I didn’t even use a fork. I shoveled pieces of the coconut layer cake into my mouth with one hand, while gripping the steering wheel with the other. It was the first time I gave in to a sugar craving to this extent. Never had I ever put my bra back on at the end of the day, got into my car, and driven to the grocery store to get a fix. By the time I returned home, I had eaten half of the Pepperidge Farm boxed cake. The craving was gone, but now I felt sick. Worse than the unsettling ache in my belly was the feeling of remorse. I was a sugar-addicted glutton.
I have always had a sweet tooth. Cookies, coconut layer cake, and miniature candy bars are my favorite. I am one of those women who buys a bag of Halloween candy and then eats it all before Halloween. One time, I baked a batch of Christmas sugar cookies for our neighbors and ate them before I could get them in the decorative tin. I was horrified that I spent an entire afternoon baking, only to have nothing to give away as gifts. That year, our neighbors received store-bought bags of Ghirardelli chocolate Peppermint Bark instead of cookies. I like to justify my behavior. I am stressed. I work hard. I am a grown woman – if I want to treat myself then I will. Besides, it isn’t like I do it all the time. That last part has not always been entirely true. The day I ate cake alone in my car was rock bottom. I had to stop abusing my body.
The next day, I reached out to a nutritionist who taught me about balanced eating and the difference between good and bad sugar. Good sugar is found in whole, unprocessed foods such as berries, bananas, and skim milk. Bad sugar, also known as added sugar, is found in soda pop, cake, cookies, white bread, crackers, and rice. I was placed on a nutrition program and meal plan to help my body detox. The withdrawal symptoms I experienced were unexpected and real. I had an untamed headache for a week. The cravings got worse before they got better, and as they intensified, so did my mood. I hated everything and everybody.
My nutritionist suggested I remove all sugar from the house so I would not be tempted when the cravings came. I did not tell her I had a history of going to the store for a fix when the house was void of sugary treats. Her suggestion, though well intended, was not helpful. I decided to turn to Scripture and prayer instead.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe how Jesus, after fasting for forty days, was tempted by the devil. Jesus was mentally exhausted and hungry, yet He resisted every temptation. He never caved, though I suspect He wanted to. The Bible says with every temptation, Jesus talked back to the devil and quoted Scripture. What a perfect example of unwavering courage, strength, and self-discipline!
It took my body six months to rid itself of the overabundance of sugar. Since then, I have maintained a balanced diet. I won’t lie, I still have a sweet tooth and I enjoy a treat occasionally. But no longer do I slap on a bra and flip-flops for a sugar run, and I don’t snarf down half a cake in my car. Instead, I replace cravings with prayer and physical activity such as going for a walk, riding my stationary bike, folding laundry, or stretching.
If sugar has become a stronghold for you and you would like resources on how to break the addiction, check out the Addiction Center website. If you would like prayer in this area, please contact me or use the comment section below. I understand where you are. The good news is God understands too and He will set you free!
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so you can endure it.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
Temptation of Jesus:
Matthew (Matthew 4:1-11), Mark (Mark 1:12-13), and Luke (Luke 4:1-13),
Lord, I come before You acknowledging that I struggle with sugar cravings and lack self-control in this area of my life. I recognize that my body is a temple and desire to honor it by making healthy choices. Please grant me the strength and discipline to resist the temptation of sugary foods and drinks. Help me to find satisfaction in nourishing my body with healthy, balanced meals. Help me slow down and recognize triggers and emotional patterns contributing to my sugar cravings. I surrender my cravings and urges to You.