. I mean, I try to limit treats to a time or two a week, and it’s not like I’m constantly stuffing my face with candy bars and cupcakes. I didn’t think it would be that tough to go forty days without the sweet stuff. Then I read the fine print: “you need to stay away from added sugars”. You know, those sneaky little grams that are hiding in the most savory of foods–like spaghetti sauce!
Oh well, I thought. I can still do this. So I plunged headfirst into my no added sugar fast. Here are the biggest takeaways I got from this fast:
Sugar. Is. EVERYWHERE.
Let me tell you, my eyes were opened WIDE to the amount of hidden sugars in food. Even plain Cheerios have added sugar! I did a lot of label reading during my forty days and it was like a punch to the gut when I saw how much sugar is in our food. Honestly, it made me feel a little betrayed by food companies and also embarrassed at how I was feeding myself and my family.
The first 8 days were ROUGH.
Like I said before, I didn’t think I was eating too much sugar to begin with so I didn’t think I would have any withdrawal symptoms. That first day I felt AMAZING! Days two through eight, however, were difficult. I was detoxing from all that sugar and my body was crying out for it. I was extremely tired, anxious, crabby, and had terrible headaches. I told myself on day seven that if I didn’t feel better the next day, I was eating the first cookie I saw because this was getting to be too much to bear! But something great happened soon after…
I felt so much better in every area of my life!
The book is written in devotional form, so each day there is a note from the author empathizing with what we must be feeling that day and also tying it to Biblical examples.
I began to feel better physically: I didn’t have the “3:00 p.m. crash”, I had more energy, I slept better, and I found it easier to wake up early for a kid-free workout.
I felt better mentally: my near-constant brain fog was gone and I could think more clearly.
I felt better emotionally: I was able to stay calm and practice patience better when my kids acted up.
And I felt better spiritually: I could feel a transformation coming over me; God was at work in my heart and in my life.
Was this fast difficult? Oh yes. Would I do it again? In. A. Heartbeat. Not only were my eyes opened to the sugar addiction in my life, but they were also opened to other idols and addictions in my life as well. This experience led to much introspection and it has changed me for the better! If you think you can’t do this, I’m here to tell you that you can and you might even be a better momma for it.