Well, I'll tell you. Let me start with my testimony. I was getting rather huge a couple of years back and under a lot of stress besides. I had tried many diets to lose weight and they just didn't do a lot for me. I got so desperate, I finally cried out to God and asked Him to help me. Sitting out on the deck that day, looking out at the lake, I heard this distinct inner voice tell me to "take the summer off from sugar". I knew it wasn't my flesh, because it knew better. I thought about binding the devil, but he knows better too. It couldn't be psychosis because, though I was under a lot of stress, I was still in my right mind. Yes, it was the BIG GUY UPSTAIRS giving me this strategy.
Now I had tried this once before for a few days (when I discovered that I was consuming as many calories in desserts as I was in food). This was a horrible reality check for me because I found that way to much of the joy in my life was wrapped up in these foods!
As I said before, I didn't think that this was possible, but I was sure that it was God. We know with Him, indeed, all things are possible.
So I went about fasting from all concentrated sweets. Amazingly, God gave me the grace to do it. I also watched labels. I avoided foods that contained sugar and high fructose corn syrup. You would be surprised how many foods contain sugar!!! I also added exercise, prayer and many more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I was under so much stress and difficulties that I had no control over. I found comfort knowing that though I had no control of my circumstances, I could control what I was putting in my mouth. I also drank mammoth amounts of water. Every time I stepped on the scale, it went down. It was the first time in my life that I was success full at losing weight. After 2 1/2 months, I had lost 30 lbs and another 5 lbs not long after. Before my last baby, I was at a 42 lb weight loss. I have NEVER gained that back. Even at full term with Moonbeam, I was less than I weighed before the first fast. Of course I DO have baby weight to lose. I've never made it to my goal weight, but I am so much closer than I was a few years back.
If concentrated sweets and sugar are not your vice, then by all means find something else to fast from. If it's computers, fast from computers. If it's coffee, then coffee. If it's wearing plaid then go stripes for a while. There's no hard fast rules about what to fast from. It's more when the pleasures we enjoy begin to infringe upon our freedom in Christ, then a fast is in order. For me, I was feeling enslaved by fat. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were heavy and diabetic. My mother has also wrestled with weight all her life. It's a hereditary curse that I am striving to break free from. I want better for my children.
I learned that my body liked desserts and refined foods because it is lazy. It wants the fast burn. Sustainable burning foods such as whole grains, vegetables and meats make my body work harder to process. Giving it sugar all the time sabotaged any fat loss attempts because it didn't have to work to process complex carbs for energy. Living on a constant sugar high predisposes us to obesity and a host of other health related issues. Not to mention moodiness, depression and anxiety. I was shocked to consistently feel good. I was amazed all arthritic symptoms left my body. Most of all, my favorite thing was how my husband acted around me. I will say no more.
Really, you can execute a sugar fast however you want. I do not believe that all sugar is created equal. I recommend eating fruit. I believe that the fiber is beneficial to a healthy diet. I use stevia, honey, maple syrup, apple sauce, bananas and raisins to sweeten foods. I try not to use excessive amounts of them though.
Ok, well enough of this post. You get the idea. I will also add that I saw God move in many ways for me. When we are weakest in the flesh, we are strongest in spirit :-) When I feel my sugar intake is getting out of control, I begin a new sugar fast. Sometimes all it takes is a week to get back on track. So far, I have found that a month long, once a year is quite beneficial for me. I hope that I can be of some help to someone. I feel excessively grieved to see "fat America" in the emergency room for mental and physical problems related to obesity. I want to make a difference for some one. This is why I decided to blog about it and make my strange traditions public.
Isaiah 61:3-5 (New King James Version)
3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” 4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins, They shall raise up the former desolations, And they shall repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. 5 Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, And the sons of the foreigner Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.