"A major light bulb went on," one of the members of my coaching group said. My words about saying, no to sugar finally made sense when she heard them in a different way.
One thing I've learned in coaching is that I need to talk about the same pivotal concept over and over again in different ways. That's because each person responds to the reality of that in their own way. It needs to make a heart-connection with them, and I have to allow God to speak through me to impact them. The harmful effects sugar has on the body is one of those pivotal concepts we have to grasp in order to embrace God's transformation plan for us.
For this client, when I talked about fasting sugar for the rest of my life, it hit her hard, and she finally got it. "This is a spiritual battle, not just a diet," she said. "When people ask if I want that piece of cake, my response will be, 'I'm fasting sugar.'"
She's learned that this answer is better than, "I don't want that dessert," which is an out-and-out lie. We do want it, but we are giving it up now so that sometime in the future, we really will get to the point where we no longer want it.
Right now, though, our friends and family know we really do want it because they've seen us eat several pieces of dessert many times. Answering truthfully reminds us we can only give up sugar by His power and not our own.
Living a Fasted Lifestyle
What we are doing is not just fasting sugar for a short time. We are embarking on living a fasted lifestyle; we are just taking it a step at a time. When the truth hit me that I am like an alcoholic, only with sugar, it was clear I was going to have to do more than just abstain from sugar for a short while. I was going to have to allow God to teach me how to give up sugar for the rest of my life.
I had to learn how to change my habits. I had to learn how to stop the bad habit of reaching for a sugary treat to give me energy and focus in the moment only to crash 30 minutes later and need more sugar the next time to give me the same feeling.
I had to choose a better habit instead. For me, that was starting exercise. It actually gave and still gives me energy, builds my stamina, helps me focus and gives me clarity. It also has the added benefit of just making me feel better about myself and life in general. It is an endorphin and serotonin booster, two things I've learned those prone to sugar addiction desperately need.
No Bigger Sugar Addict
I've had many people say to me, "Sure you could do that, but I can't, because I depend on sugar to get me through the day."
I tell them and mean it sincerely, "There was no bigger sugar addict than I was. I thought I'd die if I gave up sugar. Everything I ate had sugar in it. I added it to every recipe. How could I do without it?"
I couldn't give up sugar in my own strength. Then I discovered the real answer to how I could accomplish such a transformation. "When I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong, [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God's strength]" (2 Cor. 12:10, AMP).
It's God's sweet grace that gives me the strength to give up what I craved all my life, because His grace is all I need. His strength is made perfect in my weakness (see 2 Cor. 12:9, MEV).
There were many times I went on diets and lost 100 pounds mainly by giving up sugar for the duration of a diet. I was doing it in my own strength and then rewarding myself with a big sugary dessert when I lost the weight. This resulted in me simply starting to eat sugar again gaining the weight back plus more.
The only way I've lost more than 250 pounds today is by admitting to God that I am weak and can't do this on my own. Then, I set my intention toward giving up sugar as unto God and asked Him to show me how to do that and give me the strength to persevere.
Admitting my weakness and inviting God to help me opened the door to His grace- strength. I agree with Kris Vallotton's definition: "Grace is the power to do what you couldn't do one second before."
Grace-Wind Behind Me
When I embarked on this journey and took that first risky step toward learning to live a fasted lifestyle, God pulled out all the stops. It was as if His grace was the wind behind me propelling me forward
I started that process at least 10 years ago and have been sugar free now for more than five years. Today, I can honestly say I do not crave sugar. As long as I stay away from it, I do not want it. That's why I say it is the easiest hard thing I've ever done.
Step-by Step Process
Getting sugar out of my system didn't happen all at once. It was a step-by-step process. This process works for whatever issue is holding you back on your weight loss journey.
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, Christian weight loss coach, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor, Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off with God's Help and Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation. Get a free chapter of all her books, plus many other free resources on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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