Back in the day, my diet consisted of more sugar than anything else. I consumed copious amounts of sugar on a daily basis. The more sugar I ate, the more I wanted.
One study I read stated that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. I do not know if that is true, but it was for me. When you eat that much sugar, you actually pervert your taste buds. You wreck your immune system, you rot your teeth and you forget how it feels to be healthy.
A few years ago, after getting so sick I had to walk with a cane for about a month, I changed. I could no longer even hold my own weight. I needed help to do everything. So I quit eating as much added sugar as I could. I went to plant based diet. There is sugar in almost everything, it’s hard to go to zero but I now eat intentionally.
Over time, I regained my strength. My taste came back. The intense cravings muted. The transformation was dramatic. Now I am not saying that I eat no sugar, that would be a lie. I still bake and have an occasional little treat, the key word is that I am intentional.
The other day I decided to have a treat that I did not make. Which means I had no control over what went into this big, gooey candy bar. I ate it with as much gusto as I had in me. As soon as I was done, empty wrapper in my hand, I started to feel physically sick. My body had gotten used to much smaller doses of sugar. The candy bar I just ate was way more than I was used to. And I felt it.
I realized, like with any addiction, there is no such thing as “dipping your toe in the water.” You can no longer dabble. Same with me and alcohol and me and spending. My actions need intention.
So this piece is not about the evils of sugar. Although for me it was truly an evil. No, this is more about what I learned about my Christian walk. Before I used to love my sins. I loved to drink and smoke. I love destroying my temple. I loved living in self-induced chaos. I lived in a dark world full of hiding. I hid my eating, some of my drinking and all of my spending. I lived outside the light because I did not want to be exposed.
Not only now am I on a journey to wellness, I am also on a journey into my Christian faith. Like the day I ate that huge candy bar and got sick so it is with my sin. I used to be able to be able to overload on sugar and I always felt bad. Feeling bad was normal. Then when I changed my diet, I realized that awful feeling is actually not the norm.
Now sin, no matter the actual sin, makes me sick. The sickness I felt in my hidden sins had become normal to me. Now I see the true light and I no longer want to indulge. With that being said, I still sin. We all do and always will. The difference is how I feel about it. The difference is now I’m no longer sequestered away lost in my sin. I am aware and that makes me able to make the changes I need to make.
I used to wonder if I was walking in the light as God wanted. Now I can see that I was lying to myself. I thought I could drink and be a fool and still be a person of faith. Now, flaws and all, I feel I am on my way to being that person of faith. I see now the lies in my past. I see the brightness of the future.
Being true to yourself is a taste sweeter than sugar. Being intentional in thoughts and deeds is sweeter than sugar. Being aware may make you feel a bit ill at times but it is a healing feeling that propels you into becoming who you are supposed to be.
I always wanted to be different than I was. I never liked myself or how I behaved. At the time, I had no tools to change. But now, with each new day, I am learning to be the person I dreamed of being. I had to let go of a lot of things and that is never easy, but the reward is sweeter than I ever imagined.
My advice if you are seeking a change, don’t give up. The road is hard but it is completely AMAZING when the light starts to shine on your face. The warm and comforting glow of God’s love, forgiveness and favor is the best feeling we can experience on this Earth. Hang in there, pray a lot and put in the work. No more living in the dark.