Today is Fasnacht day in Lancaster PA. Truthfully I don’t know how far outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania this goes. It seems it is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. Perhaps German? Marking the day before Lent begins in this area, by pushing some serious sugar coated donuts, also known as Fasnachts, on us. It’s basically granting permission to stuff ones self with globs of sugar coated and deep fried dough before you have to fast for Lent. Um.. No thanks.. Of course it’s easier for me, as I am not a donut lover. Now if it were ‘Chewy Spree Day’, ‘ Peanut M & M Day’, ‘Peppermint Patty’ or ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream Day’, that would be an entirely different battle for this chick. Thankfully it’s a donut day and Praise God, I am not dogged with desiring donuts.
In other parts of the country, this day is referred to as “Fat Tuesday”. From my perspective, this tends to be the more offensive reference to the day before Lent, and the one that would most inspire/bully me into a behavior changing mode. With Lent beginning, it ‘Lends’ itself to being a perfect time for me to fast and be intentional with breaking free from my sugar addiction.
As a sufferer of Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression as well as being a recovering alcoholic, sugar is my enemy. Recent studies claim that sugar addiction is worse then the addiction to cocaine! I can vouch for this. Just because sugar is readily available, where I don’t find myself in a dingy, back ally scoring some sucrose, and just because our government has not made it illegal, does not mean that it is good for me… for us.
It’s a simple formula. I eat sugar, I feel like crap. Nuff said? Well, no. I can get so depressed the day after a night time sugar binge that I cry a lot the next day. It only takes a few of those enticingly labeled “fun sized” candy bars and I am sluggish, more depressed, irritable, with overall feelings of anxiety increasing, as well as guilt and not so fun sized shame! One would think a day or two of this would be more than enough to stop the maddening cycle, but NO! That is not how addiction works. It is slow and methodical. As I said, sugar is my enemy and I can’t just have one as one becomes 3, until eventually the snack sized sack is on my lap. We are what we eat. Sugar is crap. It is no wonder I feel like crap the next day.
A quick Google search on sugar addiction reveals its awful truths. Today I have made the decision to free my body and mind from its ill effects, once and for all. Still, as much as I know I need to do this, I won’t kid myself into thinking it will be easy. I have broken sugar addictions in the past with fasting, however I ALWAYS return.. this time, I don’t want to return.
I am sick and tired of being addicted to things simply because they are available and promise a momentary ‘feel good’ feeling. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful.” WOW! Sugar is not beneficial. I liken this to alcohol and I realize my reader may find this is an odd comparison, however, my opinion is based on my own experiences and sugars are simply another nasty thing we do not need. Just because it is permissible, does not make it beneficial. Just because our government deems one thing permissible does not necessarily mean it is good for us. Sugar is not good for us!
I believe that after abusing drugs and alcohol for as long as I did, and then replacing those addictions with sugar (amongst other things) my poor brain is so confused. My brain lights up with sugar, albeit temporary. It believes the lies those little sugar granules are selling it, and it screams for sugar when I don’t fill its quota daily. Scripture says in Romans 12:1 (NIV) “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Worshipping sugar is not pleasing to God or valuing the temple of the Holy Spirit aka: my body.
Gods word reminds us that in this world we will have struggles and we will be confronted with temptations. He also has promised a way out of those temptations. 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” I am going to need prayer and scripture, the Holy spirit and the Power of Christ Jesus to have any chance of successfully beating this addiction.
It is very wise to seek Gods Truths/Will before embarking on any journey. Proverbs 20;18 (NIV) says “Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.” This is a war and although it is against sugar, it is not very sweet. I must be armed, including the Sword of Truth/Scripture! I have experienced tremendous power in speaking Gods word out loud or praying myself into scripture.
As a child of Gods’, we have great power at our disposal and today I spent time in His word, gathering scriptural truths which I have been jotting down on 3 x 5 cards to keep with me during Lent. I intend on filling my arsenal with His Truth in order to speak back at this sugar coated stronghold over my body and my mind. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear or timidity: But of power and of love and a sound mind,” (2 Timothy 1:7). A sound mind is not one filled with a sugar addiction.
It is no accident that the beginning of Lent and my commitment to this sugar free existence coincides with the wrap up of my final days of the “Made to Crave” bible study. After all, I am made in His image. And that hole in my soul that craves all sorts of things is not fasnacht/donut, beer bottle or Reese cup shaped. It’s a God shaped void that only an authentic relationship with Him will fill. Amen!
Rom 8:5-13 (NAS) For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. …the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God… But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh–for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
So, sayonara sugar! I can’t say its been “real’ cuz’ your not, and I won’t say its been ‘fun’ because it hasn’t been. Our relationship was all based on your sweet little ‘fun sized’ lies. No thank you.