I am passionate about two things—my love of God and giving up sugar. The two go together. There was a time in my life, even though I was a Christian and would tell you I loved God, I reserved a big space in my heart for a substance—sugar and anything made with sugar.
I gave it up and here are just a few of the reasons.
- It made me really, really fat—super, morbidly obese fat.
- It made me constantly tired and fatigued and yet, I couldn't sleep.
- It made my brain foggy and made it hard to think.
- It made me emotionally, psychologically and physically dependent on it.
- When I started, I couldn't not eat it. It became something I had to have.
- I used it to anesthetize any emotional pain or angst.
- It was not a good example to set for my children.
- It leads to type 2 diabetes.
- It leads to high blood pressure.
- It leads to congestive heart failure.
- It is linked to colon cancer, which runs in my family and was the cause of my mother's death at age 61.
- It wreaked havoc with my metabolism and digestive system.
- It became my reason for living. The only reason I looked forward to any outing with family or friends was for the sugary treats that would be there.
- It dampened my libido.
- It was as addictive, or more addictive, than many drugs.
- I became co-dependent on it, like a bad friend I thought I couldn't live without.
- I thought it brought me comfort, but it was most definitely an uncomfortable comfort.
- It put distance between me and others, physically and emotionally.
- It made it hard for me to walk, shop or work and nearly impossible to exercise. My joints ached constantly.
- I allowed it to become a stronghold in my life. It controlled me rather than me controlling it.
- I trusted it more than God.
The bottom line for me is, sugar was the cause of my super morbid obesity, a place no one wants to go. Trust me.
Putting weight on, even gaining up to 430 pounds, is not difficult. It felt as if I had a gift at gaining weight. It might take me a year to lose 100 pounds and just several months to put it back on.
Yo-yo dieting should go on the list because sugar is the reason I would gain weight quickly after losing weight. When I would go without sugar for nine months or so, I would lose weight. Then, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas would come. I'd start back with the sugar, rationalizing even God wouldn't ask me to stay off sugar during the holidays.
Mindset of Addict
In reality, I was living in a sugary world. My life revolved around things made with sugar. I was like the drug addict mother who stops doing drugs while she's pregnant. Then, when the baby is born with all its parts intact, she starts the drugs again as a reward to herself for abstaining for nine months.
I understand this mindset of an addict. I would do the same thing. I'd abstain from sugar for a long period to reach a weight loss goal. Then, I'd start right back rewarding myself for reaching my weight loss goal by eating something with lots of sugar, something I'd been dreaming about for the entire time I was dieting. In my mind, I had not given it up. I was only postponing relishing it again.
Meanwhile, my body was constantly confused by what I was doing. No wonder my metabolism and digestive system was totally out of whack. With type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, not to mention no libido, it had turned on all the warning signals. I, however, was good at ignoring those blinking lights.
The change happened when I made a firm decision to give up sugar for good. It was a specific moment in time, but the walking out of that decision continues a day at time. Yes, just like an alcoholic or drug addict.
I know taking one more bite will throw my body back into the tailspin of yo-yo dieting. I actually apologized to my body for what I did to it. I know I am a tri-part being and so I just said, "Body, my soul, mainly my emotions, has been leading us. I've put spirit in charge now. Spirit is connected with God's Spirit. Spirit will lead us all. I apologize for how I've made you feel. If we all work together, things will be much better. Will you forgive me?"
Like the nice body I now have, my body forgave me. We've been working together better these days, especially since releasing more than 260 pounds.
Many More Reasons
I know there are many more than 21 reasons to stop eating sugar. Oh, here's another: to stop putting money in the pockets of food manufacturers who are actually catching me in their net of added sugar purely for profit.
I'll stop for now. I hope I've given you enough to at least begin to think about giving up the white stuff. Of course, the last reason on my list is the most important because loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is just everything.
"This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matt. 22:38-39). The second is what I'm doing now by writing this post.
If you're ready to start, I've got a free resource for you. #KickSugar is a 10-day course to help you begin the process of getting rid of sugar. There are 10 videos, transcripts, recipes and, at the end, more freebies. Yep, I'm that passionate about helping you get rid of it. Just go here and begin your journey to sugar freedom.
If God is speaking to you about your health being a major roadblock to His plans and purposes for your life, run (don't walk) and sign up today for Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching and Accountability Group. It is my heart's desire to help you get free of the bondage of extreme weight. No hype here. Just truth. I can tell you unequivocally this is one time I do know what I'm talking about. You know if I am speaking to you. Here's the link: teresashieldsparker.com/sweet-change/
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at teresashieldsparker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.
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